Countdown to Pride: Okay Gays, What Flannels Are We Tying Around Our Waists This Year?

Here at Autostraddle, planning content around Pride can be a bit of a conundrum. It’s frustrating to see mainstream outlets only elevate in-depth content about the LGBTQ+ community and only really work with a bunch of queer and trans writers for one month out of the year, when we’re queer everywhere all the time. At the same time, Pride is immensely important to us here at Autostraddle and to a lot of our readers. It’s an ongoing part of LGBTQ+ history and resistance. It’s a complex month, which even the most well intentioned mainstream media Pride packages don’t always capture. We’ve come up with a really rad theme for our Pride package this year that harnesses some of that complexity, and I can’t wait for it to be revealed to you.

But first, a little drama, a little tease. For the first time ever here at Autostraddle, we’re COUNTING DOWN to Pride! Because let’s be real, June may be Pride month, but it’s not like we only exist as out, proud, loud gay people from June 1 to June 30! Pride events — small and large — have been in the planning stages for a while now. Hell, I started planning Pride content back in early April. (Also, for me, my local Pride doesn’t happen until October!) We’re counting down to Pride this year so we can get ready, get messy, and get cute as fuck for Pride before June even hits. This little Countdown to Pride series is meant to be easy, breezy fun — a lot of it will be geared toward stuff to buy before June and just overall Pride prep that isn’t overly serious. I just want to cultivate some good energy together. Once the official Pride package starts on June 1, you’ll see a shift toward more layered, expansive content that straddles many scopes, tones, and energies. Again, I can’t wait to reveal the theme!

But first, let’s have a little fashion fun. It’s ten days until Pride 2023, and I have a very important question: What flannel are we wearing? Sure, June may be a “hot” time of year in a lot of places, but is that really stopping my community from effortlessly tying a flannel around our waists? Lesbian Flannel is a stereotype, sure, but within the gooey center of many stereotypes, there’s sometimes a kernel of truth, but if you’re straight, you’re not allowed to make a stupid flannel joke! (Also, in my personal experience, I find flannel to be most prominent among bisexuals of all genders, an anthropological nuance I couldn’t possibly expect straight people to understand.) I also see flannel as a great fashion equalizer in that it is worn expertly by butches and femmes alike. So let’s round up some hot flannel, shall we? I tried to include a range of price points as well as options that come in a decent range of sizes!

Pride Flannel: Neutral Edition

These are the flannels that are accessories — not the main attraction. These are best worn over a crop top or bikini top or something otherwise flashy. They make great waist flannels, because they aren’t going to detract from the overall look and basically can function like a gay belt (belts are also gay, but you know what I mean). Perfect for when you need to transition between spaces! You can wear this around your waist for the outdoor, sweaty function, and then throw it on as the night cools — or offer it to a cute cold femme, a position I’ve been in many a time due to outfit choices that prioritize style over temperature. You can be the butch hero in this situation! If the linked products aren’t exactly to your liking or they don’t have your size, click around a bit, because all of those brands have a TON of flannel options!

Pride Flannel: Drama Edition

These are the flannels that are doing a little more, taking up a little more space, providing a little more spice. They’re bright or otherwise flashy in some way. They’re the centerpiece of your outfit, not a mere accessory! The custom band flannels do seem like something one could DIY, so perhaps you can just look to them for inspo! But if you don’t want to go through that hassle, the person who makes them on Etsy apparently takes requests, and I even saw a Taylor Swift one if that’s your thing! You can tbh use all of these as a jumping off point for potentially getting crafty with flannels you already own, like tie-dyeing or using bleach to transform it into something fun and new for Pride.

Countdown to Pride is an Autostraddle miniseries leading up to Pride 2023. There are 10 days until Pride month — are you ready?

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 818 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. “Also, in my personal experience, I find flannel to be most prominent among bisexuals of all genders, an anthropological nuance I couldn’t possibly expect straight people to understand.” As a bisexual flannel queen, can confirm, down to the straight people not understanding.

    Some of my favorite flannels are the Flannel Easy Shirt from Gap. It’s a lighter fabric so perfect for warmer weather and spring/summer layering, but alas, they are no longer in stock. Highly recommend keeping an eye out for them in the fall or winter though and stocking up!

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