11 queer-owned businesses to support this Pride Month

By Former Agent

It’s finally the one glorious month a year when big brand logos get a rainbow makeover and straight people start asking, “Hey, where is *my *pride month?” Yes, friends, it’s Pride Month! No matter how you identify, Pride is a time to show your support for the queer community. And what better way to uplift LGTBQIA folks than with your sweet, sweet cash?

This June 20gayteen, take some time to check out local businesses that are owned by queer folk. They may just become some of your favorite places to hang out in NYC all year round.

To Shop:

1. Bluestockings Bookstore

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Do you have a void in your life where radical, queer, and feminist literature should be? Well, you’re in luck! Bluestockings Bookstore is a collectively-owned and volunteer-run bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center in the Lower East Side. Stop by and browse their thousands of books, zines, and journals.

2. Babeland

This female-friendly sex shop was started over 20 years ago Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning found there was a lack of sex toys with women and queer folk in mind. Not only are the stores welcoming and friendly, but their products are high quality. The Babeland website also offers educational materials and encouragement for anyone looking to explore their sexuality.

3. Cult Party

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This Williamsburg boutique is the intersectional, queer, feminist, witchy store meets gallery meets event space. With a huge rainbow covering the back wall, this collectively-owned storefront is an essential stop on your pride shopping spree. Weather you’re looking for feminist pins, crystal necklaces, or wooden Frida Kahlo angel sculptures, this store will have what you’re looking for.

3. West Side Kids

Finding an inclusive toy store with a focus on diversity and education can be a challenge, but West Side Kids has got you covered. Alice and Jenny Bergman opened the large toy store on the Upper West Side in 1981 and since then it has become a neighborhood staple. The products are expertly selected and ethically made.


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MINNA is a home textiles brand that focuses on creating ethically-made designs inspired by feminist art. Partnerships with artisan collectives in Mexico, Guatemala, and Uruguay ensure high-quality of weaving.

5. Delphinium Home

What began as a card and gift shop has expanded to a boutique that carries a collection of fun and, dare I say, quirky products. Founded by three musical theater vets John Soroka, Michael Quinn and Gary Alaimo, Delphinium Home is the place to go for the perfect gift for your funniest friend.

6. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

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This Lower East Side staple is a volunteer-run bookstore, cafe, and event space with a mission. As a Housing Works institution, the Bookstore Cafe is run with the mission of raising money to end the HIV/AIDs and help the homelessness crisis. So not only is this a great place to find well loved donated books and snag a great cup of coffee, but all your purchases are for a good cause.

To Eat:

7. MeMe’s Diner

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Although this diner has not been open long, it has already become well-known as an inclusive queer-friendly space. Staff is taught to greet customers with gender-neutral language, creating a welcoming environment that pairs perfectly with the clean pastel retro aesthetic. Even more importantly, the menu which includes twists on classic comfort food is amazing. I mean a Bagel Babka? Come ON.

8. Prune

Prune was opened 18 years ago and has become well-known among locals and tourists alike. The menu has a wide range from safe bets like brussels sprouts with lemon, to more experimental meals like roasted marrow bones. The brunch menu includes 11 different Bloody Marys— need I say more?

9. Sexy Taco Dirty Cash

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If the name alone doesn’t peak your interest, perhaps the San Fransisco street food inspired menu will do it. Opened by Brian Washington-Palmer known for giving the restaurant scene in Harlem a boost in the late 90s, this is the spot for anyone who wants their tacos to come with a pun. Their menu includes the “I’m Not A Jerk Shrimp Taco” and “Steak In the Heart Taco”.

10. Hay Rosie

This creamery is not your average neighborhood ice-cream parlor. The focus on excellence from cow to creamery is apparent in their rich, flavorful scoops. Pop by the Carroll Gardens tasting room to cool off this month.

11. Baz Bagel & Restaurant

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Specializing in hand-rolled bagels, this restaurant offers homestyle Jewish favorites in a fun, welcoming environment. They also offer soda fountain and diner classics making it a neighborhood staple and perfect when you’re craving some indulgent comfort foods.

Happy Pride — go support your local gays! And don’t forget the NYC Pride Parade is coming up on Saturday, June 24.

Let us know your favorite queer-owned spots! Tweet @Nooklyn, Find us on Facebook or Follow us on Instagram @nooklyn.stories.

  1. Cover photo by Joshua Stitt on Unsplash

  2. Image Courtesy of Bluestockings l bluestockings.com

  3. Image Courtesy of Cult Party l www.facebook.com/cultpartynyc

  4. Image Courtesy of MINNA l https://www.minna-goods.com/

  5. Image Courtesy of Housing Works l https://www.facebook.com/HousingWorksBookstore/

  6. Image Courtesy of MeMe’s Diner l https://www.memesdiner.com/

  7. Image Courtesy of Sexy Taco Dirty Cash l https://www.sexytacodirtycash.com/

  8. Image Courtesy of Baz Bagel l https://www.bazbagel.com/