Pride Collection inspiration. T.F.D. The Blog. Why I made what I did: all about the symbols and people in this collection

2022 Pride Collection inspiration! | T.F.D. The Blog

I try to be a very intentional person, and the Pride collection is no exception. 

CW (In the Symbols section there will be another CW beforehand):brief mention Don't Say Gay Bill, Alabama Ban on Gender-Affirming Care, Suicide.

8 embroidered hoops on brown paper

Tis the season! The rainbows are out, the flags are flying, the love is in the air, and since I am launching/launched (whenever you read this) a 2022 Pride collection I thought I would take the time to talk about why I made what I did and what they all mean to me. 

In this post I am going to walk through the collection inspiration, the people, and the symbols, why I chose them, and what they mean to me :)

The theme of the Collection

A 4 inch embroidery hoop (Gender, I don't even know her!), Gillian anderson made me gay sticker, and a fruity postcard on brown paper

Firstly, in the age of Rainbow Capitalism, as a member of the Alphabet mafia, I wanted to make a relatable collection that reflected my queerness in a real and goofy way.

While I developed the collection I made sure to keep four points in mind;

  1. That it was queer at it's very heart
  2. That it was a reflection of my own lived experiences
  3. That it was a vibe that was very soft and had some humour,
  4. That it gave some light nods to the current activism and real human rights issues queer and trans people in North America are dealing with right now. 

This is why you'll notice that each piece is very soft, brightly coloured, and adds humour and lightness to queer issues and experiences. 

Also, I just wanted it to be a reflection of me and how I navigate the world. I often call myself a very soft butch because I am sensitive and delicate person who presents a little more masc, and I feel like this collection reflects that too. 


The People; Who and Why?

The people in the collection; whether it is a hoop, postcard, or sticker, were all chosen because they mean something in my queer journey. 

The Golden Girls

three golden girls ewmbroideyr hoops (blanche, sophia, dorothy) and a golden girls sticker (held in hand)

I know I am not alone when it comes to attachment to the Golden Girls and a sense of queerness from them. I watched the Golden Girls growing up, it was one of the few shows I could watch with rabbit ears at home so it quickly became a comfort tv show for me. 

Not only was it accessible, but it also talked about some very real issues and had some pretty subversive themes for it's time; HIV, gender presentation, sexuality, mutual aid, racism, homophobia, struggling under capitalism, chosen family, and so much more. I feel like a lot of these themes embody my own experiences and many of the experiences of those in the rainbow community so when I was developing the collection I knew I could not leave them out. 

Gillian, Sarah, "Rick and Evy"

hand holding two stickers: Gillian anderson made me gay and Rick and Evy Made me Bi

While these stickers seem silly and goofy there is a bit of truth to them. When I initially was creating stickers I knew I needed to make a Gillian Anderson Made Me Gay sticker. 

Like the Golden Girls, I was (and still am) a lover of sci-fi- in particular, the Xfiles! I watched the Xfiles basically daily while growing up and often wondered what my fascination was with Scully was...

At the time I convinced myself it was the strong female lead in a dynamic duo solving crimes and uncovering mysteries. Looking back....I knew what was up. 

After I developed this sticker a good friend of mine reached out with the "Rick and Evy made Me Bi" suggestion, and being a lover of Rachel Wei - sorry - the mommy - sorry, The Mummy, I was on board with the idea. 

That entire series was another.... WOW how did I NOT know moment (can we talk about The Mummy Returns???). 

the mummy two fight scene

(not my gif: it's from gyfcat)

While working on those stickers my partner and I were talking about other "how did I NOT know" moments in our childhoods and she brought up Sarah Paulson! 

While Sarah Paulson was not a huge moment in my life (though I have become very fond of all of her work in American Horror Story *chefs kiss*) it meant a lot to her so I decided to add Sarah to the collection- also she is Gay Icon Status so I feel that hoop is more than justified. 

David Bowie/The Labyrinth

Another person I felt like I could not leave out of this series was David Bowie. I want to preface this with - I never idolized David Bowie as a person, he did some vile things (google "David Bowie Cancelled") I did however respect the artistry in his gender presentation and music.

labyrinth glitter blowing

(Gif from gifer).

My first intro to David Bowie was in the Labyrinth. It was the glitter, the glam, the androgyny that I found absolutely magical. That breaking of binary, time, and even realms of existence really influenced my own exploration of gender and navigating the world in a less than binary way. To be honest, David Bowie was probably my soft launch into my love of Drag. 

Drag Queens

three drag themed postcards featuring; lil poundcake, bianca del rio, and Crystal methyd

I feel like my love of Drag grew the more I cam out. Up until university, my exposure to drag was from musicals; kinky boots, hairspray, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and honestly, the Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire. I had not really watched a show or been involved in Drag culture until I started to explore my own self. 

When I met Skylar, we started watching Rupaul's Drag Race together and started seeing a ton of Drag shows. While I dislike Rupaul immensely as a person (CW transphobia) I fell in love with the contestants and artistry of Drag. I felt like it was so important to include some of my fav performers here- and some of the OG's that Skylar and I adore!


The Symbols!


I'm a symbol person and while some of these are heckn overt, while making this collection I did find myself explaining the concept of U-Haul to my mother, so maybe they aren't as overt as I thought...

Let's break it all down!

U-haul: If you want a robust definition I recommend checking out this post by Bustle, they do a pretty job coving the stereotype about quick attachment in lesbian relationships that leads to the inevitable rental of a uhaul truck for move in day. HOWEVER, I chose it yes, for that reason, but also for the jokes between Skylar and I (yes we did rent a U-Haul for move in day) and also this symbol was a nod to the nightmare that was our own move in (story for another time). 

Fruit: What was once a slur has now been reclaimed! The alphabet mafia, Queer community, or what I call the Fruit Bowl, has a plethora of description language and I felt it would be fun to bring some symbolism and language into this collection. I am here for the reclaiming of words and felt like a rainbow *Fruity* card was important. 

CW (In the Symbols section):brief mention Don't Say Gay Bill, Alabama Ban on Gender-Affirming Care, Suicide.

Say gay + Protect Trans Kids: Both of these crop up in my collection a few times and while they are brightly coloured, fun, and loud pieces (literally a megaphone lol), they are an important reminder about why Pride matters, why activism matters, and that the fight for basic human rights continues. Specifically these symbols were integrated due to the "Don't Say Gay Bill" in Florida and the Alabama Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans children. While the usage of this symbolism is silly-goofy and light, these bills really are a life and death situation for queer and trans kids. 

Bit of a Downer, let's wrap this up!

like I said, I try to be intentional. Pride month is a great time to be yourself, to thrive, to celebrate, however it's also a time to remember what we still need to work on and fight for. 

So this month: donate to your local orgs, call your government representatives, participate in activism, and remember to be soft with yourself <3

Happy Pride pals!

happy pride gif. several people of various identities, ethnicities, and backgrounds holding rainbow flags

(Gif from Giphy)

Stay weird and wonderful

~Kass (They/She)

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