Gift Guide: Queers Just Wanna Have Fun

A q-for-q way to help laugh the pain away

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. We’ve had some highs, we’ve stared down some monumental lows, and we’re still here. Now the holidays, they’re here too, and it’s about damn time for some seasonal cheer. So take – and gift – a break from it all by embracing our cherry-picked theme: Queers Just Wanna Have Fun.

Like our gift guides of Decembers past, we’ve put together a list of our favorite queer-made, queer-produced, queer-created goods to keep the good karma (and cash) flowing where it’s most needed. We think it’s quite possibly the perfect guide to gifting all the QTs on yer naughty (or nice) list and each suggestion carries our “good-time-guaranteed” stamp of approval. Have fun out there, QTs. – Sarah Marloff

A peek inside (Photo provided by Q Toys)

Q Toys

Nothing says “good vibes” like a good vibe, and Q Toys on Burnet is our go-to spot for all our adult toy needs. The store – a sex shop boutique – is stocked with body-safe toys of all shapes, sizes, colors, and levels. We’d make some recs, but turns out, they have a gift guide too so we’ll direct you to them for more details on what play-things are right for your boo (or whoever). Make the season extra merry by getting a toy for you, too.

Rebecca Havemeyer and Stanley Roy delight (Photo provided by Stanley Roy Williamson)

Tickets to “The Voyage of the TearJerker: Horizons End!

Wanna give the gift of laughter this festivus? Make some memories by gifting tix (or take the crew) to Rebecca Havemeyer and Stanley Roy’s annual holiday show – trust us, it’s the stuff Austin legends are made of. Considered one of Austin’s queerest holiday traditions, this show will go down in history as Havemeyer’s farewell seein’ as she’s hitching a ride outta town at month’s end. Trust us, that new-to-Austin QT will thank you for showin’ them the light.

Arlo Grey

Your chef Kristen Kish (Photo by Timothy Patrick Clancy)

Looking for a snazzy downtown eatery for your holiday shenanigans and one that’s helmed by a queer chef to boot? Look no further than Top Chef season 10 winner Kristen Kish’s Arlo Grey. Located in Downtown’s new Line Hotel, Arlo Grey boasts a menu “rooted in French and Italian traditions” coupled with Central Texas ingredients that accommodates the pickiest of palates and most sensitive dietary restrictions. Go ahead, eat your heart out, bb.

Top Drawer Thrift

North Austin’s Top Drawer sells top-quality thrifted items, such as clothes, antique furniture, and other doodads, with all funds going toward Project Transitions, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing housing and hospice for those living with HIV/AIDS. Make your gift-giving go twice as far this holiday season and pick up a present or two at Top Drawer, or consider donating your time as a volunteer for Project Transitions. Trust us, doing good makes you feel good.

Double Scorpio VHS Cleaner

Stocking stuffers for your cleaning pleasure (Photo provided by Julian Eternal)

Now that Tumblr is banning all "adult content" (R.I.P.), there's no better time to pop in ye olde VHS tapes for your viewing pleasure. Loosen, uh, we mean, tidy up your VHS machine with Austin-based Double Scorpio VHS Cleaner. They offer no less than five artfully crafted scents, plus a seasonal holiday one for all the yuletide freaks out there. Plus: they're "bottom-tested, daddy-approved." Available at Package Menswear, 1114 W. 5th.

Fantasy Fiction to Get Lost In

Two local kickass queer writers released graphic novels earlier this year: Lilah SturgesLumberjanes: The Infernal Compass and Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeam, and both invite the reader into an imaginary world of queer beauty. Perfect for the bookworm in your world – and you can grab one or both, along with a ton of other great presents, at our local feminist bookstore BookWoman.

Queer Performers’ Merch

The latest sounds from Gina Chavez

As queer Austinites, we’re lucky to have a rich community of LGBTQ creatives, so why not give back to those who give us their time, energy, and artistry by supporting their work and keeping Austin’s nightlife, drag, and music scene poppin’. Shopping for a spooky queer? Try a Caleb De Casper or Louisianna Purchase t-shirt. Looking for an album of love songs for your boo? Check out Gina Chavez’s Lightbeam. The list goes on, but consider Qmmunity’s archive a springboard for finding other queer creatives slinging their merch.

Queer Ride

Give yourself (and maybe a few friends) the gift of endorphin release by coming out to Queer Ride, a weekly, Wednesday night social ride that starts at the Capitol and always ends at a fun hangout. Better yet, gift a bicycle-loving queer in your life with a new helmet, bike lights, or a pannier bag. The only thing sexier than a queer riding a bike is a queer riding a bike safely.

Everyone feels pretty at Cute (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Cute Nail Studios

What’s more fun than getting your nails decked out, your bizness waxed, and maybe even a tiny tattoo done by mermaids? Go ahead, we’ll wait. Seriously tho, this place will make your gift receiver feel pampered in the queerest ways possible – they’ve got beer, they’ve got mimosas (read: they’ve got bubbly), they even have ibuprofen at the ready in case you’ve got a case of the Mondays or a hangover. Enjoy all or some while getting the most glam nails in town.

Paws on Chicon

Lez be honest, there’s at least one heart-eyed furbaby parent in your friend group and we think – as crazy dog parents ourselves – that dog accessories (and cat toys) are always a welcome gift. Besides, nothing brings more joy than a doggo with a new toy and sassy bow tie to match. This gay-owned shop, located at 1301 Chicon, offers a variety of toys, treats, and snazzy leather accessories for the most on-fleek of fidos.

Queer Markets

(in case you need even more options)
Art provided by Drew Riley

Gender Unbound Winter Art Market The annual Gender Unbound Fest is rearing it’s gorgeous head again for a one-day market filled with visual art, jewelry, apparel, and more made by local trans and intersex creators. Drew Riley, founder of the fest, promises “uniquely crafted gifts,” gender pride pieces, and all together cute stuff to make you and anyone on yer list smile. Plus it’s free and so are the drinks.

Frida Friday Holiday Pachanga This extra special holiday market, brought to you by tk tunchez, is sure to be the queerest last minute gift-buying event Austin has to offer. Spanning Friday night (Dec. 21, 6-10pm) and Saturday afternoon (Dec. 22, 11am-3pm), this womyn of color centered marketplace will feature over 40 shops from local artisans and creatives. Shoppers, however, get the party gift – Grandma Steven hosts a Friday night lotería and DJs Vanessa Burden, Mahealani, and Ella Ella will make you feel like you’re actually at the club. Oh, and there’s food (like Cool Beans’ tamales, Luv Fats Ice Cream, and more) too.

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Gift Guide 2018, Arlo Grey, Kristen Kish, Rebecca Havemeyer, Stanley Roy, Q Toys, Queer Ride, Lilah Sturges, Tillie Walden, Top Drawer Thrift, Double Scorpio VHS Cleaner, Gender Unbound, Frida Friday, Louisianna Purchase, Gina Chave, Caleb de Casper

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