3 LGBTQ+ Owned Clothing Brands to Buy from this Holiday Season

3 LGBTQ+ Owned Clothing Brands to Buy from this Holiday Season

Sometimes you just need a good ol' queer themed t-shirt.
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Around this time of year, it seems like everyone is rushing out to buy the same gifts: candles, socks, gift cards. Gift shopping can be stressful because you don't want to buy the same generic sweater at Macy's for your best friend that everyone else is also buying.

This is the year you want to be unique and branch out. Maybe you know someone who just came out or someone who's a member of the LGBTQ+ community and you want to get them a statement shirt, something as special as them. Or maybe you want to buy something for yourself this holiday season, that's okay too; sometimes you just need a good ol' queer themed t-shirt.

Here are three LGBTQ+ owned apparel companies who directly support and cater to the community!

1. FLAVNT Streetwear.

FLAVNT is an Austin, Texas-based apparel company. It's run by Chris and Courtney Rhodes, who are siblings and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Their products feature various phrases such as "Gender Roles Are Dead," "Pretty Boy," and "Gal Pal;" they also have bright tie dye shirts that say "Keep Austin Queer," a play on the city's infamous phrase, "Keep Austin Weird."

I received a shirt of theirs last holiday season and am still obsessed. The quality is much higher than what I've ever found in stores at the mall. The phrases featured on the apparel are both unique and heartwarming; finding LGBTQ+ themed apparel within chain brands is nearly impossible so having a company out there that is run by members of the community makes FLAVNT quite special.

2. Transient Apparel.

Transient Apparel is a "queer community based brand" that was founded in March 2016. They sell boxers, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and beanies that feature their skull logo. They also sell transgender pride flag colored lanyards and pins, along with FTM (female to male) transgender boxes filled with various products such as binders (undergarments that compress one's chest) and packers (a prosthetic).

Their products are colorful and reasonably priced. On their Instagram, they are constantly posting images of customers wearing their merchandise and announcing new arrivals and sales. They have a smaller social media following than the other two brands listed, but it was started for the exact same reason: to support the LGBTQ+ community and create unique products relating to its beautiful members.

3. GC2B.

GC2B was founded in 2015 and is a "trans owned and operated company based in Maryland." The company is known across the LGBTQ+ community for their high quality, reliable chest binders. In short, these undergarments compress one's chest so that it appears flat; they can be an essential part of someone's everyday.

Binders are especially crucial for many transgender men and non-binary folks, but keep in mind that anyone can use one (there are no rules when it comes to making yourself comfortable within your body). They help ease dysphoria (the discomfort and disconnect that one has with their body) by allowing the individual to look in the mirror and see their chest flattened; this can help the person feel validated and a little more at home within their body.

Even though the thought of giving someone a binder as a present may seem as boring as socks or underwear, it truly isn't. Binders allow individuals to look at their bodies and help them feel a little less foreign; these undergarments can help people feel validated within their identity because for the time that they're wearing it, they get to feel like their body matches how they feel on the inside and that's the best gift you could give someone.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Things To Know Before Dating A Firefighter

You'll learn how to tell the difference between different kinds of sirens.
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There are just certain things you are going to want to know before dating a fireman. In my experience, I had to learn along the way. But at the end of all the calls, constantly smelling his gear in the car and sometimes even cancelled plans, I sure do love my firefighter!

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons To Date A Country Boy

You were promised a list, so here it is:

1. If they are even within 20 minutes of the station, they will always leave you to go on a call.

No matter the circumstances, if you have a fireman on your hands, he will jet to the car and be on his way.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Date A Police Officer

2. Meeting nights are not something you try and fight with them about. They are going to leave and you do not have to like it because it wasn't up to you anyway.

I have learned that these nights are not optional. Yes, other people miss them, but not my firefighter.

3. No matter where you are or what you're doing the minute they hear a firetrucks horn, they're looking for it and hoping they're not missing anything good.

You will learn the lingo. Structures, fully involved (the good stuff) smoke alarms, cat in a tree (ehh I mean they are fireman...soooo still good stuff).

4. They know the exact difference between an ambulance, cop, and, of course, a fire truck siren.

Which means that you will have to learn, too.

5. You’ll have to accept that when he has to do hall rental cleanup, you're going with to help.

You fold the chairs and he stacks them. And Im talking at like 12 a.m.,1 a.m.

6. When you come around the firehouse, there will be jokes made and they'll mess with him about you or even you about him.

Honestly it's a giant bromance going on and they prey on this kinda stuff.

7. At first, you won't really have a name to the fire guys. Until you're around long enough.

You'll just be Boyfriend's name's girlfriend.

8. The fire pager goes where he goes.

Next to the bed, in the car, next to your bed, your living room, EVERYWHERE. And even if it's not the real pager, it's the dog app that I can never remember the name of so dog app it is. (Say that really fast to get the full effect).

9. They will probably wear their station shirt/apparel at least 4-5 days a week.

AT LEAST.

10. If you've got a good one, you're always put first. The list will always go "You, the firehouse, me, everyone else."

But secretly they always want to put the firehouse first.

11. You will learn and know more stations, trucks, members, and chiefs than you will ever want to admit.

Unbelievably true.

12. When you're driving and you see a fire station, you'll have to look at it.

If its an amazing building, you'll have to remember the name. And then you'll have to tell him about it. And then you've just proved number 11 correct. Add it to your list.

13. Never make plans while he's on a call. You can never know when he'll be back.

Even if the calls are short, they could stay at least another hour washing the trucks and being boys, of course.

14. In case you didn't understand the severity of the first one, if you are on the phone and you hear the pager go off in the background, just tell him you love him and hang up.

Because if you don't, he will. "Got a call, Love you, bye." Mid-sentence is always what you want to hear.

15. You'll never want to watch "Ladder 49" again.

You will cry like a baby and then want to make him quit.

16. Outside of the stations, fireman tend to forget that fire isn't a toy and it's pretty damn hot.

*Playing with the lighter fluid or burning things on the stove*
"No it's alright, I'm a firefighter."

17. You will start your own station shirt collection.

From NYFD memorial shirts, a station from where you're vacationing even acquired old shirts of his, you will have started your own pile of station shirts.

18. You can't get angry or upset when he is unavailable because he's going to go to the firehouse for the fifth time that week, or if there's another fire prevention thing to do.

You can't be mad because he's doing what he loves and also because a man in a uniform isn't too shabby.

There are a lot more things to know before dating a fireman, but the rest you'll just have to learn along the way.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things To Know Before Dating Someone With Anxiety

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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The Daily Struggles Of Living With A Name That Is Not Considered 'Normal'

My name is No 'O' Livia.
Livia
Livia
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If you have any name that is not considered "normal" in the book of baby names, you feel my pain on this. While I feel thankful to have a first name that is not the most common, it can be very frustrating at times when I need to explain to people that I am "No 'O' Livia."

When I was little I would have done anything to have a "normal" name and get the 'O' added to my name, yet at almost 21 years old, I now am forever thankful my mom decided to think out of the box.

So to answer the question you're probably wondering, there really is not an 'O' in my name.

Why?

Simply because my mom didn't want it and liked the name "Livia" better.

Anticlimactic I know.

The first day of school is always a bit of a struggle. For example, yesterday I started my summer class and my teacher had a quick Q&A form with me in front of the whole class about my name, how to spell it, and why there is not an O.

Speaking of class, in high school whenever there was a substitute teacher they would call the roll until they got to "Lee-ve-a" I would silently roll my eyes and explain it was pronounced just like "Olivia" but without the 'O', no weird pronunciation is needed just because a letter is missing.

Legal documents also tend to be a nightmare because even if I meet someone and get them to say "Livia", they still automatically think that my legal name is "Olivia", so they write that on a document, then everything is messed up and now "No 'O' Livia" is sad.

On the plus side, I get to wow the elderly customers that I serve at work.

Me: "Hello! How are you all today...my name is Livia, I'll be taking care of you..."

Older customer, pushing glasses up to the top of their nose and squinting while leaning in much closer to look at my name tag: "But why is it not Olivia"

Me, fake laughing for the 15th time that night: "Because I couldn't buy the vowel!"

Customer: "Hahahaha, boy, are you clever!"

(Not really, I've used this saying probably ten thousand times already and I do it in the hopes that you'll like me and tip well.)

Now that this name issue is over, hurry up and tell me what you want to drink.

So I maybe have a few jokes. But what was not funny was when I was little and wanted a souvenir with my name on it from a new place that we had visited. You know what I'm talking about, the little touristy key chains you see in gift shops, or the personalized coffee mugs, license plate names, etc. Well, my childhood did not consist of any of these items.

Traumatic, I know.

So for what its worth, I am happy to be named Livia. Although frustrating at times, I feel it gives a good story and is a name people will remember!

Now for getting it added to the book of baby names...

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash
Livia
Livia

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