In order to give you a better service we use cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. I Agree

Take Pride in Owning Your Pleasure!

By: Carol Queen, PhD

Good Vibes: Celebrating Pride in Owning Your Pleasure

It's Pride Month, 2024—54 years of parades, celebration, and social change in San Francisco, where Good Vibes began, and 55 in New York City, where the Stonewall Riots in 1969 sparked the movement that gave rise to Pride celebrations all over the world. 

But that's not the beginning of LGBTQIA+ history by any means. The homophile movement emerged in the US in the 1950s (shout-out to the activists who came out even earlier, and the sexologists who supported them—I'm so proud to be part of that lineage​). I came out into the LGBTQIA+ community in the early 1970s—less than five years after Stonewall.

Good Vibes Celebrates Pride 2024Back then, Pride commemorated an uprising, but so much quiet organizing preceded it, less flashy but necessary groundwork for the explosion of activism that followed. Post-Stonewall queer activism was often joyous—it feels great to speak up, make gains (even the incremental ones), learn more about other communities and strengthen ties with them, and come out and connect. In progressive times and hard times, this has always been true. 

And this festive atmosphere we’ve created makes it a thrill to come together, but it doesn't cancel the other reason we take to the streets: to show strength, demonstrate our visibility (to each other, and the world at large), and connect as a community and movement (as well as distinct communities and movements)-- evoking Pride to fight shame. We do that to support young people who are just coming out and others who (like trans and BIPoC communities, particularly where they intersect) need all the support we can offer, because where people connect with Pride, it's harder to live in a state of shame.

Good Vibes Celebrates Pride 2024We stand together because that's the way we connect, and our connection opens the door to joy, love, and pleasure. 

Good Vibes came up in an atmosphere that had been changed by Pride—not just its annual celebration nor even the ways it affected San Francisco politics, but the way it affected everyone's understanding that—no matter the specifics of their identity—they deserved pleasure, love and joy. Sometimes that celebration comes with a side of sex toys and sometimes it doesn't, but we always know we are making a difference in peoples' lives when we greet them with respect and a true sense of welcome. As well we should—because without the decades of work to make space for everyone of every consent-based orientation and identity, who knows whether Good Vibes would have had the raw material to ​center these crucial things we have always stood up for: deep respect for our diverse customer base, culturally competent sex information to meet our customers where they are, quality products to bring joy and pleasure to everyone. 

For all of us, the road to the future seems to lead though the past. Our past at Good Vibes is so deeply informed by our founding and fledging in a city that saw (and sees) Pride for what it is: a human right, a foundation for the future, and a beacon lighting our way to the joy, love, pleasure and respect we deserve.