Pride And Participation: How Brands And Platforms Raised The Pride Flag In Beauty

Across beauty brands and platforms, we spotlight the celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community in beauty this Pride Month.
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It’s a colorful world we live in, and it’s bound to be even more kaleidoscopic. And we’re here for it! Think of the time when we only knew of and fought for and with the gays and lesbians, and today we have come to know all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and are standing beside them.

It’s worth knowing that the global celebration of pride dates as far back as 1969 and is rooted in protest. At that time, would you believe it was rather routine for the New York Police Department (NYPD) to roam about town and raid bars and restaurants often frequented by gays and lesbians? But on June 28 of that year, the gays and lesbians fought back.

It happened in the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. The gays and lesbians stood their ground against the police, and the rest followed, sparking a six-day protest—marked by violence and chaos—now known historically as the Stonewall Protest.

A year later, the first-ever Gay Pride Parade happened. It was almost called “Gay Power” instead of “Gay Pride,” activist Craig Schoonmaker is quoted on History. “People did not have power then; even now, we only have some. But anyone can have pride in themselves, and that would make them happier as people, and produce the movement likely to produce change,” he said.

These movements, these protests, were soon seen and heard by lawmakers and the people in power. Fast forward to today, we have Pride Month. And while we continue to revel in the color of it all, the beauty and creative force that moves it, and the warmth and welcome of the community and its allies, we remain hopeful for a day when all are welcome, treated equally, genuinely accepted, celebrated, honored, and respected—regardless of sex and gender preference.

In the Philippines, there was the Pride PH Festival and another edition of Queer Prom, efforts continue left and right. In beauty, we’ve likewise seen how members of the community have taken on monumental roles: fueling brands behind the scenes, becoming the faces of F-beauty products, and being the creative force behind powerful pages and photographs.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of the beauty initiatives that caught our eye and have even been able to become part of, online and in-store, and share how these have made the Pride movement more inspiring, meaningful, and hopeful for us all.

No Boys Allowed: An All-Female-Centered Space For Fun

No Boys Allowed, is an all-female-centered event for queer women and allies to have fun and enjoy in a safe space. In the lineup were musical acts, games and prizes, as well as stations for tattoos and tarot card readings.

“I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, as queer women it always feels like we are overlooked during pride season,” writes beauty creator and editor Belle Rodolfo in her post. This year, she and her partner Deng Garcia played a major role in organizing and promoting the event.

“We’re always just that one token speaker on a panel,” she adds. “One token lesbian in a brand campaign. An afterthought, honestly. Every year ever since I grew a platform to be vocal about my causes I would put out there, “Is nobody doing something for the girls?” until one time my partner just said, why don’t they bring back No Boys Allowed and I can help out? And the rest is history.”

A special mention to the beauty brands in the lineup: No Bows Allowed was co-presented by Avon, sponsored by Vice Cosmetics, and supported by Jellytime, L’Oreal, and Issy Cosmetics.

A Queer-Initiated Weekend Market And Fundraiser, Pop-Up, Mamser!

Hosted at Lowa Studio, Pop Up, Mamser! is a queer market and fundraising initiative for the Golden Gays, a non-profit organization established in the 1970s, to help provide support and care for elderly gays. The weekend event was a pop-up that featured queer-owned brands in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle: AtoZ, Salad Day, Overlay Designs (a shoutout to beauty creator and Overlay Designs founder Pat Cortez), Sunki Label, Rafa Worldwide, OTTé HōM, Andy Studio, and Manibalang.

There were ceramics and candles, clothes and cosmetics, cool accessories, as well as coffee and cookies! All guests are eligible to purchase a raffle ticket as a way to donate, and draw from a mystery beauty box in turn. The event was co-presented by Issy Cosmetics.

Benefit Cosmetics Hosts Drag Bingo

Kicking off Pride Month, Benefit presented its second annual pride celebration at Rampa Drag Club, with a Drag Bingo game, amazing performances from the drag icons themselves, and impromptu lip-syncing performances from guests who were game.

This year’s celebration is hosted by none other than Eva Le Queen, one of the pioneers of Drag Race PH. At the event, she explained how makeup is so important for the queer community as it’s an instrument for them to express themselves and show to the world who they truly are! The celebration was also filled with fun performances by four amazing drag queens—and true beauty inspirations, Myx Chanel, Amazing Chalita, and Tiny Deluxe.

GRWM Spotlights Its LGBTQIA+ Members

What could be more moving than GRWM’s recent reel, which put front and center the LGBTQIA+ members of its workforce? A former drag queen, gay, lesbian, pansexual, queer, and non-binary all shared their thoughts on what pride means, self-acceptance, and advice for other members of the community who may be hesitant to make themselves seen.

SM Beauty Holds Massive Sale

SM Beauty, So Much Pride set up a huge Ready, Set, Glow booth at the SM Mall of Asia, featuring partner brands that offered up to 50 percent discount, running until the end of the month. Other than the exclusive merch and massive promos offered at the booth, there was also a special performance by Matilduh of Drag Race Philippines Season 2.

M.A.C Continuues VIVA GLAM Campaign

And then of course there’s M.A.C’s VIVA GLAM campaign, an initiative that has run for 30 years and counting, since 1994. Each purchase of a VIVA GLAM lipstick supports efforts that promote gender, sexual, racial, and environmental equality worldwide.

Preview Unveils Queer in Cinema Cover

Homegrown fashion magazine Preview came out with such a powerful, monumental three-part cover, featuring the queer stars of Philippine cinema, TV, and theater, across generations. It was visually arresting, to say the least, and the words behind it were just as moving.

In the cover story written by Em Enriquez, titled The Show Must Go On: The Fight for Queer Representation Is a Fight for Liberation, the stars talked about how the industry has changed since they knew of queer on TV and films. While in the past, queer characters were always the sidekick or the one who provided comedic relief, that is thankfully no longer the case today. The featured actors, directors, artists, singers, and social media personalities shared the queer icons they looked up to, the ones who inspired them, as well as the ones who helped them realize or come to terms with their identity. Coming out and coming to terms with one’s identity is no easy feat, but it’s a journey worth fighting for.

Preview cover courtesy of cenonatmav on instagram. Sm BEAUTY photo via SM beauty PH instagram. GRWM photo via GRWM instagram. Mac Viva glam photo via Mac Cosmetics PH Instagram. No Boys Allowed poster via Belle Rodolfo Instagram. Pop up Mam Ser Poster via Lowa Studio Instagram. Pop up Mam Ser photo via Pat Cortez Instagram.

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