Welcome to Prideful, a month-long stretch where we celebrate our identities with pride and honor queer-owned brands, whether it’s fashion items that give us gender euphoria or our favorite queer-friendly sex toys.
There comes a time in every 25-year-old woman's life when she wakes up and realizes that she's in fact not straight, has never been straight, and will never be straight. How did I (and everyone within a 100-mile radius of me) know? My favorite products. Of course, my first-ever girl crush also played a factor. But the white tank tops, coveralls, and silver rings in my closet banshee screamed "There's no room for you in here!" for years. Discovering both this phenomenon and myself, I needed to know: Do other queer people have prized products that made them say, "Wow, I'm really gay."
According to my fellow queer co-workers, the answer is yes. Prepare for 18 Refinery29 editor-vetted products that shoot rainbows, stick-and-poke tattoos, lavender mullets, and more queer iconography with every "add to cart" click. Whether it's Taylor Swift merch, some genderless chinos, or a literal mirror, the following picks celebrate light-hearted tropes, embrace stereotypes, and most importantly, validate our queer identities in their own unique ways.
"As an old baby gay (25), I'm learning all of the tricks of the gay trade — one being the power of the stark white tank top. Whether it's a classic loose tank or my favorite, insanely sweat-wicking, and ultra-comfy crop tank I've ever owned, there's just something queer about the silhouette that I now totally understand. I woke up one day and looked in the mirror with just this on, no makeup, and a few silver rings and wondered...how it took me this long to activate my queer genetics? Better late than never I guess."—Alexandra Polk, Affiliate Lifestyle Writer
"Honestly, Tevas are probably one of my original queer roots — I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a little tomboy kiddo running around the playground. Nowadays, I especially love the Hurricane XLT2s because they’re practical and comfortable while also being perfectly fashionable and androgynous. I especially like the basil/maple syrup colorway because the multicolor gives it a bit of flamboyance that really screams queer to me."—Hannah Rimm, Senior Life Editor
"My gayest moment (so far) is when I discovered bandanas. It was during the 2020 quarantine when cottagecore was huge, and I thought I was a high femme lesbian. While high femme I am not, the bandana thing stuck around even when I got over my cottagecore obsession. It simply screams lesbian, even if I don’t own a cottage in the middle of the woods." —Mercedes Viera, Associate Deals Writer
"I’m not trying to stir up trouble by making any bold statements about Taylor Swift’s sexuality, but what I will say is that the way that I love her is pretty gay. Not only do I have a closet full of merch from her official store, but I also have clothing, accessories, and gear from fan artists and craft specialists on Society 6, Redbubble, and Etsy. But nothing has shouted WOW, I’m gay! harder than anything revolving around folklore. Cardigans? Gay. Secret love affairs? Gay. Remembering your childhood bestie’s braids? Gay. Writing love songs about girls named Betty…? Gay. Nothing affirms my queerness more than this piece of folklore-themed art that just reads “Betty’s Garden” with a butterfly beneath it (butterflies? also gay). It reminds me of the first time I heard the words, “Will you kiss me on the porch in front of all your stupid friends?” which spoke to me on a deep queer level of the nerves I felt the first time I kissed a girl in public. And it feels like a nod to other gay Swifties who come into my home and understand immediately that they are seen and valued."—Charlotte Lewis, Sexual Health & Wellness Writer
"I love high femme style and find that many pinup-inspired makeup choices, like a bold red lip, make me feel about as gay as the day is long. Not only is a bold lip a powerful look in general, but there’s also something specific about matte reds just screams, 'I’m not wearing this for you,' which is essentially my motto."—Sarah Crow, Affiliate Director
"I wondered out loud what other products validated my queerness the other day, and very funny bestie Mercedes Viera said 'A mirror?" My jaw dropped because of the bluntness of their statement but also because it's true. Sometimes, you really do just look at yourself and love how queer you look, whatever that means to you. And, you might as well gaze lovingly at yourself with an equally cute mirror." —Alexandra Polk, Affiliate Lifestyle Writer
"Somewhere in the process of figuring out my queer identity, I realized that I don’t always want to look femme. And the easiest way to do that (at least in my head) is to leave my purse at home. Unfortunately, my preferred fits aren’t masc enough to have big enough pockets for everything I need to take with me. That’s why I’m thrilled by the resurge of fanny pack popularity (or belt bags, as retailers have rebranded them). It makes me feel like a dad on vacation paired with any outfit, and I particularly love this neon green color, which screams queer to me." —Charlotte Lewis, Sexual Health & Wellness Writer
"This is a tough request because I wish I could link to every piece of “men’s” clothing I’ve purchased over the last couple of years, which is how I really started solidifying my queerness through fashion. However, one product I always get compliments on since I’ve bought it is my SKU (Save Khaki United) black chino pants, which helped shape my fashion identity by experimenting with genderless fashion. Men’s fashion seems to create more of these relaxed “everyday” staples that I’ve yet to find elsewhere. I can wear them from winter through fall and they always work because they have a looser fit that I’m always craving for extreme comfort." —Clare Palo, Senior Strategist, Audience Development
"I honestly think I’ve never been gayer than when I had purple hair. I absolutely love and miss my purple hair; it was truly iconic. Strawberry Leopard is the only dye that I’ve tried, so I don’t have a lot of experience, BUT I think it’s good. The color lasted for quite a while in between several washes, and it colored my hair even when I hadn’t bleached it for a while."—Mercedes Viera, Associate Deals Writer
"Is it a little on the nose? Sure. Is it also a beloved gift given to me by a woman I’ve had one of the longest relationships of my life with? Also yes! And does it feature prominently in my bedroom decor? You bet your sweet… well, you can guess the rest. " —Sarah Crow, Affiliate Director
"I’d never owned a blazer until this Veronica Beard one — they didn’t really seem like me. I’m not really a pants-wearing girl. But this plaid one seemed to jump out of the sale racks and say, “At least, try me on!” And I’m glad I did. I feel like the best boss bitch version of myself in this blazer. It makes me feel powerful. Something I didn’t realize was tied into my queer identity until I had it on. It’s somehow the perfect weight to wear from fall through the spring. Plus, it’s from a luxe brand that I know will last forever."—Charlotte Lewis, Sexual Health & Wellness Writer
"I was pretty early to the Savage x Fenty subscription (it was just my three-year member anniversary!) and Rihanna’s brand has consistently created pieces that are somehow always on brand for Pride — I saw many a Brooklyn babe sporting Savage x Fenty last year during Pride). It created a dedicated Pride shop, but I find its genderless loungewear is usually the thing that I gravitate to the most each June. My favorite bright green mesh top was a big part of my June fashion playlist this year and last year. This year, I’m rocking a sick white and black polo. " —Clare Palo, Senior Strategist, Audience Development
"Similar to a perfectly fitting jumpsuit or a just right pair of shoes, Glisten Cosmetics’ water liners make me feel deeply connected to myself and my queerness. Yes, I can use them to paint rainbows on my face for Pride events, but I also wear them for everyday bold makeup looks. I feel happiest in my queerness when I feel like myself, and multi-colored eyeliner in every shade under the sun does just that for me. Also, they have great wearability and last longer than other water liners I’ve tried." —Hannah Rimm, Senior Life Editor
"As someone who typically dresses like a preschool teacher who’s recently found God, I don’t get clocked as a queer person when I’m out and about in the world. That is, of course, until I put on my Converse. To be fair, I don’t think all Converse sneakers necessarily read queer, but something about the red soles, black uppers, and CDG heart definitely tell the world I own a tattered copy of A Room of One’s Own, if ya dig." —Sarah Crow, Affiliate Director
"The easiest way for me to describe my gender expression is 'leather jacket lesbian,' and this is the specific leather jacket I’m referring to. It’s soft but still structured, it has the perfect amount of zippers, and it goes with literally everything — no matter my masculine or feminine mood of the day. I feel so unbelievably powerful in this leather jacket. It is the most affirming queer piece of clothing I own." —Hannah Rimm, Senior Life Editor
"For over a year, I was on a quest for the perfect white tank top — one that isn’t too thick but still feels durable, soft, and breathable — and I found it in this Fruit of the Loom three-pack. The white A-line tank is as iconic of a queer symbol as the Pride flag (fight me); to me, it feels androgynous and sexy in a gender-nonconforming Lara Croft kind of way." —Mary Frances “Francky” Knapp, Senior Affiliate Writer
"When I stopped dressing for the male gaze, I found myself obsessively drawn to jumpsuits — and specifically this pair of coveralls from Dickies. I’m a curvy person so androgynous clothes can be difficult for my body shape, but these coveralls fit exactly right and make me feel every kind of good in my queerness. Also, the color range is great, and yes, I do have these in four colors." —Hannah Rimm, Senior Life Editor
"I know this lamp is intended to decorate a kid’s room, but when I spotted it, nestled between pink throw pillows, I knew I had to have it. Though 'unicorn' used to be used as a dirty word to describe bisexual people, many in the community have reclaimed it as a positive term. No, we’re not mythical creatures who don’t exist. We’re extremely real and special individuals, and that’s how I feel every time I look at this unicorn lamp. Plus, she totally fits in with my white and gold bedroom decor." —Charlotte Lewis, Sexual Health & Wellness Writer
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