It's the time of year you've all been waiting for! June is Pride Month! And this year marks the 50th anniversary of this legendary festival! Pride is an especially important celebration for millions of LGBTQ+ people and their allies all around the globe. It is a time to emphasize efforts to encourage acceptance and inclusivity and to promote visibility as we all work together towards impactful change. Amen!
Awareness surrounding the festival has increased over the last few years with larger companies across the world now queuing up to pledge their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Many of today's consumers are positively influenced by these brands who are celebrating Pride Month by demonstrating seemingly authentic inclusivity. Popular methods include temporary logo changes generally including rainbow colours, exposure to statements of support on social media and a more diverse approach to advertisements and commercials in general.
A lot of this change and perceived mass step towards acceptance can definitely be seen as positive and it is of course encouraging to see larger brands, not usually associated with the LGBTQ+ community showing their support. Whilst in many cases we feel sure it is genuine, there is however, a certain amount of skepticism felt by some folks on the scene. There are people who feel that large corporate companies are not generally recognised for doing anything unless it benefits them financially and therefore their display of support is not entirely authentic. A lot of the community feel that a more genuine experience is offered from those brands who fly the flag all year round rather than just possibly showing up and cashing in once a year. With the ever increasing visibility and importance of inclusion and diversity, it is crucial to back Pride Month branding with bona fide examples of support.
Here at Goldsmith Vintage we are extremely passionate and 100% committed to our mission of creating a highly diverse, inclusive workplace and feel fully confident in the knowledge that we offer, as we always have, the genuine article as far as a legit queer friendly experience goes. As I'm sure many of you already know, the company is eponymously named after its founder and principle curator Peter Goldsmith, an instantly recognisable face on the LGBTQ+ scene for the last 20 years.
Peter’s individual style and identity is ingrained into the aesthetic of this diverse, LGBTQ+ friendly business, which continues to put environmentalism, opportunity and equality at the center of its agenda.
Having first moved to London at the tender age of 15, Peter found himself immersed in the Soho scene.
"At the time Soho was a melting pot for the booming gay scene of the 90’s, I was finally home. The continued visual inspiration of both 90’s street style, the gay community and Soho’s seedier side being the heart of the sex industry at the time, was a major inspiration to me as a teenager. I started out as a flyer boy working since demolished gay nightclub The Tube, my regular flyering spots were outside the Rupert Street and the Admiral Duncan gays bars in central London. After this I became a tickets and music distributer for the raves and worked voluntarily for various queer, anarchist and revolutionary groups. I soon found myself engulfed in the London clubbing scene and all the trappings that this involved. My 24 hour lifestyle, made me a regular at all the major London gay clubbing establishments such as Trade, Heaven, DTPM. Again the variety of fashion trends being worn in these venues was to inspire me further."
As well as the current stores in Portobello Rd, Covent Garden and Charing Cross Rd, Peter has in the past had stores in the heart of Soho including Brewer St and the infamous Walkers Court and even lives in the area himself to this. "I love going on to the usual LGBTQ+ hot spots in Soho, but my favourite bar at the moment is the Zodiac in Tufnell Park, Jade and David create such an amazing LGBTQ+ community vibe which is so often lost in central London venues."
The Zodiac Bar is an awesome new LGBTQ+ venue comprising of 2 floors (a cocktail bar on the ground floor and a club in the basement) located just a short walk from Euston and Warren St stations. We spoke to David Hawkins, (co-founder) briefly about his standpoint about authenticity surrounding attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community.
" When we opened we wanted to create a real space for the LGBTQ+ community, one that gives back and supports. We are not a corporation cashing in, we are a genuine independent business and we take pride in the fact that all of our shareholders, staff, security and performers are members of the community.
The mission of all of us here at ZODIAC is to create the most inclusive, welcoming and safe space in London for every part of the LGBTQ+ community."
We know where we will be spending Pride! See you at the bar!
While we are proud of our achievements, we 100% recognize that there is even more to do. We are committed to evolving our business and ourselves to achieve these ideals and goals. There’s always room for improvement and work to be done and we look forward to the rainbow-coloured brick road journey ahead!
Check out our Staff Picks to knock them dead at the festival this year!