WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING A QUEER BUSINESS OWNER?
It used to really wow me to see corporations rainbow-a-fy their products and marketing during Pride. Positive and visible symbols of Pride are important, but it would be amazing to see more money and tangible support going to Queer people, artists, makers and communities.
When I started as selling Peg the Patriarchy shirts - I did not realize the micro and overtly aggressive things I'd have to deal with from suppliers, to social media censorship to dude-bro graphic design culture...I was definitely not treated the same after they read what I was going to print on my products. I had to shop around until I found a local and Queer-owned business doing t-shirt printing. Because my content is sexual, I can't buy advertising on social media - I can barely exist on social media without being shut down - so I can't advertise like a regular small-biz owner.
What's amazing about being a Queer artist is that I first started selling my shirts and pasties at local drag king shows, LGBT markets and in queer-owned sex shops. Being a Queer artist opened me up to this whole new community of likeminded people who understood what it meant to be a queer creator.
MEET QUEER CHEMISTRY BY YAS
Community is so important to queer business owners. I met Yas at an LGBT craft market in Toronto, we happened to be sitting next to each other. We quickly bonded over our shared struggles and joys in being queer makers and entrepreneurs.
I immediately began obsessing over which pins I wanted, and I now own the bisexual and pansexual pins and I'm eyeing the progress flag one too!
Here's more about Yas from their website:
"I'm a Lebanese-Belgian Queer artist based in Montreal, QC. My work focuses mostly on queerness, and exploring queer identities through the lens of science. I LOVE digital art, but I'm always keen on exploring other forms of art (painting, collage, sculpting clay).
At first, I created Yas Petit Poulet as a handle for my Instagram, then it became so much more. It became a pen name for my art career, the Queer Chemistry project, my writing,...
As a gender non-conforming person of colour living with both invisible disability and chronic pain, I care about inclusivity, accessibility, and anti-capitalism. These are the core values of my work. Yas Petit Poulet is my full-time occupation, as it allows me to allocate enough time to take care of my health."
Let's dazzle in the rainbows we see during Pride as reminders of the existence of LGBT people - and then let's turn that awareness into action! Shop from Queer and Trans creators, biz-owners and artist like Yas and myself!
Visit Yas' shop and express yourself with these gorgeous pins!