WHAT INSPIRED YOUR PIECES?

The logo in my graphic tee was designed by Christopher Taber. We have been trying to get this logo printed on a shirt for years now and It is finally happening! A few years ago at pride we were volunteering together and I was dressed in full drag. We had taken a picture with a POC couple and when they were walking away he reached into his fanny pack and pulled out a pin. The pin was his first draft of the logo and it had all 10 colors on it. He handed it to them and said "More Colors More Pride". I instantly got teary eyed and realized that this logo needed to be produced on a much larger level. We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to doing much much more.

HOW DOES THIS COLLECTION MAKE YOU FEEL?

This collection makes me feel proud, aware, and hopeful. Proud because I feel that the LGBTQIA+ community has a lot to offer the world. Aware because every time I look at the entire 10 color flag I am reminded that the community is not just made up of people who look like me. It actually ensompases the entire LGBTQIA+ community and they need that representation. Hopeful because I believe that we are on the right path to really represent and care for everyone in our community as a whole.

WHAT DOES "PRIDE" MEAN TO YOU? IN RELATION TO YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY?

Pride for me is about being comfortable in my own skin and not being afraid to express myself outside of normal gender barriers. Hopefully by me living my life unapologetically it will give someone else the courage to express themselves and feel safe.

WHO DO YOUR PIECES SPEAK TO? WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF YOUR PIECES?

My pieces speak to the community as a whole but more specifically the Trans and POC community. I say that because they are the parts of the community that are screaming for our support. As a white cis gendered male I am very aware that I would not be granted the acceptance and rights that I have today without the people who came before me and fought so hard for inclusion and basic human rights.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING LGBTQ+?

Being able to wake up every day and smile because I am living my life in my truest form and I don't have to hide.

Find out more about the Charity:
viventhealth.org

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR PIECES?

Past noon at a patio on a Saturday with bottomless mimosas (of course) and you are with your friends having the time of your life! People are out walking around, the sun shining, flowers are blooming and people are dressed to the nines, Summertime Chi!

HOW DOES THIS COLLECTION MAKE YOU FEEL?

It makes me feel so happy and proud that someone will wear this and feel so confident in themselves.

WHAT DOES "PRIDE" MEAN TO YOU? IN RELATION TO YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY?

Pride to me means an array of things. Pride to me is To Wong Fu, it’s June of every year and it’s Marsha P Johnson. Pride to me is Rupauls Drag Race, or even a night out with my friends drinking vodka sodas. But Pride is also, heartbreak, it’s overcoming and sacrifices and at times exhausting but at the end of all of that is celebrating you for who you are and coming together with your chosen family and choosing love. That’s what pride is to me.

WHO DO YOUR PIECES SPEAK TO? WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF YOUR PIECES?

This is to all the girls, gays, theys and everyone en route to their gender expression and sexuality. The message is BE BOLD! Color outside the lines. You are art, take your time it will take every color in the box to create who you are! You are beautiful through and through!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING LGBTQ+?

My favorite thing about being part of the LGBTQ+ is that we in this community are catalysts of self love! We are always who we are in the midst of a world against us and trying to change us and that is so beautiful and so powerful.

Find out more about the Charity:
centeronhalsted.org/donate.html

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR PIECES?

From a young age we are taught that the color blue is for boys, and the color pink is for girls. I used this thought to represent my bi-sexuality in the blue and pink patches throughout my pieces. But, can gender really be made to fit into just one color? Joining the LBGTQ+ community has allowed me to break all barriers of the normal box that we are put in. So, to represent that my love is not defined by gender, I used white to separate the blue and pink hues. White is the combination of all colors within the color spectrum. And to me, that is what my love is. My love isn’t pink, my love isn’t blue, it’s the whole damn rainbow. My love isn’t for men, my love isn’t for women, it’s for everyone.

HOW DOES THIS COLLECTION MAKE YOU FEEL?

It makes me feel vulnerable. Being asked to be a part of I AM ME was a major step in my journey. By saying yes to the opportunity, it meant that I would have to come out to my family and to those that I hid this part of me from for so long. Taking this step, I was not faced with the rejection that I so feared, but met with understanding and a wave of relief. “How lucky are you to be able to love everyone?” was my aunt’s response. If you aren’t vulnerable, yes, there is a lot less pain, but there is also a lot less love.

WHAT DOES "PRIDE" MEAN TO YOU? IN RELATION TO YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY?

Pride means being the most authentic version of you that you can be, whatever or whomever that may be. Pride means the freedom to be that person. I have always been my own person, and nearly unapologetically so. But, that didn’t come without the whispers, without the eyerolls, without the giggles behind my back. How lucky am I to finally be a part of a community that doesn’t cast me out, but instead accepts me with open arms? I have felt more Hannah Hamilton than I have in years, and I am so PROUD.

WHO DO YOUR PIECES SPEAK TO? WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF YOUR PIECES?

My pieces are for every person who has felt as if they don’t fit into the box that they were put into. My pieces are not sewn together to represent the breaking out of that box, breaking down the mold, breaking free of whatever is holding you back. My pieces speak to whoever needs to hear this: You are more than the box you were put into. You are more than your mold. You are more than what is holding you back.

Find out more about the Charity:
thetrevorproject.org

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR PIECES?

My pieces were inspired by 90's Pride Festival culture, with a hint of Super-Hero/Villain.

WHAT DOES "PRIDE" MEAN TO YOU? IN RELATION TO YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY?

To me, Pride is about celebrating how you grew into your most authentic self. As a person of a certain age, I was the only gay kid I knew or that ANYONE knew. There were NO LGBTQ role models, so I decided to be my own. I treated being different like my superpower, and the discovery of capes led me to be my OWN hero.

WHO DO YOUR PIECES SPEAK TO? WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF YOUR PIECES?

My pieces are for anyone who has ever looked at me and said, "Wow- I wish I could do that." Because anyone can. Clothing, like gender, can be as fluid as you like. All you NEED to be is 100% authentic.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING LGBTQ+?

My favorite part about being in the LGBTQ+ community is the sense of inclusivity. Growing up gay, I was always different and often felt on the outside. As someone in the queer community, I got to choose my OWN family, and those people are as honored to have me as I am to have them.

Find out more about the Charity:
molasseschicago.com

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR PIECES?

My pieces were inspired by the differences in variety in fashion. Who doesn't love something loud, that takes charge, and has a lot to say. Sounds like anyone you know?

WHAT DOES "PRIDE" MEAN TO YOU? IN RELATION TO YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY?

I'm a mystery and love to remain a mystery. As a child I was taught be you but everyone doesn't need to know your business and I think that was the best advice I could've ever been given. It allows people to get to know you better. Pride is a celebration of a group of people that are allowed to be whomever they want, what ever they want, and no one can say anything about. It's a celebration of the freedom to be YOU, and express that in your own way.

WHO DO YOUR PIECES SPEAK TO? WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF YOUR PIECES?

The "Bobbie," pieces speak to shapes and patterns that are mixed and matched, but come together in a colorful harmony. These pieces speak to opportunity, and taking chances, taking risk, but also being oddly bold enough to wear them together or separately. They speak to accepting "Differences," whether that be sexuality, race, creed, and so many more things.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING LGBTQ+?

What beautiful is that this a home for people, or a safe space if you will. A place with a group of people you love and celebrate who you are, and it doesn't matter if you are an ALLY, or Bi, or identify as non conforming. Everyone is accepted for who they are and how they chose to be, not by who you hang with or the friend groups they make because it doesn't matter, it's not rocket science, its life, now that's some serious respect and I love it.

Find out more about the Charity:
brownboiproject.org