Archives for posts with tag: NoHo

Happy New Year from Pride & Joy!  We hope you all had a safe, fun, and relaxing holiday season and that you are starting the year off with a positive mind and good health.  The start of the New Year is the time to reflect on what we have all accomplished over these last twelve months and come up with resolutions to look forward to in 2013.  In the last year we’ve seen the passage of marriage equality laws in new states and the election of the first openly gay U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin.  It will be exciting to see what gets accomplished in the next year.  At Pride & Joy we plan on continuing to bring you great products that celebrate Northampton and the LGBTQ community.  We will continue to develop strong relationships with our customers and strengthen ties with the Northampton community that we love so much.



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!

Language is constantly changing and evolving with time and societal changes.  Terminology in the gay community has been evolving for years as new movements have taken place and people have begun to explore different areas of sexuality and gender; deconstructing the norms that society had previously put in place.  In order to fully understand the words that we use we should also understand the history behind them, especially in relation to the LGBTQ community.  Where did this acronym come from?  What is its history?

                Before the 1960s a common non-derogatory term for the gay community did not yet exist.  During the 1950s and 1960s homosexual was used but it held negative connotations and was often replaced by homophile.  During the rise of the sexual revolution in the 1960s the term gay became appearing more and more to encompass the entire community but was soon broken up into either gay or lesbian.  This initial divergence in the community occurred during the 1970s feminist movement when feminists began to see the need to separate from men so that they could fight for their rights as women.  Within this new community there were also disputes about whether lesbian was sexual or political.  The over arching theme of the second wave feminist movements was that the “personal is political” and therefore being a lesbian became a political identity to connect women of the movement rather than a sexual identity that was taken seriously.

                During the same time that the lesbian identity was being “defined” by the feminist’s movement the arguments revolving around the inclusion of bisexuals and transgender people into the community was becoming heated.  During this time many people in the community considered transgender folks to be trying to conform to stereotypes and bisexuals were simply gay men and women who were to afraid to come out.  During the 1980s there was a shift to the inclusion of bisexuals and the term “LGB” was brought into common use.  It wasn’t until the 1990s that the “T” was added to create the now commonly used “LGBT” and in the late 1990s a “Q” was added to identify queer or questioning members of the community.  Today, LGBT and LGBTQ are in commonly used as inclusive terms that encompass the entire community rather than exclusively referring to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people.

At Pride and Joy we are strong believers in the inclusion of all identities into the LGBTQ community and strive to make our store a place where all people feel welcome and are able to find a piece of their identity on our shelves or our website.