It’s summer, babes. You know what that means—queer beach time! There is something revolutionary about being unapologetically queer and visible in a hetero and cis normative world. Whether you live in New York City and venture out to Jacob Riis Beach every weekend or find your own queer sanctuary—wherever that may be—creating space to be surrounded by community is vital.
My favorite part about packing my up umbrella, SPF 80 (yes, I’m that pale), and going to the queer beach is being in a space that celebrates every body. You can go topless, wear your fave one-piece, butch it up or be the most high-femme. It’s a space where everyone is celebrated and welcomed with open arms! You can literally feel a change in energy from when you’re walking on the ~regular beach~ to when you enter the gay space. It’s pure magic (just like us).
If there’s one thing you can always count on us queers for, it’s that we show up in style. And a beach extravaganza is no different. Whether you’re headed to the ocean, your BFF’s poolside or out on the boat with chosen fam—these summer looks are all you’ll need for swimwear inspiration.
Doreen Pierre @dapperpenniless
Doreen runs one of my favorite queer-style Instagram accounts. I say it’s one of my favorites because they allow themselves to get personal with their followers and you can really feel their energy in every post, beyond just the fashion. “As a gender non-conforming person I am unapologetically queer the moment I walk out of the door,” Doreen told GO. “I pride myself on being dapper, smart, and downright stylish! It took me years to get here, but once I decided to live in authenticity I’ve never looked back! Can you see the confidence oozing from this look?” Yes, yes we can.
Claire Landsbaum @landsbaumshell
Journalist by day, glittery beach babe by weekend. Claire celebrated Pride this year by joining her fellow queers at Jacob Riis Beach. This metallic look has her shining brighter than the sun and if you’re going to be celebrating anything this summer, it should definitely be while clad in shimmering gold. “The first rule of Pride on the beach is: be extra,” Claire told GO.
Kiana Lailin Young @furiousfemme
While Kiana describes herself as more a fall/winter type person—she had us fooled with this amazing nautical look. This look is so perfect, it doesn’t need any accessories but Kiana wouldn’t be the furious femme she is without the winger eyeliner to match. “I don’t go to the beach often, but when I do, I keep my highlighter, foundation, and brows set; I’m unapologetically femme,” Kiana said. “I do what I do to make myself feel comfortable, look bomb, and still have my winged eyeliner sharp enough to kill a straight man.”
Jhani Miller @shimmy_cocoapuffs
“My unapologetically queer summer look is high femme with a side of dark and stormy whimsy to pair well with my melanin, that’s always in season,” Jhani said. This look (completed by Hello Kitty floaty’s) is giving us all the femme-feels. Jhani made sure to accessorize with not only the perfect pair of sunglasses but matching necklace and bracelets. With this look on, you’ll be sure to have all eyes on you.
Katie Bishop @femmekatie
“Queer bodies are among the most contentious of bodies and the beach is the most volatile battleground in the cultural war of body positivity pitted against body shaming. I am made acutely aware of the body in which I exist when I don nothing but a swimsuit, but I have made an effort to show myself with pride,” Katie told GO.”I draw so much strength through the presence of my queer family and I hope that I can provide the same for them.”
And we see her pride emanating from this stunning look. What really completes this one-piece look is the extra-femme floral print on a dark navy background. This suit is definitely your go-to for beach photoshoot opportunities!
Zena Rose @zeenbabe
What would a beach look be without the perfect cover-up? Zena is rocking this amazing shade of green and we love the color blocking added with this simple cover-up. This natural beach look is ideal for those dog-days of summer when all you can manage to do is get yourself to the ocean with your favorite book in hand. “My favorite thing about celebrating summertime in the queer community is the wide acceptance and elevation of all body types, personal style, and forms of expression,” Zena told GO.