Resilience: Part 1

As we work to introduce the Pink Robin digital marketplace to the world, we have been thinking a lot about resilience–specifically queer resilience.

What Makes the Queer Community So Resilient? 

The creators of some of Pink Robin’s featured brands share their thoughts

As we work to introduce the Pink Robin digital marketplace to the world, we have been thinking a lot about resilience–specifically queer resilience. We’ve contemplated what keeps our community thriving, and what makes LGBTQ+ individuals confident. We’ve considered how we feel inspired to become leaders, and why we strive to make our voices heard. We’ve pondered what compels us to lift each other up and champion each other’s success.

So, what is it that makes us resilient? Of course, there is no single answer to this question. What there is, instead, is a history of the queer community rising up against adversity, raising our voices against the cacophony of discrimination, and flat-out refusing to be silenced, forgotten, or erased.

Kyle Guilven, founder of Letti New York, puts it like this: “Our collective resilience is fueled by a deep sense of solidarity and determination to create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.” For Kyle, queer joy can be found in the stories that we tell, and the connection that we share. “Listening to different journeys, filled with struggles, triumphs, and personal growth, is incredibly fulfilling. These stories resonate deeply with me, making me feel seen and heard in a world that sometimes feels indifferent,” he says.

Designing jewelry and creating accessories for queer people has brought Kyle both liberation and empowerment, with a creative freedom that allows him to bring his vision to life without restrictions. “On a personal level,” he explains, “resilience is rooted in authenticity and unconditional love for myself.”

Using their business to help queer and trans people thrive is something that Rae Hill, founder of Origami Customs, believes keeps them resilient. Rae is “uncompromising” in their commitment to accessible gender care for all, they say. As a business, Origami Customs recently added gender-affirming benefits coverage for all of their staff. “It feels incredible to offer that type of support,” Rae says.

For Rae, resilience comes with a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. “I think we see ourselves and the people around us facing discrimination, and we decide that we won’t be the ones to spread that fear and hatred in the world. So I think we are, as queer and trans people, uplifting each other, and creating care networks to aid in the safety and liberation of everyone.”

Emily at Simple Gay Apparel describes a greater sense of fulfillment, and feeling like she’s doing something that’s aligned. “Through my brand I have found queer spaces that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. It’s been very cool to have access to people that I can relate to.”

"confidence as a form of revolution"

When Robin Williams started Bow Tie Behavior ten years ago, she understood that there were limits stacked against her. “I’m a queer black woman born to immigrants,” Robin explains, “succeeding, thriving, and being mentally well is resilience to me.” Robin describes confidence as a form of revolution. “It takes a level of resilience to be yourself, and be proud of yourself,” she says.

For these entrepreneurs, and many more creators featured here at Pink Robin, resilience comes with the bold decision to be who you are, and to create a space for yourself and your community. “We’ve been here since the beginning of time,” Robin says of the LGBTQ+ community. “It’s in our nature to survive and be resilient, and we’re at a point where we want to thrive, and we want to lead.”

Welcome to the Gayborhood.

Hey there. Laura Leigh here. I’m a wife, writer, mama, small business owner, and a lover of queer young adult fiction–hey, I deserve these stories. They were not readily available when I was young!

I love supporting the queer community and bringing shared experiences to life.

If you have a story to tell, I’m here for it.

lauraleigh@pinkrobinshop.com

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