3 Ways to Shop Locally and Support the LGBTQ Community All Year
Everyone in San Francisco is ready to don a rainbow and go to a Pride-themed event in June, but being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t have to be a one-month only occurrence. As you’re shopping—and even purging your home—consider these options for supporting your LGBTQ+ neighbors all year long.
Human Rights Campaign Store
Most brands offer Pride-themed merch in June—usually a t-shirt featuring the brand’s logo rendered in a rainbow. Typically, a percentage of that purchase goes to an LGBTQ+ organization. For example, 100% of the profits from the sales of Michael Kors’s MKGO t-shirt for Pride go to God’s Love We Deliver. At Banana Republic, 50% of the purchase price of items from the Equality Collection goes to support the United Nations Free and Equal Campaign for LGBTI equality.
At the Human Rights Campaign store, however, 100% of the purchase “fuels the fight for LGBTQ equality.” HRC has lots of t-shirts, plus socks, phone covers, dog leashes, and more. They sell a lot—we mean, a lot—of statement tees, but most are clever and well-designed. And the accessories are legitimately good. Order online or shop in real life at the HRC store inside Harvey Milk’s former home in the Castro (575 Castro Street).
AHF Out of the Closet Thrift Shops
AIDS Health Foundation has tested and treated over a million patients for AIDS in the last 20 years, but it’s not without its controversies. (Google “AHF controversy” and you’ll find headlines ranging from “10 Worst Offenses of AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Michael Weinstein” to “So why is an AIDS nonprofit suing to halt construction and pushing for Measure S?” to “AHF's PrEP ad sparks controversy.”) One way AHF funds its programs is through its Out of the Closet Thrift Stores: AHF says that 96 cents of every dollar generated in the stores “directly fund AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs and services in the U.S. and abroad.”
AHF currently runs three stores in the Bay Area, at 1295 Folsom Street and 1498 Polk Street in San Francisco, and 238 E 18th Street in Oakland. For shoppers, it’s a treasure trove of second-hand goods with prices as low as $1. For hoarders, it’s a smart spot to offload the clothes or housewares that are slowly pushing you out of your home.
Community Thrift on Valencia partners with loads of Bay Area non-profits. When donors drop off their cast-offs, they can choose a beneficiary charity, including 35 LGBTQ partners. When you’re ready to KonMarie your home, let those items that no longer spark joy underwrite programs for groups like GLAAD or the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.