Hellooooooooo beautiful people of the interwebz!
I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit, I went to Hawaii (which was amazing) and have been in the middle of moving for a while now. But I’ve been enjoying Pride month nonetheless!
As the month has gone on, I’ve noticed there are many companies who are suddenly supporting pride this year. And of course it makes me super happy that someone is recognizing June as Pride month (unlike our president!). Visibility and representation is more important now than it has ever been, so cheers to that.
But I can’t help but feel like some companies are using Pride month as a cash cow. You know, just supporting us to make a buck. And that doesn’t quite sit right with me. I was in Old Navy at the beginning of the month and noticed that they had an entire display of “Love is Love” shirts and I was a bit baffled by it. It struck me a bit as I shopped because I’m not used to seeing any kind of pro-LGBTQ+ merch in commercial stores, so this was odd. I also noticed that the shirts were only in the women’s section and were women’s fitted style shirts, and I also thought that was a bit odd.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not griping about pride merch being all over the place, that is fantastic. The more positive exposure, the better. Let’s face it, sometimes shoving it straight into people’s faces is the way to go. But what I’m not okay with is the LGBTQ+ community being used as a way to make money.
There are many businesses/stores who are donating money from the proceeds of this merch to LGBTQ+ rights organizations, and honestly I believe that is what should be done with the money. But there are still a lot of companies that have not advertised or attempted to release information about where the proceeds are going. So I can only assume all the money is going back to them.
Pride month is a month to celebrate being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and also a great time to support small queer run businesses. It is wonderful that the LGBTQ+ community is being represented commercially because it has been a long time coming. Companies like Nike, Hollister, Everlane, Urban Outfitters, and Levis are on the right track, giving percentages of their sales to non-profit organizations like Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN, The Harvey Milk Foundation, and The Trevor Project. This is what we need. LGBTQ+ representation that gives directly back to organizations who represent us and protect us.
There are also a lot of small queer run businesses that can take care of your Pride merch needs! Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
Autostraddle — I’ve been a long time fan of this website for it’s articles, but their merch is rather dope too. They’ve got lots of great shirts and dope lapel pins.
Wildfang — I’ve mentioned Wildfang on here quite a bit before because it’s lit. But they’ve got everything you need to have a stylist, tomboyish pride.
Otherwild — They have a shirt that says, “How dare you assume I’m straight.” SOLD.
Trans Is Beautiful — Awesome trans merch, get it quick because a lot is selling out!
Revel and Riot — The shirts from here are SO SOFT. So go order oneeeeeee!
Of course there are a lot of other options, Etsy has some really great stuff as well. Support queer run businesses and support companies who are choosing to support us! Happy Pride!