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Celebrating Pride Month; the History, Where We Are Now and Supporting Queer-owned Businesses

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

This month we remember the history of Pride, check in on where we are now and celebrate our partners and friends who are in the community and running amazing businesses.

And remember; it's always a good time to support queer-owned businesses and LGTBQ+ rights!

Trans Lives Today

Let's kick this off with Elliot Pages' interview with the CBC. My favourite part is learning all his film credits have been changed over to his correct pronouns and name. I don't know about you but this got me back on the Umbrella Academy season 3.

What I'm taking away from this interview:

Stay open-minded & hearted.

Stay politically active.

Be willing to shut up and listen.

Be willing to stand up and speak out.

Watching what's happening in the US is terrifying. On the other hand, have you met kids these days?? Breaking gender norms is so natural to the young humans on this planet that it hardly seems like a revolution is happening in their world, it's the adults that need to get on board.

For those feeling unsettled by the changes happening around them in their families and communities, do what you have to do to work this out; ask "silly questions", get uncomfortable, and use pronouns in new ways that make your cis-gendered privilege squirrely. And please call in cis-gendered and heterosexual people who are fucking this up. A simple "they go by "them"/"him/"her" now" or "What did you mean by that?" clearly states your position. The goal isn't to change people's minds or beliefs, the goal is to show up and show love to your queer friends and family.

Pride Started With Marsha P Johnson & Black Trans Women

Pride Month is not only a time for vibrant celebrations and colourful parades; it is a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and the courage of those who stood up against oppression. One of these heroes is Marsha P Johnson, a transgender woman of colour and a key figure in the LGBTQ+ liberation movement.

Marsha P Johnson, along with other activists, played a pivotal role in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. These riots, sparked by a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, became a catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. They ignited a collective fight for justice, inspiring generations to come and her death remains "a mystery". The film The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson is time well spent on Netflix this month.

Supporting Queer-Owned Businesses

June is Pride month which is a great time to get informed about LGTBQ culture, rights, history, and self-expression. It's ALWAYS a great time to support queer-owned businesses.

By the way, if I have affiliate or referral programs in place, I will tell you and it means I love their products so much that I perused a working relationship with the business owners.

Caravel Labs

SPS and Caravel Labs have a partnership agreement in place (more on that in another post). I have worked on projects with them in the past and would be delighted to again and I will always bring them in on projects whenever there is value for my client in custom software development or software team training.

I first met Adam, a co-Founder of Caravel Labs at the Torrey Project's startup boot camp for ethical business. At that time, he was already pushing for B Corp certification even though Caravel Labs was in its second year of operation, and he's just completed climate change training with Adam is committed to making a difference and he's one of the most thoughtful, intelligent people I've had the honour of working with.

Wize Tea

I first met Max, the co-founder of Wize Tea about 10 years ago at a sustainable food event in Vancouver. His passion for his craft is unparalleled and I appreciate their commitment to sustainability.

The reason Wize Tea is amazing is because it's made with coffee leaves so there's a hint of caffeine. If you're looking to reduce sugar OR caffeine in your diet, Wize Tea has got you covered.

Swing by the Wize shop and get your summer bevies stocked up.


Welcome to the best hair pomade, ever. I first came across this company while in Shopify for Startups and I managed to get a sample to my friend and professional stylist who agreed: Barb is the f*cking best AND they have merch now too! Sorry Canadians, this one is for our US friends only at this time :(

Pride Merch for People

Rainbows are cool and all, but they are much cooler when queer people are benefitting from allies parading around in them. Self-expression is a key tenant of pride, and we are here for it in whatever makes you feel happy and seen. For me, knowing the cash I spent is truly aligned with the cause I'm supporting gives me that extra bit of pep in my step.

Sauce Strap

Now that you've got your refreshing Wize bevy and your hair done with Barb, it's time to accessorize hun-ny.

I had the most delightful meeting of minds with Jazz last year and let me tell you, her creativity knows no bounds. She is funny, fierce, gorgeous and her saucy straps will have you feeling all that and more.

Follow her @saucestrap and swing by her store and level up your pride or festival look 😎

Flint (@justflintisfine) is a non-binary teacher in the US. They have some amazing, eye-opening and grounding content to share including The Life-Changing Euphoria of Nonbinary Top Surgery. Please give them a follow and show them some love. This is a list they create to help us show our pride and allyship in ways that align with the cause.

trans tank
Trans Print Co Tank

Pride Merch For Companies

Fairware is an SPS partner and we have a referral agreement in place. Let me know if you would like an introduction.

Pride merchandise lookbook

Fairware was always the place I wanted to work. I saw Denise speak at a few sustainability-themed events and I was drawn in by the balance of business and values. One of the stories she shared was about the potential work she was contemplating with The Salvation Army. Her employees raised concerns about the organization's anti-gay attitude so they pressed "pause" on the work and investigated these concerns.

If you're a business looking for merchandise with or without rainbows on it, Fairware is the way to go. Check out their Pride Lookbook or swing by Denise's blog post about pride-washing.

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