By: Andie Horowitz
As I woke up on the morning of June 28th, I felt an overwhelming joy come over me (atypical for a Monday at 6 AM). I usually dread any hour earlier than 9 AM, but this morning was different. I had spent the day before in Manhattan partaking in Pride Day celebrations, filled with a contagious level of joy. My friends and I ventured from the historical Stonewall to Washington Square Park, and everywhere was overflowing with love and acceptance. It was the most New York I’ve ever seen New York before, and I couldn’t have been happier to be a part of it.
If you think about it, wellness and Pride Month have a lot in common: both center around taking care of yourself, be it through mind or body, to feel as proud of who you are. And while the wellness community may have a traditional history of exclusivity, it is crucial that we recognize and applaud those breaking down the barriers. While Pride Month may be coming to an end, here are three LGBTQ+ led New York City wellness companies to support year-round:
Third Root Community Health Center: Brooklyn, NYC
This community center embodies the mission of accessible wellness for all. Not only is Third Root focused on LGBTQ+ inclusivity, but they strive to promote equality for all races, body types, and range of ability. The facility offers a plethora of specialized classes focused on supporting a wide range of identities, with programming such as Queer & Trans Yoga and Meditation regularly available. Often, these classes are in and of themselves led by BIPOC Queer employees, further illustrating that their mission of intersectionality goes beyond consumerism. And if yoga or meditation isn’t your thing, try their acupuncture, massage, or aromatherapy services. You may walk into Third Root as a stranger, but you will walk out of the studio as a member of their beautifully diverse wellness community.
Wellness begins with how we treat our body, and in turn, what we put into it. The leaders of Rise and Rise Root Farm — an agricultural production company ran by four intergenerational, multi-racial, queer women — recognize that this mentality begins with the food we eat. In turn, Rise and Root farm strives to increase accessibility to natural, locally farmed food to all consumers, regardless of socioeconomic status. The owners of Rise and Root make it their mission to disintegrate the barriers to equity within the world of farming, and put social justice at the forefront of their priorities. If you’re looking for a way to shop for wholesome, healthy products while supporting a responsible organization, be sure to stop by one of their many NYC locations.
69 Herbs: Online store, NYC based
During hectic times, herbal medicine can often be just what we need. At 69 Herbs, that is exactly what we get: an all-natural apothecary, with 100% plant-based products, all vegan, free of both alcohol and gluten. And while the aforementioned factors are all great selling points, the best part about 69 herbs is that their mission focuses on uplifting LGBTQ+ voices, guaranteeing safety and accessibility for all members of the community. Their products include a wide range of drops and herbal blends, offering sliding scale prices to account for consumers of all socioeconomic statuses. 69 Herbs is currently only selling products online for delivery due to the pandemic but plans to resume pick-up orders within the next few months. So take a deep breath, head to their online shop, and relax with herbal medicine that not only supports your wellbeing, but also a good cause.
Wellness made common
As we move into July, we must remember that supporting LGBTQ+-owned businesses is not just a Pride Month mentality. We all must collectively work to uplift queer creators, share their stories and passions, and focus on making the world of wellness a more inclusive space. Being proud of your identity is a crucial aspect of wellness, and wellness is for everyone. We must put this mentality into action on a daily basis. We must practice what we preach.
If you're in Los Angeles, check out 3 LA-Based LGBTQ+ Wellness Brands To Support Year-Round.