National Coming Out Day was introduced to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community members that have come out of the closet.
With it being on 11 October 2022, it’s just around the corner, and in preparation for the day, many people choose to go the extra mile and support LGBTQ brands and businesses.
However, they’re not always easy to identify, and it’s hard to know whether they are active members of the community or not.
Therefore, if you’re thinking about what LGBTQ-owned businesses to support this year, this article will highlight the top 14 brands that actively contribute to the LGBTQ community.
Top LGBTQ brands and businesses to support
LGBTQ brands cover a wide variety of industries. From major clothing brands such as TomboyX, Feel Good Club, and Wildfang, to beauty and cosmetic brands such as Kiss My Face, Dr Botanicals, and We Are Fluide, there are a whole host of LGBTQ brands to buy from.
You can even support food and drink brands such as Bokksu and Brighton Gin or wellness and fitness businesses such as Me-est Me and Strong Her. There are an endless number of options to choose from. To help narrow some of these down for you, we’ll take a look at 14 of the top brands and businesses. Let’s dive in.
LGBT clothing brands and businesses
TomboyX is an international clothing brand that started as an idea to create stylish, comfortable, and durable button-up shirts for women. It has since grown to become one of the biggest queer-owned businesses in the world.
Founded by married couple Fran Dunaway and her wife Naomi Gonzalez, TomboyX designs and creates clothes for people of all shapes and genders and has an extensive unisex clothing range.
From activewear and swimwear to underwear and loungewear, you can find almost any type of clothing on their website. Dunaway, someone who has fought and overcome breast cancer twice, has even designed a bra specifically for breast cancer survivors.
TomboyX isn’t just a queer-owned business. They are also a queer-run business. 30% of the TomboyX team is LGTBQ, with over 77% of employees being female and 35% being black, indigenous, or people of colour.
Feel Good Club
Based out of Manchester, Feel Good Club is a one-stop shop for all things positivity. Created by two wives, their mission is – as the name suggests – to make you feel good and spread positivity in the world.
They have a wide variety of products to choose from, such as candles, speciality coffee, desk pads, and art prints. However, they are most known for their fashion and apparel, selling anything from beanies and chest bags to hoodies and backpacks – they even have a kid’s clothing section.
Their physical location in Manchester is a full-on coffee shop and bar where you can order any drink of your choosing. They also host weekly events such as drag cabaret, open mic, and art exhibits.
The KelZo jewellery brand was founded by married couple Zoey and Kelly during the initial lockdown in 2020. Created due to a lack of funky jewellery in the market, they specialise in more out-of-the-box designs.
Zoey, a trans woman based in Cardiff, now runs the business by herself but says she loves to serve queer people in the queer community with her bespoke earrings, necklaces, and badges, and the business has gained quite a customer base since its inception.
The LGBTQ-owned business not only has a zero waste policy where all leftover materials are recycled back into products, but they also have a Pride Collection, where 10% of profits are donated to a chosen LGBTQ charity.
Whilst you won’t find fine jewellery in KelZo’s collections, you will certainly find fun, colourful, and quirky designs and different styles with the LGBTQ community in mind.
Wildfang is one of the more popular LGBTQ businesses on this list. Founded almost a decade ago by former Nike employees Emma Mcilroy, Julia Parsley, and Taralyn Thuot, Wildfang is a menswear-inspired apparel brand, something that’s also represented in its name – Wildfang is derived from the German translation for the word ‘tomboy’.
Whilst they are a small business in size, they have a wide variety of clothing on offer, such as overalls, button-up shirts, jumpsuits, coveralls, blazers, pants, and much more. The queer-run business also values sustainability and has donated over half a million dollars to relevant charities.
LGBT beauty and cosmetic brands and businesses
Kiss My Face
What started as a personal care company in the 1980s that sold soap bars from Greece, Kiss From Face is now one of the most well-known LGBTQ businesses in the world and is rivalling big beauty corporations head-on.
Founded by Steve Byckiewicz and Bob Macleod in New York, the brand has diversified its product range and now sells everything from toothpaste and roll-on deodorant to sunscreen and shampoo – and everything in between.
They focus their efforts on creating products with the best ingredients. So whether you suffer from sensitive skin or are simply looking for a brand that uses high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients, Kiss My Face has something for everyone.
Malin + Goetz
Malin + Goetz was founded in 2004 as a solution to the complicated world of skin care products. The company aimed to create a line of luxury products for people with every skin type, tone, and gender and has definitely succeeded in doing so.
Established by couple Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, Malin + Goetz is one of the most popular LGBTQ-owned businesses worldwide, with stores in New York, London, San Fransisco, and Hong Kong. More importantly, they supply their skin care products to a wide range of clients, ranging from luxury retailers and hotels to airlines and gyms.
The business also partners with the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organisation for young people in the LGBTQ community.
We Are Fluide
We Are Fluide is a cosmetic brand that specialises in makeup for all genders and skin tones. Ensuring that all of their makeup is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, We Are Fluide offers a vast array of products, such as lipstick, eyeshadow, nail polish, mascara, palettes, and much more.
Creating make-up for people from all walks of life, regardless of their gender identity, We Are Fluide also donates 10% of its Pride collection sales to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education in an effort to support trans people. They also donate to events and fundraisers that support the LGBTQ community.
Dr Botanicals is a ‘loud and proud LGBTQ-owned brand’ based in London that creates skin and hair care products, with a collection consisting of facial serums, moisturisers, masks, shampoos, candles, and more. They even have creams, gels, and bath oils for babies and small kids.
The company uses natural, vegan, ethically sourced and made, and cruelty-free products and has a history of supporting LGBTQ causes all over the world.
LGBT home and kitchenware brands and businesses
Boujee Bougies is a queer-owned brand that designs and manufactures candles. The name is a play on words, with ‘boujee’ representing the English word bougie and ‘bougies’ translating to candles in French.
With all of its candles and fragrances manufactured in-house and with 100% natural ingredients, the company has an eclectic collection of scents on offer and stays true to its bougie name. They also help the environment by planting one tree for every order placed and ensuring their packaging is completely plastic-free.
LGBT food and drink brands and businesses
Bokksu is a one-of-a-kind business that has targeted a specific niche market – lovers of Japanese snacks.
Founder Danny Taing, a gay man from the U.S., spent time living in Japan. It wasn’t until he moved back to the states years later that he found it impossibly difficult to find his beloved Japanese snacks. This sparked the idea for Bokksu.
Bokksu is a monthly subscription box business that sends you authentic Japanese snacks, candies, and teas every month. These products are sourced from a mix of small family-owned businesses as well as established companies and are sent straight to your door each month. You also receive a booklet which explains where the snacks are from and some cultural facts about their creators.
Brighton is considered the LGBTQ capital of the United Kingdom and has spawned various LGBTQ-owned businesses. One of those is Brighton Gin, a distillery that has combined its love for gin with a Brighton twist.
Founder Kathy Caton describes the business as ‘independent, fun-loving, open-minded and adventurous’, which has been heavily influenced by the city of Brighton and her own experiences.
During Pride month, they release a special Brighton Pride bottle where a percentage of profits are donated to LGBTQ causes, and Kathy often organises events and activities to support charities.
LGBT wellness and fitness brands and businesses
Shana Rehwald, founder of Me-est Me and a member of the LGBTQ community, created the Me-est Me Journal after going through a significant life decision. She found that the best way to go through life was to be the most authentic version of herself and to be comfortable with who that person was.
One way she achieved this was through journaling. Certain prompts and questions allowed her to dig deep into her mind and truly understand herself. With an aim to assist other people going through similar problems, she created the Me-est Me Journal, which has the same prompts and questions that helped her.
Founded by Tig and Sam Prynn, StrongHer is an LGTBQ-owned gym based in London. As a female-only strength and conditioning gym, its mission is to create a space where any woman can come and train, including trans women and non-binary individuals.
With classes that range from beginners to advanced, women can find a suitable class regardless of their training experience.
Other LGBT brands and businesses
The Bookish Type
Bookstores seem like a relic from a bygone era, but The Bookish Type is looking to bring them back. Founded by couple Ray and Nic, the independent queer bookshop in Leeds sells a wide range of books with an LGBTQ focus.
Ray and Nic are leading figures in the Leeds LGBTQ community and run Queer History Tours around the city, as well as local events and groups.