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Valentine’s Day Gifts For 10 Queer Archetypes

We’ve got a range of gift ideas for your lover/partner/spouse/sweetie/honey/long distance boo/friend/SELF/entire polycule/ex (no judgement!). Whether they’re a Literary Queer, Kitchen Queer, Techie Queer, Pop Culture Queer, Witchy Queer, Adventure Queer, Decor/Design Queer, Fashion Queer, Radical Queer, Sports Queer, or any combination thereof, here are some queer Valentine’s Day gifts to check out. For more ideas (as well as lots of sex toy recs), browse past Valentine’s Day content!


Literary Queer

Photo 1: The poetry book Beast At Every Threshold by Natalie Wee, which features hands holding string and animal parts on its cover. Photo 2: The book Body Work by Melissa Febos, which features a drawn blue body against a yellow background on its cover. Photo 3: The book Our Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfield, which features waves against a pink background on its cover
1. Beast at Every Threshold by Natalie Wee ($14)
2. Body Work by Melissa Febos ($16)
3. Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield ($25)
Photo 1: Hands hold a set of four leather notebooks. Photo 2: Three rainbow shaped bookends in pink, off white, and green sit against a white background. Photo 3: A blue typewriter sits on a white table.
1. Leather Notebook ($36)
2. Rainbow Book End ($25)
3. 1960s Typewriter ($295)

The best way to guarantee you’re buying a book for someone that they don’t already own is to buy them a preorder! Sure, it might seem less sexy to not be able to open a physical book and like the bookish equivalent of giving someone a coupon or an IOU, but I promise it’s more romantic than that! Preorders are super helpful for authors, so you can give the gift of a book AND of supporting queer writers. I guarantee you that the Literary Queer in your life will deeply value that.

In addition to three queer books across different genres currently available for preorder, I’ve chosen three non-book gifts above. Also, feel free to reappropriate this holigay gift guide for book lovers (other than books) for your Valentine’s Day needs! And refer back to Casey’s preview of queer books coming out in the first quarter of 2022 for more preorder ideas.


Kitchen Queer

Photo 1: Five different tinned fishes surround a cookbook called The Magic of Tinned Fish. Photo 2: A set of six spices are labeled Chili, Wild Mountain Cumin, Black Lime, Tomato Powder, Buffalo Ginger, and Royal Cinnamon. Photo 3: A pale blue casserole dish with a lid sits on a granite countertop. Photo 4: A small wooden spoon rests on top of a larger wooden spoon. Photo 5: A person wears a denim apron with a red sash over a white buttondown. Photo 6: Eight miniature dutch ovens in rainbow colors sit on a white countertop
1. Tinned Fish Sampler Box ($80)
2. Burlap & Barrel Chef’s Choice Set ($50)
3. Vintage Casserole Dish ($35)
4. Carved Olive Serving Spoon ($37)
5. Chef’s Apron ($38)
6. Le Creuset Mini Cocottes ($25)

Chances are, they already have everything they REALLY need in the kitchen. Which is why it’s good to focus on specifics. A really nice apron is thoughtful. Handmade/carved/vintage products add homey touches to a kitchen. Burlap & Barrel is one of my favorite spice companies, and I highly recommend their gift sets! The vintage casserole dish above is the only one available, so get it before it’s gone! But I found a few other cute retro casserole dishes on eBay + Etsy. And tinned fish is HOT right now —a sentence I never thought I’d type, and yet, the most me sentence I can imagine.


Techie Queer/Gamer Gay

Photo 1: A Stream gift card displays the amount $50. Photo 2: Headphones featuring wooden paneling on the ear cups. Photo 3: A small Gopro brand streaming camera. Photo 4: A piece of black and white artwork with a black background and white geometrical lines hangs on a wall. Photo 5: Different tiles display games offered on Apple Arcade. Photo 6: A white mug sits on a desk
1. Steam Gift Card ($50)
2. LSTN Wireless Headphones ($80)
3. Gopro Streaming Camera ($400)
4. IKEA Picture Frame with Wireless Speaker ($200)
5. Apple Arcade Subscription ($4.99/month)
6. Temperature Control Smart Mug ($100)

Listen, I am admittedly a little out of my league here, and I also know techies and gamers are different! But I’m trying to spread the love here, so consider this category your catchall for gadgetry. Some of these gifts are geared toward gamers, some toward just tech folks, and some toward specific subsets of techies like audiophiles. A little bit of something for everyone! Also, I am not a gadgets person, but I am INTRIGUED by the smart mug.


Pop Culture Queer

Photo 1: Artwork depicts Carol and Therese from the movie Carol with Carol saying "I like the hat". Photo 2: A Yellowjackets t-shirt reads WHS. Photo 3: The book Batwoman Omnibus's cover depicts Batwoman stomping. Photo 4: A t-shirt depicts Ghostface from Scream saying "you like scary movies too?!" with hearts around it. Photo 5: Hands hold a pink vinyl record. Photo 6: Gift cards display amounts $25 and $50 for Criterion Collection
1. Jenifer Prince Carol print ($15)
2. Yellowjackets shirt ($35)
3. Batwoman Omnibus ($93)
4. Scream shirt ($25)
5. Customizable Vinyl ($148)
6. Criterion Collection Gift Card ($25+)

Y’all…what is going on with Yellowjackets merch? Why does Showtime not want to simply rob me of all my money??? There is technically a small run of Yellowjackets merch available at Urban Outfitters, and I was even sent a piece for free, but none of it says Yellowjackets on it????? Not putting the show’s name is either a galaxy brain approach or has some legal reason behind it. I did find some weird legal drama over Yellowjackets as a mascot that has nothing to do with the show, so it could have something to do with that? Idk! WHERE ARE THE LETTERMAN JACKETS? Anyway, here are some gifts for the pop culture obsessives in your life. Also, I linked the Carol print to stick to the pop culture theme, but literally all of Jenifer Prince’s prints are amazing. And a bonus gift idea: Autostraddle’s Gay Chaos television sticker!


Witchy Queer

Photo 1: A book cover reads HoodWitch, poems by Faylita Ficks. Photo 2: A candle holder shaped like a raven holds a glowing tealight candle. Photo 3: A hand with long pink and yellow acrylic nails holds a gold and pink tube of lip gloss. Photo 4: Two earrings shaped like cats resting on crescent moons with gold backings sit on a white background. Photo 5: Several rainbow-tinted iridescent crystals shaped like oval pendants sit on a wood table. Photo 6: A black book cover reads in white text Next World Tarot
1. HoodWitch by Faylita Hicks ($15)
2. Raven Candle Holder ($26)
3. Rose Quartz-Infused Lip Gloss ($11)
4. Cat Moon Earrings ($5.50)
5. Rainbow Clear Quartz Pendant ($51)
6. New World Tarot Deck and Guidebook ($46)

For more witchy recs, revisit Meg’s Winter Solstice gift guide.


Adventure Queer

Photo 1: A yellow and blue backpack with a gray handle sits on grass and a picnic table alongside a bottle of wine. Photo 2: A black and red flannel checked hat by Columbia sits against a white background. Photo 3: A teal and pink large picnic cooler with yellow handles sits against a white background. Photo 4: Two drink tumblers sit against a white background — one is black and has the text Get Lost amongst drawings of trees and one is silver and has a drawing of a tent against a mountain. Photo 5: The components of a survival pack — including safety pins, thread, a rescue whistle, a compass, fishing hooks, and a sewing kit sit against a white background. Photo 6: A silver carabiner is etched with the text DADDY EST. 1995 and sits on a wooden table
1. Cooler Backpack ($53)
2. Fleece Hat ($22)
3. Retro Picnic Cooler ($50)
4. Get Lost Tumbler ($20)
5. Survival Pack ($28)
6. Personalized Carabiner ($24)

Nothing says “I love you” like apocalypse preparedness. Here are some gifts for the survivalist queers, the hiking dykes, and those among us who simply like to do outdoor activities, even when those outdoor activities are just “drinking and eating in the sun.” I’m not sure the Etsy shop selling these customizable carabiners knew when they were doing when they put “DADDY” on this one but…


Decor/Design Queer

Photo 1: A red-rimmed mirror that is shaped like a heart that is dripping hangs on a white wall. Photo 2: A white vase holds a bouquet of orange, green, and brown dried flowers and sits on a white table. Photo 3: A clock whose face is watercolored blue, pink, purple, and green hangs on a white wall. Photo 4: A tied together bunch of eucalyptus hands under a shower head in a tiled showed. Photo 5: Dark gray, white gray, and pink candles shaped like flowers sit on a white cloth. Photo 6: A piece of art that looks like a chunk of wood with wooden mushrooms growing out of it hangs on a white wall
1. Heart Mirror ($15+)
2. Dried Floral Bouquet ($13)
3. Watercolor Wall Clock ($45)
4. Eucalyptus Bundle ($13)
5. Flower Soy Candle ($10)
6. Wooden Mushroom Art ($34)

Decor can be a risky gift! You have to really know someone’s tastes/aesthetics! But if you feel confident about it, go for it! Especially if you’re someone who recently moved in with a partner! It can be really fun to add things to your space that remind you of each other.


Fashion Queer

Photo 1: A gold ring shaped like interlocked chains sits against a navy blue background. Photo 2: A woman wears a low-V black crop top with hearts on it that ties in the middle and falls just below the breast as well as matching black and heart-printed shorts with a waistband just below the belly button. Photo 3: A person's neck displays four gold necklaces, including one with a large A on it. Photo 4: A person wears a pair of lightwash jeans with a pink satin crop top that has bell sleeves and a deep-V. Photo 5: A white wristwatch with a gold Lacoste emblem of an alligator rests against a navy blue background. Photo 6: A person wears a pink skater dress with puffy sleeves and red hearts printed on it
1. Automic Gold “Butch Ring” ($99)
2. Valentine’s Day Lounge Set ($98)
3. Monogrammed Initial Necklace ($38)
4. Pink Satin Crop Top ($70)
5. Lacoste Watch ($101)
6. Heart Print Mini Dress ($140)

Are monogrammed necklaces overdone? Probably! And yet, I do find them super cute and versatile —I wear mine almost every day, and it layers well. Automic Gold is a queer-owned jewelry boutique, and all of their stuff is simple but hot.


Radical Queer

Photo 1: A newsprint features the faces of queer and trans artists and reads LOOK.AT.US. Photo 2: A smattering of magazine clippings sit on a black background. Photo 3: A white text box reads 6 month abolition. Photo 4: A purple t-shirt reads Lavender Menace in swirly font. Photo 5: A black and white sticker features a skeleton holding a scroll that says BE GAY DO CRIME!. Photo 6: A red book cover reads LET THE RECORD SHOW by Sarah Schulman
1. LOOK.AT.US Issue 5 ($20)
2. Zine Making Kit ($10)
3. A Room Of One’s Own 6 Month Abolition Book Subscription ($210)
4. Autostraddle’s Lavender Menace Tee ($25)
5. Be Gay Do Crime Sticker ($1+)
6. Let The Record Show by Sarah Schulman ($37)

Nothing says I love you like a 700+ page book on queer history! Also, if your boo likes 90s punk scenes, check out this list for more book recs. Also, all of A Room Of One’s Own’s book subscriptions are cool!


Sports Queer

Photo 1: A black sneaker with white soles and laces that says AIR in rainbow lettering. Photo 2: A white sherpa half-zip cropped fleece that has the USWNT logo on it. Photo 3: A pair of slide sandals in white that say NWSL in blue letters on the strap. Photo 4: An orange hoodie printed with a pattern of the WNBA logo in black. Photo 5: A black baseball cap with the WNBA logo in the center in orange. Photo 6: An art print depicts a person with a heart tattoo wearing a black workout set and white athletic socks.
1. Nike Air Force 1 Shadows ($120)
2. USWNT Cropped Sherpa Half-Zip ($66)
3. NWSL Slides ($50)
4. WNBA Hoodie ($80)
5. WNBA Hat ($26)
6. Sports Gay Print ($6)

Look, it was difficult to pick stuff that wasn’t team-specific, ya know? But if you know your boo’s team, Fanatics has a sale going on.


What are you planning to give or hoping to receive this Valentine’s Day?


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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 Miami. 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 458 articles for us.

15 Comments

  1. I’d never considered it before, Kayla, but you’re right, preorders are extremely sexy!! Someone knows a book I want and orders it from bookshop.org or a local indy?? Swoon. Especially because new books are expensive, so I don’t indulge in them very often (I do pre-request and recommend them at my local library though!), so it has the appeal of being something I love but don’t often treat myself to.

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