Archives for posts with tag: lgbtq gifts

During the holiday season we focus a lot of time, energy, and affections towards our families.  It’s a time when we gather together with our blood relatives as well as our chosen families, which are especially prevalent in the LGBTQ community.  In today’s American society there are many different kinds of families with many new kinds of family structures.  However, there is still an overshadowing American family ideal of a husband, a wife and 2.5 kids that people have a lot of trouble abandoning for the truth.  The truth today is that families come in all different ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexual orientations and that there is no such thing as the perfect American family.  The only type of perfect family is one that is founded on the ideals of love and acceptance.  At Pride & Joy we appreciate and welcome all types of families and pride ourselves on the one that we have built within our business and with our valued customers.  This holiday season we are featuring many products that revolve around the inclusivity of different types of families including our new picture frames as well as holiday ornaments.  Be sure to stop by the store to check out these and many other family related items.


Click here to check out our holiday gifts.



Most people are familiar with “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving when stores are full of huge savings for consumers buying upcoming holiday gifts.  Well along with the traditional Friday shopping day there have been two additional days of savings added including “Cyber Monday” and more significantly, “Small Business Saturday.”  In an economy dominated by large corporations, huge brand names, and superstores people often forget about the importance of supporting small, locally owned businesses.  Northampton is a special place where small, local businesses line our main strip providing customers with high quality and unique products that you really just can’t find at big name stores.  Supporting local businesses helps to boost local economies which is important in times of economic struggles like the ones we presently face.  Pride & Joy is a local, small business, owned and operated by people who care greatly for Northampton and the people who live here.  We hope that this holiday season you will work to support the local economy and local businesses.  By supporting a local business over a big chain you are making positive changes in the local economy and helping to create a more sustainable economic system in general.  At Pride & Joy we have many great holiday products as well as our old favorites and we hope to see you this holiday season!



As we all know by now, Barack Obama will be serving another 4 years as our president.  As a business we have outwardly supported his campaign and share the same beliefs and values he holds important.  This election wasn’t however, just about the president and there were some very significant advances made in law as well as congressional elections.  The balance of power in the Senate is now favored towards democrats.  The first openly gay woman, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin was elected to Senate.  She is also someone who spent a portion of her life in Northampton; she is a Smith College alum.  This election also showed us progress in the quest for marriage equality in the U.S. with three new states voting to recognize same sex marriages.  The three states that voted to recognize same sex marriage are Maine, Maryland, and Washington.  At the same time Minnesota voted to reject a constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage in their state.  The results of the election can be contributed to a true change of perspective in the U.S.  With a democratic president who holds equality as one of his core beliefs and a democratic controlled senate we can have hope that there will be positive moves toward equality for the LGBTQ community as well as others who face oppression in the U.S.  At Pride & Joy we want to take the time to appreciate all who went out and voted and showed their support.  We still have many Obama products, many of which are on sale at great prices so come down and check them out as well as our great new “We did it” bumper stickers.

Pride & Joy at Northampton's Annual Sidewalk Sales!

It’s time for Northampton’s Annual Sidewalk Sales! Today through the 29th, many Northampton shops including Pride & Joy with have tents lining up and down main street Northampton with awesome deals on some of your favorite products. This sidewalk sale is an awesome way for local, small businesses to showcase their products to passerby who might not normally get a chance to come into their stores. Pride & Joy will be featuring some of our customers’ favorite items on sale such as our mugs, t-shirts, hats, small stuffed bears, and many more. Our sales will be available both in store as well as on the sidewalks so be sure to stop by and say hello!

Pride is a feeling most of us feel at one point or another in our lives.  We may feel it watching a loved one accomplish an important life goal, or when we accomplish a goal ourselves, or sometimes we simply feel it in moments of bliss when we realize we are part of a bigger, beautiful picture.  I’ve felt pride in many different forms, on a few different occasions.  The first was when I walked with my best friends in the Boston Youth Pride parade last spring, I was proud of my ally friends for coming with me and showing their support for something bigger than themselves in a way most of my friends wouldn’t do.  I felt a new kind of pride this spring when my rugby team won the division three championship at the Beast of the East Tournament, the largest collegiate rugby tournament in the U.S.  This sense of pride came from accomplishing a common goal, working through what seemed impossible to come out with a win we all worked through pain, sweat, cold, tears, and blood for.  However, more recently I felt a new sense of pride that was stronger than any I have ever felt before.

Previously, I wrote about this year’s Boston Pride and how it brought out a sense of community for me.  That’s not all it did, it also brought out a sense of pride that I had never had before.  At Pride, I felt as though I was part of a bigger picture and part of a movement.  There are obvious movements within Pride such as the movement for transgender rights or marriage equality but that’s not the one I felt.  I felt the unspoken movement of people being able to have this one day to all be together, expressing themselves freely and safely.  It was a time when so many different kinds of people and organizations that had different goals were all marching together and supporting one another.  Hugging strangers is a given and breaking apart the gender binaries and societal norms are encouraged.  It’s a time when we can all break from our shells and express what we feel about ourselves and for one another.

There aren’t enough spaces where people feel comfortable expressing themselves fully whether it be related to their inclusion in the LGBTQ community or just being different in general.  Breaking away from societal norms in terms of how we are supposed to act and present ourselves can be difficult and Pride events are a space full of people who understand and celebrate these differences.  At Pride and Joy, we are all about celebrating differences and being a store that focuses on inclusivity of different kinds of people whether they are a part of the LGBTQ community or the greater Northampton community.

Over the past weekend I attended Boston Pride for the first time and at the end of the day found myself in a total state of euphoria.  This spring I had attended my first pride parade in Northampton; however I was working so I didn’t get to have the total freedom to experience what a pride event was like.  That is where Boston Pride came into play.

 Standing at the corner of Boylston and Berkeley, a few fellow Smithies and I stood anticipating the coming parade.  We could hear the motorcycles revving their engines at the front of the march and the excitement rose in my chest.  As the parade past, group by group, people pointed to my shirt which read, “Smith College Rugby.”  Smith alumnae as well as Northampton residents came up to me, introducing themselves and asking me if I was having fun.   In these moments I finally felt as though I was a part of a community larger than Smith College.  I find myself often thinking of myself as a floater because I am a college student.  I work in town but I sometimes don’t feel as though I’ve really become a member of the community yet.

This was the moment where this feeling stopped.  On the train I ran into some women who I had met shopping at Pride and Joy, one of which was wearing one of the shirts we sell.  We automatically had a connection.  In most places I’ve been in Massachusetts, including my hometown on the Cape everyone seems to know about Northampton and have only positive things to say about it and now I’ve begun to understand why.  It is a center for people to travel and express themselves in any way they like, similar to the Pride march.  I attended Pride to celebrate with my fellow members in the LGBTQ community and to feel like I was a part of something bigger and I had the realization that being a member of the Northampton community is already being a part of the bigger picture.

Be sure to show your Northampton pride around town or when you travel to different places!  We have tons of really cool Northampton tees as well as mugs, cups, shotglasses, and more!

I previously blogged about how people seem to be coming out younger and younger but there are many people who still don’t come out until they are older.  Everyone goes through times of self discovery and self understanding, and these times occur at all different intervals in someone’s lifespan.  This can be related to gender, gender expression, as well as sexuality and sexual expression.  The term questioning, like queer, is another kind of umbrella term except it relates to an individual’s self discovery.  People who are questioning their sexuality deserve as much respect as any other member of the community but oftentimes they can be targeted negatively by people.  They can be seen as people who can’t make up their mind or if they are young they are seen as looking for attention or following some kind of trend.  That is how I was looked at when I first started openly questioning my sexuality.  My family thought it was part of my rebellious stage and that I was trying to get attention in school.  Self expression comes in many different forms whether it relates to our sexual expression, gender expression, or creative expression.  Just because an individual goes through a stage where they question themselves doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously or their choice to change how they express themselves.

             Much of our individual life has been socially constructed through media and government, including the ways in which we express ourselves.  It’s socially acceptable to go through periods of self discovery but oftentimes this experience is taken away from those who choose to move away from the mainstream ideals and question their gender identity or their sexual identity.  For example, it is much more accepted for someone to go through religious questioning and experimentation than for an individual to choose to start exploring their gender by dressing in clothes that their gender doesn’t “typically” wear.  In fact, people can be removed from their housing or fired for their gender identity or expression.  People who are questioning deserve and often need the most support.  It isn’t someone’s job to pressure a questioning individual to come out but it is important for people to have someone to talk to, or to guide them when needed.  As members of the LGBTQ community, we often can relate to those who are questioning or beginning the coming out process and can be a lot of help without even realizing it.  People need to be encouraged to question their identities because so many people don’t realize how socially constructed our lives really are, so don’t be afraid to question what you’ve always been told!

Be sure to check out our website to look over some of our books as well as t-shirts that support individuals who are questioning!