Let’s Celebrate Pride Month, Not Profit Off Of It

With Pride Month coming up, questions arise on whether big companies’ Pride campaigns are doing more harm than good.

Pride month begins on June 1. Companies have already unveiled their pride collections.


Pride month begins on June 1. Companies have already unveiled their pride collections.

On May 24, 2023, Target announced that it would be pulling some of its Pride Collection off the shelves due to backlash from consumers. In a statement, Target said that these incidents were threatening the safety of their workers.
“Given these volatile circumstances, we’re making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
Ironically, less than a week earlier, Target’s CEO stated that Target wanted to lead through diversity, equity, and inclusion. So why did this massive retail company transform their support for the LGBTQ+ community in less than a week?
It simply comes down to money. Target is one of the biggest retail stores in the United States. Its net worth is estimated to be around 64 billion dollars. Target saw that their sales were dropping, as conservatives were boycotting the company due to the clothing collection.
In response to this, they decided to pull a large amount of their Pride Collection. Instead of standing their ground on the issue, Target offhandedly dismissed the LGBTQ+ community by getting rid of the clothes, sending the message that this community wasn’t worth losing money for.
In a similar situation, Bud Light also recently developed a Pride campaign in order to be more appealing to certain groups of people. The goal was to expand their consumer demographic. In order to do this, they utilized a transgender woman, Dylan Mulvaney, in their ads.
Dylan Mulvaney is a social media influencer. She gained a huge following on TikTok through her video series “Days of Girlhood.” In this series, she documented the daily struggles of being a newly transitioned woman, and became a sisterly like figure for many young people who followed her.
Soon after Bud Light launched these ads, backlash ensued. The following weeks entailed a huge loss for Bud Light. Their sales plunged nearly 25% in two weeks. Conservatives called to boycott Bud Light. Eventually, Bud Light caved, ending their sponsorship with Mulvaney. This is, yet again, another example of a brand dismissing the LGBTQ+ community when their sales went down.
What seems to be a commonality between these incidents is brands are profiting off of the LGBTQ+ community, incidentally making them a punching bag for conservatives to prey on.
As June approaches, brands will begin their Pride Month campaigns. They will post on social media, make pride clothing, and change their logos. While all of these things are done with good intentions, are these the most productive ways to support the LGBTQ+ community?
While any support for the community is appreciated, it does come across as insincere when brands use Pride Month as a way to make more money. Instead of profiting off the LGBTQ+ community, these brands should consider donating money to nonprofits like The Trevor Project or The Human Rights Campaign. By donating to these causes, brands can communicate that they truly care about the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community, and not just the money that gets generated through Pride Month.

Don't miss our latest posts!

Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date with the Live Wire's newest content!