Greenpoint Queer Pride is back for its third year and feels more important than ever due to the nationwide rise in anti-trans rhetoric, threats of violence towards members of the LGBTQIA+ community, banning and challenging of LGBTQIA+ centered books, and passage of legislation targeting the community (specifically trans people and their right to gender-affirming healthcare).

What began in 2021 as a way for Greenpoint businesses to support relevant organizations while bringing people together (somewhat) post-Covid has expanded to become a support network of small business owners and a message to LGBTQIA+ neighbors that there’s a community for them here.

“The first year we did it, so much of it was about bringing us together in a time when we sort of had to do it virtually,” Joe Ferrari, owner of Tend pottery and garden shop, recalled. “But especially after the success of [the Shop Small retail crawl] and seeing how customers really come out for it, it kind of gave us a boost this year to say ‘Let’s do a little bit more and push a little harder and find different ways to do more with the customer as opposed to just giving a percentage of their sales.'”

This includes more hands-on opportunities and events. For Otis & Finn barbershop, they’ll be hosting a clothing drive for the Stay Gold Fund, which provides a free closet of gender-affirming clothing for trans folks; donating to the Stand Up NYC Pride benefit raffle at queer-owned and operated club 3 Dollar Bill on June 17, and donating 10% of proceeds on Pride weekend (June 24) to InReach, a trans-led nonprofit tech platform providing access to verified, safe resources and services for the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We’re not only able to sort of do stuff in our other stores but have a lot more capacity to support other events and engage with other people’s things, too,” Shaun Scripps, head barber at Otis & Finn, said.

Tend is also getting into the event game with a special Garden of Pride party benefitting The Audre Lorde Project (a community organizing center for LGBTQIA+ people of color) between the neighboring gardens of Tend and Cafe Alula on June 15.

“In connection to what Joe said about Shop Small, I think another thing that’s really exciting about this year is that, as far as the small business owners go in the past year or two, I feel like we’ve made so many connections with one another. I feel like we’ve come closer together in that way so that, like Shaun said, we’re now all able to support each other,” Meg Costello, owner of Coz Salon, explained.

The Shop Small Instagram account @shopsmallgreenpoint is the best resource to find all participating businesses and events, and will be updated throughout the month. And if Shop Small — which only started officially last October and has already grown to two successful retail crawls and over 1,800 Instagram followers (nothing to sneeze at for a grassroots effort less than a year old) — Greenpoint Pride will definitely continue to expand this month.

“I feel like we might be surprised at how much bigger Pride gets,” Scripps noted. “Over the past year, there’s been such a weird, scary step back that being openly opposed to LGBT activities, people, and the trans community has become sort of an accepted part of everyday conversation. And so, I hope that you’re gonna see, at least in New York, a pushback about against that and hopefully more people getting engaged to support organizations that are doing on-the-ground ground work that all of our small businesses are lining up to support too.”

“I have seen a change when I’m compiling all of the charities that everybody’s donating to; it’s really wonderful to see people choosing much smaller charities,” Costello explained. “Parachute is donating to Equality Florida, which I had never heard of. And then when they said that to me, I was like, ‘Great, let’s get in there and concentrate on the places where they aren’t getting the support that people in the neighborhood of Greenpoint might be getting in New York.’ So I think that you’re gonna see, too, just in who we’re giving to this year, it’s gonna be way more expansive.”

In addition to Tend, Coz Salon, and Otis & Finn, other businesses that have already announced their involvement include Cato’s Army & Navy, Pilates BKLYN, Parachute, Gold Point, and Big Night, with many more to come.

“I feel really lucky and I feel like wanna protect it — I don’t want it to go away, I wanna be doing these things because it’s so important and it makes my staff feel comfortable to know that like there is not just a neighborhood that is supportive of small business, but that is supportive of inclusivity. And that is huge,” Costello said.

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  1. Thanks for this article! Just wanted to note that it’s Parachute Brooklyn that’s participating, not Parachute the home store 🙂

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