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Show Up for LGBTQIA+ Businesses in Asheville Year Round

Pride Month is here, and it's time to go beyond the rainbow merch and social media filters. If you’re an ally (or you want to be), let's get real about supporting the vibrant LGBTQIA+ community in our city. This month, let's make an effort to back up local queer-owned businesses and organizations in Asheville. Because true allyship isn't just a one-month thing – it's a ongoing commitment.

Two fists showing colorful magic marker finger tattoos spelling LGBTQIA+

Photo: Alexander Grey/Unsplash

Why Queer-Owned Businesses Matter

  1. Economic Empowerment: LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs often face discrimination in the workplace. Supporting their businesses helps build financial stability and independence.

  2. Authenticity Over Rainbow Capitalism: Big corporations sometimes do "rainbow-washing" by showing pride symbols without actively supporting LGBTQIA+ rights year-round. Queer-owned businesses keep it real.

  3. Strengthening Our Community: Local businesses are the heart of Asheville. Uplifting them fosters a more welcoming and inclusive vibe for everyone.

Queer-Owned Spots to Check Out

Asheville has so many awesome LGBTQIA+-owned businesses. There are so many more but here are several gems that came to my mind:

  1. Firestorm Books & Coffee: A worker-owned cooperative with a focus on social justice, offering a variety of LGBTQIA+ literature and a safe space for dialogue.

  2. East Acupuncture Wellness Boutique: Providing holistic health services with a focus on personalized care and wellness.

  3. Mountain Pet Valet: Offering compassionate and professional pet care services, ensuring your furry friends are well taken care of.

  4. Resilient Roots Bodywork: Specializing in therapeutic bodywork to help you find balance and relief from physical and emotional stress.

  5. Cara Mae's Skincare: Offering handcrafted, all-natural skincare products made with love and intention.

  6. Snailshell Spiral Support: Providing personalized support services for individuals navigating life’s challenges.

  7. Anam Cara Birth + Wellness: Offering comprehensive birth and wellness services, supporting families through all stages of pregnancy and beyond.

  8. Deep Knowing Wellness: A sanctuary for mental health and well-being, offering a variety of holistic therapies.

  9. Thistle & Pearl Tattoo: An inclusive and welcoming tattoo studio where everyone can feel safe expressing themselves through body art.

  10. Out of the Woods Therapy: Offering therapeutic services in a supportive and affirming environment.

  11. Vino & Vulvas: Creating inclusive and educational events focused on sexual health and wellness.

  12. Reiki for Today: Providing Reiki sessions to promote healing, relaxation, and spiritual well-being. (Yours truly. 😘 )

Where to Donate

If you can't shop everywhere, but you’re in a position to make a meaningful donation, please consider donating to these organizations supporting the LGBTQIA+ community: (Local 1-4, National 5-6)

  1. Campaign for Southern Equality: Focused on advancing LGBTQIA+ rights across the South.

  2. Tranzmission: Offers support and resources to transgender and non-binary individuals in the Asheville area.

  3. Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness: Provides peer support for mental health and substance use recovery, including specific services for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

  4. Youth Outright: Empowers LGBTQIA+ youth through support, advocacy, and education, creating a safer and more inclusive environment for young people.

  5. The Trevor Project: A leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQIA+ youth.

  6. ACLU: LGBTQ+ Rights: Protects the rights of drag performers and challenges discriminatory laws targeting LGBTQIA+ communities.

How to Show Your Support

  1. Shop Queer-Owned: Make an effort to buy from LGBTQIA+-owned businesses regularly, not just in June.

  2. Spread the Word: Shout out these businesses on social media and recommend them to friends.

  3. Volunteer or Donate: If you can, give your time or money to local LGBTQIA+ organizations.

  4. Attend Events: Show up for events hosted by queer-owned spots and LGBTQIA+ groups.

The key is continuing to support and uplift your local LGBTQIA+ community all year long, not just during Pride Month. By consciously giving our business and love to queer-owned establishments and organizations, we can build a stronger, more inclusive local community. So let's do this – share these spots, get out there and show your support!


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