Ethan Jong • Published May 3, 2024

LGBTQ+ Companies You Should Know About

LGBTQ+ owned businesses have been booming over the past while. Not only during Pride month are LGBTQ+ owned businesses thriving, but year round they are experiencing an unprecedented amount of support and allyship from friends, employers, customers, and communities around the world.

One of the most exciting parts about the products, services, and workplaces offered by LGBTQ+ owned businesses is that they offer inspiringly diverse perspectives and inclusive work environments. These perks are what make queer-owned businesses unique.

The best way to provide support to LGBTQ+ owned businesses is to simply learn about the vast array of LGBTQ+ owned businesses and consider buying their products and services if you see a good fit. In doing so, you will be promoting inclusivity, equality, and allyship in a time that could certainly use more of each.

This list is by no means ranked in a certain order of awesomeness, nor is this list intended to act as a definitive list of the only LGBTQ+ owned businesses to support. As mentioned, there are more than 100,000 LGBT+ owned businesses across North America that you have the opportunity to support if you so choose.

The Bow Platform Logo - Free Queer streaming platform

The first stop of our journey is The Bow Platform. The Bow Platform is a free streaming platform designed to showcase some of the best LGBTQ+ TV series across Canada. Not only is each featured TV series on The Bow Platform centred on the lives of LGBTQ+ people and concepts, but every step of the production is Canadian and Queer based.

When it launches, The Bow Platform will feature six original television series that showcase LGBTQ+ people, culture, and talent. One of the series that will be featured on The Bow Platform will be Balls to the Wall.

Balls to the Wall on The Bow - Free queer streaming platform

Balls to the Wall investigates the origins of voguing and the deep cultural root that voguing has in Ballroom culture. Ballroom culture was invented in New York City in the 1960s for the purpose of giving people within the Queer community the chance to express themselves through dance for the chance to win trophies and cash prizes.

For most of modern history, ballroom culture existed in an underground state. A state that mainstream media would hardly touch upon. Today, Balls to the Wall is bringing ballroom culture to the light by following some of Toronto’s ballroom culture personalities in their day-to-day life to the craziest dance competition you will ever witness.

The Bow Platform is 100% free to use and there are no hidden costs or fees associated with signing up for The Bow Platform. This means that you get to enjoy shows like Balls to the Wall and many more at no cost, as long as you’re OK with a few ads.

The Bow Platform was founded by Matthew McLaughlin and prioritizes content created by queer people for queer people.

McLaughlin noticed an interesting theme in mainstream media pertaining to LGBTQ+ representation. He noticed that most of the LGBTQ+ content that was shown in mainstream media was highly sexualized and usually hidden behind a paywall. The issue with this, of course, is that general consumers get painted the wrong image of who LGBTQ+ people truly are.

LGBTQ+ people are so much more than their sexuality, and unfortunately, mainstream media often focuses only on that part of the LGBTQ+ experience. McLaughlin and I shared an inspiring and eye-opening conversation on my podcast episode titled The Bow: Your New LGBTQ+ Streaming Service if you’d like to learn more.

Founder of Reya Health - Dallas Barnes

Reya Health is a queer-owned company founded by Dallas Barnes in 2020. Barnes’s goal is to create a world where people who want to use birth control can easily do so without experiencing the hassle of guesswork and frustration.

As a member of Reya Health, you are prompted to fill out a questionnaire which is then used to suggest a birth control product based on your lifestyle, menstruation cycle, and birth control boundaries. The app will then provide detailed information explaining why your suggested birth control product may be the right fit for you, and what the next steps are to obtain and use your suggested birth control product.

All along the way, you will have access to counselling services as well as a built-in calendar that allows you to track any ongoing symptoms you may experience when using your preferred birth control product.

One of the most commonly asked questions about Reya Health’s value proposition is “Can’t I just do this on my own?”

And yes, you could of course do this on your own. But what Reya Health does differently is provide you with accurate and verifiable information sourced from medical experts that is highly curated to your exact wants and needs.

Instead of spending hours and hours sifting through countless articles that all seem to contradict one another at times, you can place your trust in Reya Health and confidently and securely use the birth control product that is meant for you and save yourself some headaches along the way (literally and figuratively).

Hangtight app logo - Hangtight - the only app you will ever need to plan all of your family and friend outings.

Have you ever experienced the pains and frustrations of planning a group event with your friends and colleagues? If you answered yes – which is likely all of you – then you need to check out Hangtight.

Hangtight is a mobile application offered both on iOS and Android devices that uses AI-powered tools to help plan all of your group outings.

Hangtight removes all of your event planning annoyance by providing features such as:

  • Syncing your calendar with that of your friends
  • Auto reserving restaurant tables
  • Splitting the bill through Cashapp and Venmo
  • Messaging in-app
  • And more

I had the chance to interview Hangtight’s co-founder and CEO Armando Vera Carvajal, who is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, and learn about his career journey thus far.

Hangtight is Armando’s second startup and he hopes to help humanity heal by reconnecting people again. Especially given the COVID-19 pandemic, humans are more in need of connection and socializing than ever before.

Advisor AI - a data-driven and AI-powered tool to help students unlock their full academic and career potential.

Advisor AI is a world-class AI-powered advising platform that aims to help students realize their full career potential through the use of data-driven and personalized advice and guidance. Some of the features you can find on Advisor AI are:

  • An Advising Assistant Catered to Your Specific School
  • Feedback on How to Optimize Your Resume
  • Major & Career Exploration Quizzes to Help You Find Your Passion
  • Online Career Services
  • Advisor Console & Reports

After spending an entire decade leading some of the biggest data and AI projects at Fortune 50 companies, Arjun Arora decided to step back from the corporate world and take his expertise to the entrepreneurial world.

A fun fact about Arjun Arora, who is proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, is that he is an immigrant and first-generation university student who had been dreaming of starting his own technology company for more than a decade before spearheading Advisor AI. He shared that he wanted to see more founders like himself to prove that anyone can build their dreams if they want to.

Arjun and I had the chance to speak about his career path and entrepreneurial mission on the Business Gay Podcast when I interviewed him about Advisor AI. To hear the invaluable wisdom that Arjun has to share, check out my podcast episode with Arjun Arora.

Virtual Gurus - a service designed to provide quality professional services to businesses.

Virtual Gurus is a one-of-a-kind business with a unique business proposition that is sure to surprise you.

Virtual Gurus sources most of their talent from marginalized groups like:

  • First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples
  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Racialized people
  • Individuals of alternate abilities
  • Individuals living in remote communities

To provide virtual services in the fields of:

  • Administrative Assistance
  • Legal Assistance
  • Executive Assistance
  • Social Media Assistance
  • And eight more unique fields!

When LGBTQ+ identifying founder, Bobbie Racette, was pitching Virtual Gurus to potential investors, Bobbie was met with backlash. Bobbie was told that she should not market her company as one that hires mostly from marginalized communities and that she should hide her tattoos.

Bobbie Racette - a member of the LGBTQ+ community - is a force in the entrepreneurial world.

Relentless Bobbie decided to push through the criticisms, and as a result, created a service that helps to promote inclusivity. Bobbie hopes to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in the labour market with Virtual Gurus. She aims to create an inclusive future that brings people together from all walks of life, especially those from marginalized communities.

Founder Spencer Hoddeson and his company Gay Water

Next up is one of the most fun and exciting brands, Gay Water!

For generations, the vodka soda was coined as “gay water” in the community for being the go-to drink among Gay men (I’m sure you can guess why).

In 2022, founder – Spencer Hoddeson – decided to take the colloquial term and spin it into a line of deliciously flavoured vodka sodas.

But, Spencer doesn’t want Gay Water to act as a polarizing product in the market. Instead, he wants Gay Water to be seen as a line of inclusive products. He wants not only members of the LGBTQ+ community to support his brand, but he wants the support of our straight allies as well.

For the time being, Gay Water can be bought online and at a few select retail stores. The product ships to 47 different states and comes in four sugar-free flavours – lime, watermelon, peach, and grapefruit.

In my podcast episode titled WTF is Gay Water? I had the privilege to discuss important topics with Spencer like mental health as an entrepreneur, the inspiration for the company, and the power of embracing the growth mindset to solidify your success as an entrepreneur.

Elevate your beverage game with Explorer Cold Brew - a proudly LGBTQ+ owned company.

To round off our final stop of the journey, we have yet another exciting queer-owned beverage company – but this time it’s delicious non-alcoholic cold brews.

Explorer Cold Brew helps you to take your cold brew game to the next level with four easy steps:

  1. Pick your preferred level of caffeine from four different concentrations.
  2. Add your own unique taste by choosing one (or more!) of Explorer Cold Brew’s flavour enhancers.
  3. Choose your elixir. The selection of elixirs include a variety of liquids with the purpose of improving aspects like sleep, focus, and your immune system.
  4. And for the chai-loving people, you have the option to purchase a chai concentration to provide extra flavour to your cold brew beverage.

Now if that sounds amazing to you, wait until you hear about how amazing Explorer Cold Brew’s founder is!

Explorer Cold Brew was founded in 2020 by Cason Crane. Besides being the founder of this amazing company, Crane boasts a high-achieving resume including achievements like:

  • Being the first openly LGBTQ+ person and fifth youngest person to climb Mt. Everest and the Seven Summits.
  • Raising money and awareness for LGBTQ+ suicide prevention through his Mt.Everest and the Seven Summits journey.
  • Setting foot in more than 100+ countries and all seven continents.
  • Completing in six Ironman Triathlons.

Crane first realized the idea to start Explorer Cold Brew when his partner begged Crane to stop drinking caffeinated cold brews. Crane had been drinking caffeinated cold brews (which were the only type of cold brews on the market at the time) which was keeping Crane up at night. Night after night, Crane’s tossing and turning would keep his partner from sleeping soundly.

The solution? Search on Amazon (because Amazon solves all of our problems) and find a non-caffeinated cold brew. But to Crane’s surprise, not a single brand carried non-caffeinated cold brews! That was when Crane decided to create what is now Explorer Cold Brew.

Crane’s journey is just beginning. To learn about his success story and tips and tricks for leading your own business, check out my podcast episode with Cason Crane.


Over recent years, the business landscape has rapidly evolved. The business community has witnessed a growing number of LGBTQ+ organizations. These various organizations have paved the way for other LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs to charge ahead and create their own stories.

Putting a spotlight on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and startups helps to build on the momentum that the LGBTQ+ community and its allies have worked so hard to attain.

Putting a spotlight on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and startups creates a matter of importance for continuing to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion year-round within the entrepreneurial landscape.

Putting a spotlight on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and startups communicates the reality that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs face greater challenges than non-LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs due to prejudice and discriminatory practices.

In reading about the many LGBTQ+ identifying owners who have spearheaded the seven businesses in this list, you have become part of the narrative in shaping a more equitable future. A future where everyone has access to the same resources, inclusion is common sense, and organizations create a positive social impact for people from all walks of life.

Thank you for checking out this list of seven small LGBTQ+ organizations you may not know, but should! If you have been inspired and are now thinking about starting your own business, you may want to read my other article about nine entrepreneurial resources that you can use to start a successful business.


What bakery is queer-owned in Toronto?

Craig’s Cookies is a great cookie store in Toronto that is proudly LGBTQ+ owned. Fun fact: founder of Craig’s Cookies – Craig Pike – first started out his business in his one-bedroom and now has over five locations across Toronto! If you are looking for some delicious cookies to fulfill your sweet tooth, you can find them in the heart of The Village, near Church and Wellesley. (I literally ate so many of these during the pandemic!)

Who founded Witeck Communications, Inc. in Washington, DC?

Bob Witeck is a co-founder of Witeck Communications, Inc. His brand is dedicated to advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities in every corner of the world. The brand is the longest-established LGBTQ+ owned business that is certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).

What does Queer Candle Co. sell?

Queer Candle Co. was founded in 2018 by local makers of candles in NYC. This fun shop sells a whole host of scented candles that make perfect gifts, especially for the holiday season. The owners of the shop are openly part of the LGBTQ+ community. The co owners first started pouring out candles in the kitchen of one of their bedroom NYC apartments and have since taken their candle-making expertise to Philadelphia.

What is one of the skin care brands that is Queer owned?

Alder New York is a queer-owned corporation that aims to rival big beauty corporations. Alder New York sells quick-absorbing skincare products that are catered towards people of all skin types. Regardless of your gender identity or sexual orientation, Alder New York is sure to meet your skincare needs!

What kind of jewellery does Automic Gold sell?

Automic Gold is a shop that sells fine jewellery made from real gold for real people. The brand is proudly LGBTQ+ owned and is the only jewellery brand in the world to carry plus sizes for each item in its collection. Each item is carefully crafted in NYC to be worn comfortably and confidently.

Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and Organic Content Marketer who uses search engine optimization tactics to generate more website traffic and leads for his clients. Calan has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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