Gay owned stores for shopping this holiday season

The Little Gay Shop | Kirt Reynolds and Justin Galicz

The Little Gay Shop | Kirt Reynolds and Justin Galicz

The holidays are here, and with it comes the fun of finding the perfect gifts for your family, friends and friends. Instead of spending hours at the mall or scrolling online, let us help you fill your loved ones (and maybe even yourself) with queer pride in the coolest LGBTQIA + businesses in the country. From themed jewelry to ‘think your butt’ greeting cards, our list will have you ready to celebrate the season and your favorite people … both naughty and sweet.

Austin, Texas

Founded in 2019, La Petite Boutique Gay features original artwork, clothing and stationery created by LGBTQIA + artists and designers like Ash and chess, a queer and trans couple specializing in retro-style greeting cards, and Gaypin ‘Guys, who create pins “so people feel like they’re representing their community and starting conversations.” Add rainbows to your loved one’s wall with stunning artwork, send a different kind of holiday greeting with a ‘think of your butt’ card or buy a bunch of pins, buttons and of stickers for Christmas stockings.

Los Angeles, California

Founded by queer owner Rachel Berks, Otherwild is a store, design studio and event space all in one. Encourage your loved ones to show their pride with quirky t-shirts and sweaters, spice up your home with Boy Smells candles (try the Pride collection with fragrances like Ambrosia, made from mandarin zest, rosemary, galbanum, iris, hinoki and vanilla), stock up on Best Witches cards, and more. Your purchase also supports the community, as Berks donates a portion of its profits to social justice organizations and causes like Planned parenthood and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Denver, Colorado

As a child, getting underwear for the holidays was no fun, but Needz change that. The store has a huge collection of sexy men’s underwear from brands like PUMP !, Nasty Pig, Black Unicorn, and Skull & Bones that you can buy for any of your favorite pals, or even for yourself. If you know someone who loves leather you’re in luck. There is an extensive collection including harnesses, pants and cuffs from CJ’s Leather, as well as a wide selection of toys and lubricants for adults.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Why buy your best friend a generic sweater when you can give them one Daddy’s Girls friendship ring, sparkly unicorn earrings or other stunning jewelry made by genderfluid designer Cat Conley? Founded in 2013, Steer Queer also sells necklaces and earrings with your favorite pronoun, like the popular them / them hoops.

New Haven, Connecticut

Launched in 2014 by lifestyle designer Alex Dakoulas, Strange Ways works with over 100 independent artists and designers to sell pins, patches, apparel, tapestries and other unique gifts like the well hung trophy and box of donut magnets. Articles celebrate individuality and special collections support LGBTQIA inclusion, women’s rights and Black Lives Matter.

Portland, Oregon

Named in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Citizen Ruth is a feminist boutique that “mixes intersectionality into accessories and handcrafted gifts” like mugs, magnets and ornaments. Buy one with RBG herself or choose from models inspired by Schitt Creek, 9 to 5, The first women’s club, and other weird icons. Shopping here really makes you a good citizen: your purchase directly supports the work of 250 female, queer and marginalized artists around the world.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Will Acton, queer owner of Pumkinfish, is a former optometrist with an eye for all the unique and wonderful things to brighten up your holiday gifts. Located in downtown Indianapolis, the store is a treasure trove of trinkets and fun gifts like bath soaps, cocktail mixers, and wine for your cat (a non-alcoholic, all-natural drink topped with catnip), as well as a large selection of other products for pets and humans.

Washington DC

If you know someone with a real sweet tooth, order some of the delicious treats made by the weird owner of Capital Candy Jar., Dave Burton. Try offerings like Almond Caramel Rind and Caramel Clouds, and make sure you get some chocolate-coated Oreos. decorated with DC landmarks and American flags – both for yourself and for Santa.

Salt Lake City, Utah

A cozy neighborhood queer bookstore, Under the Umbrella highlights LGBTQIA + writers from around the world and provides a safe space for the community. From classic fiction to small presses, you’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list. Their wide selection also focuses on stories of queer people of color (especially black and transgender women), people with disabilities, sex workers, asexual and aromatic, and other seldom represented identities. Bonus: There are guided drag history tours, open mic nights, and queer tarot readings for those who visit in person.

New York City

Exit 9 has been a New York institution for 26 years. Browse the aisles of their East Village or Brooklyn stores for greeting cards, New York-centric gifts, toys and more. Or visit Queer here section of their website for pride socks, queer cocktail recipe book and collections of strange candles. No matter who you’re shopping for, you’re bound to find a cool gift here.

Multiple locations in the Midwest

A shop with the “Gay Agenda” collection? “Yes please. Raygun sells cool t-shirts, postcards and bar items with sayings like “It’s rainbow time” and “Conversion therapy stall” that make great gifts for sassy friends and relatives. The stores are located in Iowa in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, as well as in Chicago, Kansas City and Omaha. You can also shop online from the comfort of your sofa.

Louisville, Kentucky

Shop for original t-shirts, hats and “cards for people who aren’t tense” at Louabull, a queer boutique and gift shop, which is the only store in its region that combines southern pride with queer pride. They also sell t-shirts in kid’s sizes, so you can add rainbows and pride to a loved one’s wardrobe.

Seattle, Washington

Shop for handmade gifts like original artwork and jewelry, and support the work of queer women and creatives at the Virago Gallery, a store and a concept space. The name Virago is Latin and means woman warrior, making a gift from here is the perfect way to celebrate all the strong women in your life.

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Mark Jason Williams writes travel essays and articles and is working on a travel guide for LGBTQ couples. It can be found at

Freeda S. Scott