Want To Wear Your Pride On Your Sleeve? Five Brands That Offer LGBT+ Visualization.

As the years go on I see more pride apparel in my closet. Some people prefer to let their words and actions speak for them when it comes to sharing or supporting LGBTQIA+ pride while others will wear pins, t-shirts, even shoes. Whether it’s something to show my own identity or to support others in the community you can see me sporting flags or markers of all shapes and sizes. If this sounds like you too, you’ll be happy to know there are brands that offer pride apparel to help you share your pride or support! Here a list of five of them that do:

  1. 1. Converse.

    You’re reading this right, converse has a pride collection. I don’t know about you but converse are my go-to shoes. These laid back shoes have been around and popular since long before I was born, but their popularity hasn’t wavered. There’s something about that style and their different colors that makes them what you want to wear the most. These color options have recently grown. Previously their LGBT+ line included rainbow designs on black and white shoes with high and low top options. This year it expanded to include trans pride. Coming across this announcement is what grabbed my attention, and you better believe I’m getting those rainbow high tops!

  2. 2. Nike.

    Nike is known for athletic apparel and shoes. They’ve had popular athletes’ brand shoes, shoes that support the MCU through Iron Man, and yes shoes for pride. The shoes for pride were part of their Be True line and while the shoes are no longer available through their website they currently have ‘equality’ t-shirts showing this line is being updated to this day. Be True is the name of their pride collection to pay homage and be a reminder of the 1985 AIDS awareness in New York. Nike's Be True is said to have supported other LGBT+ leaders from California, and Oregon as well through the different designs on their soles.

  3. 3. Aeropostale.

    I can’t tell you why but I can tell you this brand was one of the most popular brands in middle school and high school. Teenage years are rough, let’s admit it, and to be shown some acceptance by the brand people look up to? How affirming is that? Although we shouldn’t need affirmation from other people that we’re a valid part of society, we’ve been told we’re not so long we search it out. Teenagers are already looking for who they are and trying to accept themselves, seeing the support of their sexuality from this brand is nothing but helpful. This year we see the classic rainbow design scattered across shirts, sweaters, and socks. There are t-shirts proclaiming love in rainbow colors, and my favorite is ‘love comes in all colors’ over the trans flag. Not only is there awareness for sexual diversity, but gender as well!

  4. 4. Spencer’s

    Spencer’s is known, like Hot Topic, to have alternative clothing. They have items from front to back that show trends too so one might wonder if this will be treated as a trend, but nevertheless, they’re showing their support in rainbow equality shirts and more. They have “pride apparel” which includes but is not limited to rainbow flags, trans flags, equality flags that simply say ‘human’. There are t-shirts, gender marker necklaces, lovely skirts and shorts perfect for a rave. This pride apparel similar to Aeropostale will reach multiple age groups using a variety of language, humor, and designs that resonate with young persons and adults in the LGBT+ community as well as allies.

  5. 5. Levi’s

    Every year they create a pride collection. Their website says it’s “to celebrate our friends and family in the LGBT+ community. It’s a way to increase visibility, get more people involved in the push for equality and give back.” As well as visibility their collection is for the person wearing it to have a form of self- expression. This is seen through the personal declaration “I Am” used in 2018 leaving the statement for the LGBT+ members to fill in. Included in this website are video statements from community members who share their story through Levi’s. While Levi’s are known for their jeans they also have jackets t-shirts, shorts you name it! I look forward to seeing their 2019 collection.

Companies have been creating pride lines like Nike Be True as far back as 2012. These collections speak to past and present progress in LGBTQIA+ rights and awareness. All these brands, Nike, Converse, Aeropostale, Spencers, and Levi’s offer visibility through rainbow designs but some offer another message alongside it. That message is the need for equality and that while we should acknowledge there are sexual and gender diversities we are all human so there’s no reason for hate. Instead, let’s spread love which these lines spread far as their stores can reach. This might seem like a simple concept or one that was preached in the hippy-dippy seventies but that doesn’t make it any less gravid. They support us, I say we support them. Shopping spree anyone?