If you’re looking for a subtle way to show your pride, Pin-Ace has you covered.
The shop is owned by Darcy Alemany, who identifies as an intersex male. The store specializes in high-quality enamel pins, which are small decorative pins worn on clothing or bags.
Alemany created his small business when he realized that there weren’t a lot of pre-existing options for pride pins.
“There were a bunch of pins that I wanted but couldn’t find,” he said. “So I was like, ‘I can make these’ and ended up doing a little bit of research to figure out the process.”
Then, Pin-Ace was born.
Alemany’s first collection contains 25 designs ranging from simple pride flag designs to more detailed LGBT designs and even non-pride-related pins.
His favorite product is a rainbow heart-shaped pin with two penguins holding flippers. Though the pin’s cuteness factors into his reasoning, the meaning is a lot deeper than it seems.
“Personally, one of the ways that I really felt I could learn to accept myself more is understanding that same-sex attraction isn’t exclusive to humans,” Alemany said. “I want to celebrate those other animals that have sort of a similar life that makes my life a little bit more real.”
Alemany’s Pride Animal Collection includes otters, puppies, and penguins, but he plans on expanding the collection in his next product drop.
Pin-Ace also offers a Harry Potter-inspired collection for LGBT fans that love the series, but don’t want to support J.K. Rowling after her anti-transgender tweets.
“Harry Potter is something that I grew up with and I feel like it’s also grown up with me,” Alemany said. “These pins are sort of edgier grown-up versions of the house mascots and I like it because it’s a way of celebrating that story … without necessarily supporting the person who wrote it.”
Alemany plans on expanding his products with a new pin-type called the Yin-Yang Collection.
“A lot of times, people express different sexualities on different days … or they feel like their identity is a combination of multiple sexualities or multiple genders,” he said.
This collection allows people to mix and match different halves of a yin-yang symbol to create their own identity to show off. For example, someone could purchase a transgender yin-yang half and a bisexual yin-yang half and combine them to portray their identity.
Alemany says that he created his shop to allow LGBT people to represent themselves safely, but proudly.
“These pins are bright and colorful, but non-invasive. You don’t have to stand up and say ‘I am something you don’t like.’ You can just wear your pin and be represented,” he said. “I hope to help create a world where people can figure out their identity and share that with others and not feel like they’re putting themselves at risk for doing so.”