It is thanks to pride and queer communities across North America that we can not only see visible sexual minorities, but celebrate them. Today’s blog looks at the products and contributions of just a few of the queer-owned businesses and organizations that help keep our city and economy vibrant.
This queer-friendly Edmonton shopping guide is about more than just products.
It’s about recognizing where Indigenous histories and pride month coalesce. After all—Indigenous History Month and Pride Month share one and the same calendar!
First, as an Indigenous-owned business, we want to share some background on two-spirited people:
The term “two-spirit” was mostly unheard of until recently, and it’s no coincidence. In many Indigenous traditions, “two-spirited” individuals were people who were thought to have been born with both a masculine and feminine spirit. In practice, this meant individuals who would take on roles of both males and females, like both hunting and weaving.
While the benefits of a well-rounded person are well-known to us today, this identity was traditionally repressed by white, Christian colonists as it disagreed with fundamental religious teachings. However, recent activists, educators, and resources (thanks largely to pride organizations) have brought awareness to this term and helped queer people today integrate it with their worldview and identity.
With that background in mind, let’s take a look at queer makers in Edmonton and how they are helping diversify our economic and cultural landscape.
These artisans are all about parsing the inexplicable energies in life. Their copper tensor rings bring grounding to the universal mechanisms that can lead to chaos or misunderstanding. The far-out creations can be found at the Bountiful Farmer’s Market or online through their digital shop. And yes, they custom-make special orders for those who know precisely the energy (and style) they need in their life!
We’ve featured Soap So Co before as Earth-friendly makers, but did you know they’re also just friendly in general? They’ve even released a jaw-dropping piece for Pride Month that not only smells and feels great, but benefits local charities. Check out the limited-edition JUDY bar here and support this local LGTBQ2S+-friendly business!
With a business name almost as clever as their designs, this power couple turns sustainable hardwood into handmade heirlooms. The finishes remain untouched, leaving the character of the wood to shine—just like these two do when you talk to them about what it means to work with their hands! Challenging masculinity and non-renewable culture at once—we dig it, fellas!
With guidance, support, and funding from numerous accredited and prestigious helpers, EQHP is helping the queer youth of Edmonton to forge their own stories while paying respects to the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of those who came before them. Through digital and audio resources, art exhibitions, and community outreach, they are helping shape the living history of the LGTBQ2S+ community here in central Alberta. You can get in touch with their team with questions, stories, or requests online here.
As we touched on at the beginning of this blog, the 2-Spirit identity grants us a new and holistic means of interpreting what it means to exist in a queer space. The Edmonton 2-Spirit Society (E2S) bridges the knowledge gap between modern audiences and traditional ways of living. Make sure to check out their events calendar to keep up to date on learning opportunities around you!
We hope you use this guide to connect with other pride organizations, events, and queer spaces in the city. Thank you to everyone on this list (and so, so many more) for helping contribute to a more vibrant future in Edmonton.