Skip to main content

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

View Video Library
Share
Opinion

Companies like Target should stand up to anti-Pride fervor

Jun 15, 2023

Share

People around the world come together to honor and support LGBTQ communities during Pride Month. In recent years, many businesses have joined the movement by adding Pride-themed branding to their merchandise, logos, and advertising throughout June.

But it doesn’t always go so well. Target recently removed some of its gender-affirming clothing from store shelves after receiving threats impacting the safety and well-being of its sales staff.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid says if companies like Target can’t stand the heat, they never should’ve gone into the kitchen.

In recent months, companies such as Bud Light and Target have come under right-wing fire for their support of the LGBTQ community. Target, for example, had been offering gender-affirming merchandise such as a bathing suit created for trans women, and unsurprisingly, right-wing shoppers were super not into it and let their not-into-it-ness be known. In response, Target has apparently removed the bulk of their Pride merchandise from stores after “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being.”

Customers viewing the items have apparently knocked down displays, behaved aggressively towards employees and posted threatening videos to social media from inside the stores.

Now, I’m not of the opinion that brands necessarily have the responsibility to declare political alliances, but if you’re going to explicitly support the LGBTQ community, support them. If you’re selling merchandise, hoping to capitalize on the spending power of a group, and then immediately pull back because a small group of bullies — whose actions are, by the way, a visceral demonstration of why Pride Month is important — I mean, to me, it’s almost worse than never entering the conversation at all. Inserting social values into the capitalist structure is always going to be awkward at best, but still, pulling Pride merchandise off the shelves — really? Do better.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, by which I mean Pride Month. And just like the other most wonderful time of the year, it’s a grand opportunity to have your beliefs and emotions commoditized for corporate gain — and also subject yourself, of course, to transphobia and anti-LGBTQ outrage. It’s like a smorgasbord. 

 

Okay, so Pride Month is June, and it is a month where we celebrate diversity and inclusivity. And we show support for the LGBTQIA plus members of our community. It also has historically been co-opted by brands who want to show nominal support without any real action — those companies that changed their logo to a rainbow one for the month of June and then flip it right on back July 1 come to mind.

 

There’s even a name for this. It’s called “rainbow washing” or “rainbow capitalism” — performative support without any real meaning behind it.

 

This year, though, something feels different because now, more than ever, corporations are feeling pressure from both sides of the political aisle to take a stance on social issues. In recent months, companies such as Bud Light and Target have come under right-wing fire for their support of the LGBTQ community. Target, for example, had been offering gender-affirming merchandise such as a bathing suit created for trans women, and unsurprisingly, right-wing shoppers were super-not into it and let their not-into-ness be known. In response, Target has apparently removed the bulk of their pride merchandise from stores after “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well being.”

 

Customers viewing the items have apparently knocked down displays, behaved aggressively towards employees and posted threatening videos to social media from inside the stores.

 

Now, I’m not of the opinion that brands necessarily have the responsibility to declare political alliances, but if you’re going to explicitly support the LGBTQ community, support them. If you’re selling merchandise, hoping to capitalize on the spending power of a group, and then immediately pull back because a small group of bullies — whose actions are, by the way, a visceral demonstration of why Pride Month is important — I mean, to me, it’s almost worse than never entering the conversation at all. Inserting social values into the capitalist structure is always going to be awkward at best, but still, pulling pride merchandise off the shelves… really? Do better.

 

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Monday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion