Let’s face it, two things are true: most of us don’t need more stuff, and it’s fun to give and receive presents. So shop smart and support local artists, small businesses, LGBTQ+ non-profits and LGBTQ-supportive campaigns this holiday season. Here’s a collection of gifts sure to please both the nice and naughty people on your holiday shopping list.
That Gay Guy Candle Company
You know why people like candles? Because people like things that smell good, and people like to set things on fire. Best of both worlds! That Gay Guy Candle Co. (TGGCC) is your source for fine candles with labels that are hilarious and heartfelt. An “I Saw Mommy Kissing Mrs. Claus” candle in the limited peppermint mocha scent would make the perfect gift. TGGCC donates 5% of sales to LGBTQ organizations.
The Candle Wick Shoppe
Looking for something that’s both fragrant and magical this holiday season? The Candle Wick Shoppe in Ferndale has you covered. They’ve got candles, they’ve got oils, they’ve got herbs, they’ve got sprays to make your house smell amazing. They also have crystals and books and jewelry and basically anything you need for the witches and wizards in your life. Also, who wouldn’t want Witch’s Brew Evil Eye Oil for some spiritual protection?
Good Cakes and Bakes
If the way to one’s heart is through their stomach, then you’ll definitely want to give the people you love the gift of cake. Or cookies. Or brownies. Or cinnamon rolls. Good Cakes and Bakes makes a slew of different desserts, many of which are vegan. Their Strawberry Crunch Cake tastes as good as it looks and their cake jars are great for, say, eating cake in the car! Why not? And yes, they ship!
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is the most LGBTQ+ supportive and affirming governor this state has ever had. It is imperative that she get reelected in 2022. We cannot let Michigan’s Republicans, who are a bunch of right-wing Trump sycophants, regain control of the governorship. Donate to Whitmer’s campaign or get the person you love a “That Woman In Michigan” t-shirt.
Michigan Democratic Party
Not only do we need to put Whitmer back in office, but we’ve got to elect a Democratic majority in the Michigan House and Senate. Support the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) by gifting this pretty in pink tee. Get one for everyone for the perfect holiday picture! It’s especially fun to make donations to the MDP on behalf of your Trump-loving relatives.
Supporting your local LGBTQ organizations this holiday season is a gift not just for the person you’re celebrating — it’s a gift for you and the entire community. Out Front Kalamazoo has a great collection of merch, including Say Their Names t-shirts to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance, which truly deserves more than just a day. Show your support for the transgender community in Kalamazoo and beyond year ‘round.
Baby, it’s cold outside. So warm somebody up this holiday season with Detroit GT’s “Detroit Daddy” hoodie (also available as a crewneck sweatshirt, t-shirt, socks and a snapback hat). And if you want to make your message extra explicit, throw in a pair of “Detroit Cock City” undies. If you’re “Gay for Detroit,” then you’ve found your holiday shopping headquarters. Visit his booth at the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale or shop online.
The Brave Wimp
We’ve got pride, yes we do! We’ve got pride, how ‘bout you? Show off your pride with a set of wood rainbow earrings, each handpainted in the colors of your choice of Pride flags, including bisexual, lesbian, non-binary, transgender, pansexual or traditional rainbow. If you like your earrings a little more understated, they’re available as studs, too. Earrings have hypoallergenic stainless steel backings and you can pick them up from the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale or shop online.
Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Center
As we start to see the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are hungry to get out for a little adventure. And you know what any good adventure needs? A good backpack. Affirmations has you covered with this OGIO Excelsior Pack. It features ergonomic padded straps, a built in laptop sleeve, dual main compartments and an ultra-padded air mesh back and is complete with the Affirmations logo. Inspire your loved ones to come out. Literally.
Human Rights Campaign
Is your holiday tree lacking in Pride? Does it need a punch up of color? Then what you need is the Human Rights Campaign’s limited edition 2021 “Everyone” rainbow ornament. It’s made of zinc alloy with an enamel front and hangs from a silver cord. It even comes in its own gift box, so you don’t have to scrounge around for the right size package to wrap it in. Also fits great in a stocking. ’Tis the season for EVERYONE.
Let’s face it: when you’re out walking your dog people don’t look at you. They look at your adorable furry friend. This is especially true if your canine pal is wearing clothes. So why not make your dog a poster pooch for civil liberties with the ACLU “Civil Liberties Watch Dog” t-shirt? You could even put this on your cat. I mean, it’s your right, after all. This stylish dogfit doesn’t discriminate. No matter what color hair your dog is shedding, it’ll show up on this black and white shirt.
The Ringwald Theatre
The pandemic hit live theater venues hard. Ferndale’s The Ringwald Theater is no exception, but they haven’t given up. Now housed inside of Affirmations, The Ringwald has a great lineup of shows in 2021-22, including “A Very Golden Girls Christmas, vol. 2 (An Unauthorized Parody),” which runs from Nov. 26-Dec. 20, and “Booty Candy,” which runs May 6-30, 2022. Buy tickets for your friends and family or make a donation on their behalf to support the Ringwald’s Comeback Season.
You know him and love him as the star of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, now Ben Platt is coming to the Masonic Temple on March 13. He’s also got a new album out, “Reverie,” and you can buy an autographed CD from his online merch store. Why not surprise the Ben Platt fan in your life with tickets tucked inside that CD? It’ll give them something to look forward to through the long cold winter.
LGBTQ+ Organizations in Michigan
We have a lot of great organizations in Michigan working on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. A donation to such organizations is a great thing to do and highly recommended. Here are a few options: Ruth Ellis Center, Equality Michigan, Battle Creek Pride, LGBT Detroit, Transgender Michigan, SAGE Metro Detroit.