fresh ink

Get on the books at these LGBTQ-friendly tattoo shops 

Tattoo artist at work.

Let’s face it, the tattoo industry tends to be a predominantly cis-straight-white-male world. But as time goes on and the demand increases, the LGBTQ+ community continues to reshape the industry into a space for self-expression and reclaiming identity. If you are looking for some fresh ink, consider supporting these queer-owned, LGBTQ+-friendly artists and shops. 

Good Stuff Tattoo

Portland, OR

Located in Portland’s Woodlawn ‘hood, this private tattoo studio hosts a roster of outstanding queer artists. You’ll need to follow your artist of choice on Instagram to learn more about getting on their books.

Copperplate Tattoo

Chicago, IL

Owned and operated by artist Caroline Moody, the shop’s name comes from Moody’s mother, a printmaker skilled in copperplate etching. Copperplate Tattoo takes appointments only, and offers consultations to help you figure out the design perfect for you. Taking special care to accommodate any LGBTQ+ clients, Copperplate wants to make the tattooing experience as safe and comfy as possible.

Castro Tattoo

San Francisco, CA

Located in sunny San Francisco, Castro Tattoo is an LGBTQ+ friendly shop with a team of talented artists that not only want to bring your ink to life, but make it pop with color. From forest landscapes to outer space, Castro Tattoo specializes in vibrant color tattoos sure to make any jaw drop. The body serves as their canvas, and any body will do, regardless of race or orientation.

The artists also pride themselves on their fun designs, bringing a cartoony flair to their work. However, if realism is more your thing, don’t worry – everything from lions and snakes to meteors and moons have been inked at Castro. Another shop taking appointments only, be sure to snag a slot on your next vacation to the West Coast.

Yarrow Studio

Brooklyn, NY

Yarrow Studio adopts a unique approach to tattoos. These artists dedicate themselves not only to bringing body art to life, but to helping the client reclaim their personal agency. Named after the yarrow plant, a flower used in medicinal practices, Yarrow Studio approaches the tattooing process with a lens of healing. 

The artists collaborate with their clients on their designs with the goal of encouraging bodily autonomy. They welcome people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and racial backgrounds, working hard to create a comfortable environment for everyone. 

Brilliance Tattoo

Boston, MA

With a team of talented LGBTQ+ artists, most of them women, this studio puts emphasis on respect and professionalism. They pride themselves on their welcoming atmosphere designed to generate the most calming and relaxing experience possible. Regardless of your design, the artists want to support you in your body art endeavors. 

Brilliance Tattoo accepts clients of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Their professionalism for their clients does not go unnoticed – the shop and several of the associated artists hold different tattooing awards, including “Best Tattoo Shop in Boston” in 2018. 

Midnight Tattoo

Portland, OR

Another queer women-owned shop, Midnight Tattoo’s team of artists strives for consistency in their styles. They want to give their clients the best tattoo possible, so each artist makes sure they only tattoo what they know they can ink to perfection. To ensure this, Midnight only accepts clients through appointments. 

Striving for the ultimate comfortable tattoo experience, each artist’s tattooing station comes specially accommodated with cozy furnishings. This includes a blanket for warmth, snacks within arm’s reach, and a phone stand to keep you entertained. Aftercare packages are available for purchase following each appointment, with CBD products to help you rejuvenate. 

Weird Ink Society

St. Paul, MN

For the fans of pop culture and all things nerdy, Weird Ink Society is the destination for you. This team of women makes tattooing fun and upbeat, valuing positivity in addition to safety. They aim to not only solidify tattooing as an LGBTQ+-friendly space but give back to communities in the area with various fundraisers throughout the year. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, certain artists have a gumball machine full of flash tattoos. Pay a certain amount, and you’ll get a random design tattooed for you. Walk-ins are limited, and appointments are preferred.

Looking for queer tattoo artists in your area?

These shops go above and beyond a rainbow flag on the storefront. These tattoo shops work hard to create a safe space for queer clientele.

Often, an artist or shop will put a snippet on their website or their Instagram page to let you know they’re committed to making safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people. They will ask for your preferred pronouns and provide modifications for people who experience gender dysphoria. In addition, certain online tools can help you find the right artist for you. Queer Bodmod Compass points out LGBTQ+ tattoo artists in your area – and all over the world – with links to their artwork.

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