Ray’s Rays, Number 29:
Support Queer Artists
Radiance Angelina Petro
As Pride Month 2022 approaches, and corporations
begin to roll out their Pride gear, remember to support
queer artists (and by “artists,” I refer to craftspeople, writers, songwriters,
illustrators, comic and zine makers, dancers, sculptures,
and any and all form of people who create). While some may argue
that corporate Pride exposure is better than no corporate Pride exposure,
and maybe it is, but the fact remains
that it is commercialized and will end on June 30,
and we all know queer artists need money
and corporations don’t.
One thing I’ve learned being in the queer community
is that it is filled with the most amazingly talented, creative,
and most innovative artists anywhere. Go ahead–
go to Target and buy a Pride shirt, but please remember
to support queer artists. While capitalism is barbaric,
until it’s finally dismantled, we need money.
So, if a queer artist doesn’t have an Etsy shop or
some other selling platform, commission
something, ask them to paint/make/compose you something,
and PAY them. Buy something from them.
Go to the many Pride festivals and buy crafts
and artwork from queer artists. Share their
work on your social media and with family and friends.
Promote them, give them gift cards to art supplies stores,
help get their work hung/displayed in cafes and coffee shops,
maybe even use the money you were going to go
and buy some commercialized Pride item, and pay
the fee for a queer artist to have a table at a flea market
or Pride festival. There are a million and one ways
to support queer artists, and not just during Pride Month.
Let’s let that be a part of our activism. Not only does it mean
more positive representation, it saves lives.