By: Michelle Hempstock
June is Pride Month, and while we celebrate our vibrant LGBTQ+ community year round, there’s always something special about Pride celebrations in June. However you are marking this month, we hope you’re taking the time to celebrate the visibility, accomplishments and joy of the LGBTQ+ community! At the same time, it’s also important to recognize how far we as a society still have to go, particularly as conversations continue around the unique struggles of Black, Indigenous and other people of colour.
It’s important for us to recognize and acknowledge history as well. We can’t forget that Pride began as a protest against police brutality at the Stonewall Inn, and the resulting riots were led by a black trans woman, Marsha P. Johnson. #BlackLivesMatter this month and always. 🖤 Support for the LGBTQ+ community needs to be prioritized year round. To get you started, we’ve compiled a short list of organizations and businesses to support, follow and get educated. Let’s all commit to ongoing learning and keeping up our support!
LGBTQ+ Organizations to Support & Follow
BLACK WOMEN IN MOTION (Toronto based)
BWIM are a gender-based Violence and Mental Health Education, Advocacy and Support organization for Black Women (Trans, Cis, Femmes), Non-Binary and Gender non-conforming folx.
CENTER FOR BLACK EQUITY (Washington, DC based)
This organization is committed to supporting leaders, institutions and programs for social, economic and health equity for LGBTQ+ people of African descent
DANDELION INITIATIVE (Toronto based)
Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Violence with Survivor Centric Education and Supports, Dandelion is a grassroots intersectional feminist organization, by survivors for survivors.
THE GET REAL MOVEMENT (Toronto based)
A Canadian non-profit focused on combatting #2SLGBTQ+ discrimination & racism in schools, summer camps, and workplaces. Their programming aims to break down prejudice, promote unity, and foster compassion in our world.
RAINBOW RAILROAD (Toronto & NYC based, worldwide reach)
Rainbow Railroad helps LGBTQI people escape persecution and violence around the world.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.
THE GLAD DAY LIT FUND (Toronto based)
Run by Glad Day Bookshop, they are committed to making sure funds circulate back directly to LGBT2S community members affected by the pandemic.
OUTRIGHT ACTION INTERNATIONAL
They are dedicated to fighting for the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere.
THE TREVOR PROJECT (US based; NYC & LA)
The leading national US organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth!
FLAMINGO MARKET (online)
Connecting our community with LGBTQ2SIA+ Artists & Entrepreneurs across Canada and worldwide! If you’re a fan of our artisan markets, you’ll love what’s on offer at Flamingo Market.
GLAD DAY BOOKSHOP (Toronto, ON)
Glad Day Bookshop is the first queer-focused Canadian bookstore, and the oldest queer bookstore worldwide. Serving the LGBTQ community since 1970, they offer the widest possible selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer literature. Plus they are home to tons of amazing virtual and (when restrictions are lifted!) in person events.
LAVENDER MENACE (Toronto, ON)
Opening JUST last week, Lavender Menace is a lesbian owned & operated LGBTQ+ retro gathering place for anyone who wants good drinks, good food, and good company at a cocktail bar & restaurant. Whether it’s a patio party, cozy lounge night, or loud night on the town, they’ve got a space for you. They have an open and inclusive policy for their space: Everyone is welcome. Except bigots.
LITTLE JO BERRYS (Ottawa, ON)
Little Jo Berry’s is a bakery and coffeeshop built on community and friendship. You might remember them from one of our Ottawa bevys! #memories
LUCKY LITTLE QUEER (Ottawa, ON)
Lucky Little Queer is a non-binary freelance artist based in Ottawa, Canada named KJ Forman. They create visual art speaking to their LGBTQ experience that has a feminist and sex-positive focus. Lucky Little Queer’s goal is to create affirmative pieces that can be used as a tool to connect and bond marginalized people together in a way that celebrates shared experiences and identities.
MISS PIPPA’S (Toronto, ON)
Homey space with comfy seating hosting a flower shop & combination cafe & wine bar. Their sangria is incredible!
SAUSAGE PARTY (Toronto, ON)
Owner & operator, Emily, has been serving up vegan comfort food at breweries, festivals and farmers markets for the past few years all over Ontario, and has been a vendor at many of our events. Sausage Party is known for their crazy themed vegan hot dawgs and other veganized comfort food (… like vegan pepperettes!) Many of their items are available at vegan shops/grocers all over the province!
STUDIO LEEZOU (Toronto, ON)
So, it all started with a laser cutter. Well, not really. Leezou consists of two queer souls who are lookin’ to bring some LGBTQ+ welcoming-energy into the world.
TONI MARLOW (Toronto, ON)
Toni Marlow is a statement undergarment brand founded in Toronto, Canada. Produced locally, they put universal comfort at the forefront. High-quality fabrics that meet detailed construction means they create products with your body and needs in mind.
WATSON & LOU (Peterborough, ON)
Their mission is to host a dynamic, beautiful, creative hub that helps local artists and makers reach a wider audience year-round; that invites people to try out new artsy skills; and helps everyone find the perfect, special, unique something right when they need it. They are beyond fortunate to have access to such a wonderful spread of local talent, with over half of their makers producing right in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough.