Hi. My name is James.
The Purpose of This Shop
For right now, the goal is to provide grants and funds to smaller pride events and organizations that need it. Think: small town pride. I'm looking at you Cody, Wyoming (my hometown); or drag shows and story hours, where the fight is on; gay proms. You get the idea.
Big city pride is insanely important, too. But as a gay man who grew up in a small town, I see the need to support those that don't have a lot of access to funds, that are trying desperately in parts of the U.S. and the world that want us to stay invisible. Places where the protest is needed now more than ever. Places where a young LGBTQIA+ kid needs to know that there are others out there like them; that they are not alone. Places where our transgender friends and family are struggling, and dying. Places where Drag is not seen as the glorious art that it is.
If you know an organization that needs funds, please encourage them to apply for a grant.
If you know of a pride event, big, small or ginormous, send it over.
How it Came About
In 2013 I bought the URL www.lgbtpride.com. I saw it was available and thought it best to secure it before it fell into the wrong hands. I didn't do anything with it, though I did offer it to various organizations/people over the years. In early 2023, I saw that www.lgbtqiapride.com was up for auction! I put in a max bid, and a few hours later had won the URL. It seemed it was time to do something. So, here I am with an online shop and a purpose and a goal.
Who Am I?
Well, to start, I was born in Singapore, then lived in Cork, Ireland before my family moved to Casper, Wyoming at the age of 5. We lived in Cody, Wyoming (think Buffalo Bill Cody!) after that. I joined the Navy after going to college for a year (and having to work 3 jobs to pay for it). I wanted to “see the world". Nope, I was stationed near Fresno, California for my entire enlistment. This is nowhere near the ocean. I took the long road for school, and eventually graduated from the University of San Francisco. Since then, I have worked in real estate. I love architecture and being self-employed. I also started a small, real estate marketing company (that still exists!). When I sold that company, I moved to Puerto Vallarta for a year which is when I bought www.lgbtpride.com. I eventually returned to the U.S. and settled in Washington, DC. In 2019, my partner and I moved to the Netherlands to work remotely. We all know what happened in early 2020. Covid hit and squashed our travel plans. Not ones to sit still and idle, we opened two shops during the pandemic and renovated a 351 year-old “Rijksmonument” (National Monument) in the historic city of Delft. When our visas were up for renewal, we made the decision to be nearer to family and friends and returned to Washington, DC. I love being an entrepreneur. I love traveling, especially sailing trips (there are some great, great gay groups out there that do this!).