Chicago community

Bears, puppies and otters can represent their identities with a new clothing line by 2 local LGBTQ-owned businesses

NORTHALSTED — Members of the LGBTQ community can represent their identities — bears, otters, puppies and more — with a new clothing line launched in partnership by two LGBTQ-owned businesses.

The IYKYK Icon collection, made in partnership with Edgewater-based streetwear brand Soundoff and Northalsted-based Men’s Room, features tees and tank tops representing diverse LGBTQ communities.

The shirts refer to several nicknames that signal a queer person’s sexual identity or preference – including bears, polar bears, cubs, otters, pigs, puppies and streaks.

“The vector graphic icons were created with the intent that they could be worn by everyone, from admirers, supporters and advocates to active participants,” said Daryl Sneed, CEO and Creative Director of Soundoff. “They serve as a sort of ‘bat signal’ to those who are ‘in the know’.”

The IYKYK Icons collection features graphics illustrating the different identities within the LGBTQ community.

The IYKYK Icon collection will be available Memorial Day weekend on the Soundoff website and will soon be sold in-store at The Men’s Room, 3343 N. Halsted St.

The collection will eventually grow to include more identities within the LGBTQ community and customizable snapback hats, according to Soundoff.

“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with this fun and meaningful line,” said Allan O’Brien, managing partner and owner of Men’s Room. “Twinning with a Chicago-based LGBTQ business helps us ensure that we stay true to our goal of offering products from local family businesses.”

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every penny we earn funds neighborhoods across Chicago.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Thank you for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), newsroom run by reporters. Every penny we make funds Chicago neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s Alright: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: