Thinking about getting ink?
How about a tattoo for mom on your shoulder, or a piece to celebrate Pride?
Check out these queer tattoo shops that turn the traditional parlor atmosphere on its head. They are committed to providing diverse clients with comfortable experiences and supporting the identities of their artists.
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Here’s a snapshot of some queer-owned or operated tattoo parlors in the Bay Area.
Pretty in Ink: Electric Tattooing: 2329 Santa Clara Ave., Suite 205, Alameda
Founded in 2015 by Amy Muller, the original studio is located in the heart of downtown Alameda. Recently, Muller opened a second studio in Oakland at the intersection of 24th Street and Telegraph Avenue. Both locations are queer-run with transgender and nonbinary tattoo artists on staff. Appointment only. Visit https://prettyininkelectric.com/.
Diving Swallow Tattoo: 264 14th St., Oakland
Cedre Csillagi and Rocio Arteaga are founders and artists who specialize in custom pieces. This queer-owned studio has been an Oakland staple since 2004. Appointment Only. Visit https://www.divingswallow.com/.
Thorns: 2447 Sacramento St., Berkeley
This shop opened in 2019 and is primarily run by queer and nonbinary artists with the mission to create a fair and beneficial environment for artists and clients alike. Appointment only. Visit https://thornstattoo.com/.
Modern Electric Studio: 3330 Adeline St., Berkeley
This majority woman- and queer-run studio made its debut in San Francisco and is now located in south Berkeley. It was opened by artist Suzanne Shifflett in 2008 and is now headed by Aaron Nassberg. Appointment only. Visit https://www.modernelectricstudio.com/.
Castro Tattoo: 3991 17th St., San Francisco
For the last 14 years, this lesbian-owned shop has specialized in a range of tattoo styles and piercings. Owner Hannah Wolf has tattooed internationally and has won multiple awards for her work. Appointment only. Visit https://www.castrotattoo.com/.
Trudy’s Tattoo Parlour: 2275 Market St., San Francisco
Formerly known as Bulldog Tattoo, this transgender-owned shop in the Castro neighborhood aims to be inviting to all. Trudy, the store’s namesake, is the owner’s pet bulldog. Appointments and walk-ins. Visit https://trudystattooparlour.com/.
Black and Blue: 381 Guerrero St., San Francisco.
This woman- and queer-run studio boasts gender inclusivity since its founding in 1995. Owner Idexa recently opened a new private studio in Occidental called PlantInk, where she now takes appointments specializing in her signature black and color designs, simple lines and geometric shapes. Both studios are appointment only. Visit http://www.blackandbluetattoo.com/.
UNDRGRND SF: 3191 Mission St., San Francisco.
Located in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, this queer woman-owned studio strives to be a gathering place for misfits. Appointment only. Visit https://www.undrgrndsf.com/.