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Converse has partnered with its LGBTQIA+ community to create a new Pride collection that celebrates coming out

WORDS BY JONTI RIDLEY

I’m coming out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when a brand legitimately engages with the queer community to create Pride collections, it puts a flutter in my queer heart. The engagement (or lack thereof) shows, every single time.  

For those not in the rainbow loop, coming out is a lot. Even in the most supportive of families, in the most progressive of cities, that fear that the ones you love and care about will reject you based on the preference of people you prefer to kiss has a huge effect on you. It feels this way from the moment that gay lightbulb goes off in your head until you’ve come out to every man and his dog. 


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And that’s the hypothetical where you live in an aggressively accepting environment – imagine the reality where you discover those people you love choose to no longer love you based on a kissing preference you have no choice over. As I said, it’s a lot.

With this in mind, this year Converse has partnered with the LGBTQIA+ members of its All Stars community to create a new Pride collection celebrating the queer collective trauma of coming out (but in a cute way).

The common denominator between Converse’s All Star LGBTQIA+ members across the globe was the evolution they went through, not only during this coming out phase, but throughout their entire experience as a queer person as their identities went through the blender of life.

The ‘Find Your Pride’ mural that stretches across a number of designs, from shoes to bucket hats, visually illustrates the queer journey, from the struggles and darker times (particularly early on) to the rainbow waiting for you on the other side. Finding your pride looks different for everyone but the rainbow road is always the right path. 

The ‘Jack Purcell Pro Pride’ print by Alexis Sablone is a clean and crisp alternative to those who don’t want to deck themselves out in rainbow (and that’s okay, personally speaking I’m not a huge rainbow fan. Sensory wise I find it very overwhelming and it’s just not for me. PSA: not all queers enjoy rainbow). This iteration drops a little later, landing June 4. 

The super special thing about this design is the quilting texture in the body. In fact, there’s not just quilting, but authentic gay history (!!!). The ‘Lambda Emboss’ pattern stitched into the side of those Jack Purcell Pros is a tasteful nod to the emblem that was originally used by the LGBTQIA+ community in the 1970s to identify each other without fear of persecution, which is obviously very cool. 

Unsurprisingly, my favourites are the All Star’s 70s design. This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve really, really liked a Pride piece and feel it would actually make sense in my wardrobe. It features a recycled beige canvas base with a muted rainbow in a ’70s graphic ribbon and it’s EMBROIDERED. I haven’t even mentioned the semi-translucent gummy sole. I love them. 10/10, would cop.

If you feel equally as obsessed with the Converse All Stars, or any of the 2021 Pride collection, you can cop your own on Converse’s website here. 

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