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Companies that Support LGBTQ+ Rights
July 13, 2019
Lynne Brown
Feature: Celebrating 50 Years of LGBTQ Journalism
July 19, 2019

Proud 2b Rebels: LGBTQ Apparel Brand Celebrates The True Heroes of Stonewall—Black Trans and GNC Womxn

gc2b apparel - Rebel Roots

(Photo: Miko Beach, “LOVE” MURAL ART by Lisa Marie Thalhammer)

gc2b, a prominent LGBTQ-run apparel company, is dedicated to focusing resources on furthering connection, support, and recognition for all. Notably the first company to offer specialized chest binders—designed from experience—for the transgender and gender-nonconforming (GNC) community, their ongoing mission is to provide comfortable, accessible, affirming, and safest apparel for all bodies. This calling motivates gc2b further to provide not just products, but platforms, to marginalized groups.

This summer, gc2b’s purpose is centered around supporting visibility for black trans woman and nonbinary people, a community which historically carries the weight of all forms of oppression at their heaviest, and which continues to form the foundation of courage and resilience upon which we all stand today. Within the past year gc2b has dedicated their media to voices of the black LGBTQ community, collaborating with organizations such as Black Trans Television, the Trans Women of Color Collective, and presently, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI).

Marsha P. Johnson shirt

(Photo: Miko Beach, “LOVE” MURAL ART byLisa Marie Thalhammer)

Their current capsule collection, called “Rebel Roots,” is a joint effort with MPJI honoring this 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Erupting at the Stonewall Inn of NYC in reaction to a police raid on the popular gay establishment, these riots marked an integral turning point in the radical LGBTQ liberation movement upon which modern-day social action is built. An activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor, Marsha was revolutionary by virtue of living authentically as a black trans woman. Her advocacy and tenacity in claiming societal space led her to the forefront of the movement. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is committed to protecting human rights for black transgender people, and to welcoming and guiding black trans people into community. MPJI uplifts black trans women, fem-aligned nonbinary individuals, and GNC individuals. The Rebel Roots clothing line is a shared design intending to reflect the power and vibrancy of our forebears. 100% of proceeds generated benefit the Institute.

model for gcb2 rebel roots apparel

(Photo: Miko Beach, “LOVE” MURAL ART by Lisa Marie Thalhammer)

Awareness and education regarding trans safety is paramount, not only in public spaces, but relevant to personal health as well. Physical comfort and visual validation play an enormous role in mental health for transgender individuals. A chest binder is designed to flatten one’s appearance through compressing chest tissue, an incredibly uplifting tool for self-image and self-love in transgender and GNC people. The gc2b Instagram establishes a positive space for community members who are a part of the gc2b family, updated daily with reposts from those sharing joy in recognizing, and being recognized in, their lovely trans bodies, testifying to gc2b’s impact.

gc2b’s leadership team and hardworking crew reflect racially marginalized identities, bringing the company a host of perspectives drawn from personal experiences. Founded and designed by CEO Marli Washington, a trans man of color, gc2b is actively committed to accommodating diverse bodies with their binders. They currently feature sizes from XXS to 5XL in 12 different colors, including their “All-Nude Collection,” the first selection on the market to offer a varied range of skin-tone binders. The gc2b team also steps up to ensure that their binders are available to those without access, hosting giveaways and making regular large-scale binder donations to organizations who can distribute the free binders to people in need.

Group modeling gcb2 rebel roots apparel

(Photo: Miko Beach, “LOVE” MURAL ART by Lisa Marie Thalhammer)

Especially considering the connection available to us in this digital age, it is as important as ever to respect and amplify the calls of marginalized communities, and to keep building momentum and pushing boundaries to expand and reclaim spaces which have always rightfully belonged to them. Beyond the vision of equality, the gc2b team is devoted to offering helpful instruments and encouraging happiness and peace within the self—where love truly begins. gc2b is forever proud 2b family.








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