We believe that fashion is integral to our health and survival as queer people. As certain queer identities become normalized within white and cis spaces, we aim to keep our community united in our fight for liberation by coming together on a single platform. By elevating the voices of our more marginalized members, we hope to allow those with more access to power the chance to learn from and fight for the existence of those who have been silenced.
Every Qwear feature insists upon the beauty of queer bodies and expression. The increased risk that queer people face and the intersection of identity and expression creates a situation in which art and fashion thrive. Our expression is integral to forming our identities in a society which constantly acts to erase us. Our fight for visisblity is what makes queer fashion so sophisticated and layered.
Qwear was founded in 2011 by trans rights activist Sonny Oram, and has since grown to include a team of writers spanning the United States, as well as contributors from around the world. Our content includes answering reader’s style “Qwearies,” as well as documenting our expression through style profiles, interviews, events, commentary, and personal pieces. We elevate independent brands and designers, review clothing, and educate the mainstream fashion industry about queer identities. Our community pieces bring together those of us whose stories are too often erased, such as femmes of color and plus size androgynous expression. Our editorials showcase projects and events happening within the queer fashion sphere.
We’ve produced several fashion installations and shows. In 2015, Dismantle Me explored the vibrant interaction between traditional fashion aesthetic and the queer experience. Dismantle Me appeared in Queer Fashion Week, Oakland, April 2015; Rainbow Fashion Week, New York, June 2015; and VERGE at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Fashion Week, October 2015. Our Femme Desire show was a site-specific fashion installation at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art on October 7th, 2016 that exposed the limits within which fashion designers and society put on the expression of femininity.
Qwear is run by a team of seven volunteers. We rely on community support to keep running. If you are able to, please support us via small monthly donations on Patreon.
“Qwear provides a crucial platform for the marginalized and too often victimized members of the LGBTQ community. As queer individuals grow into their true identities, Qwear can be used as a trusted guide and safe space for all.” — Moxie
“Qwear has evolved into an online community center: a safe haven for folks to talk, play around with fashion, see and be seen.” — DESIGN*SPONGE
“Qwear was (& still is!) so important in helping me figure out my nonbinary transmasc identity. Thank you for creating a space that makes room for all the beautiful ways people can do gender” — Anonymous
“Qwear has shown me a huge variety of subcultures, aesthetics, and expressions within a world that I had initially thought was very narrow!” — Karen Lowe
“For our son to see a community that acts as both a mirror and a window to who is and who he may become is essential to his developing sense of self.” — Tracey
“Qwear has given me an opportunity to connect with people on a deeper level — to better understand their stories and the ways in which their stories align with and diverge from my own. As a result, I’m able to develop empathy, hold and process complexity, and grow my capacity to develop safe and meaningful relationships.” — Anna Rae
Rupi, Qwear Fashion Director
Courtney Stirn, Qwear Writer
Rachel Lee, LOUD: New Orleans Queer Youth Theater