Pride month has officially begun, and people across the globe are flying their rainbow flags higher than ever before.
While countless members of the LGBTQ+ community are coming out and celebrating their authentic selves, corporate America has been subject to an unprecedented surge in boycotts.
In April 2023, popular trans activist and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney became the target of transphobia and online harassment after posting a video of herself with multiple cans of Bud Light, one featuring her image, which were sent to her by the brand. Since the partnership, Bud Light’s stock has plummeted as rightleaning Americans boycott the brand. Bud Light, however, is not the only brand that is facing backlash for its support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Recently, a video of Target’s Pride merchandise went viral online. In the video, the customer complains that Target is selling tuck-friendly swimwear for children.
This video was made more popular by conservative commentator Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire, who said, “Anyone who’s making anything related to Pride… it’s all satanic imagery,” when referring to Target’s Pride month collection.
According to PolitiFact, a Target spokesperson has confirmed that Target’s tuckfriendly swimsuits are only available in adult sizes, and that the children’s swimsuits are not made with tuck-friendly construction. Nonetheless, Target has been so affected by conservative backlash and boycotts that they are removing various pieces of Pride merchandise from their stores.
While backlash toward Pride month and Pride advertising is not a new concept, these boycotts and this year’s Pride month coincide with a national rise in transphobia, including transphobic pieces of legislation, as well as other forms of bigotry toward LGBTQ+ Americans. Conservative commentators, such as those who work for The Daily Wire, including Matt Walsh, Candace Owens, and Ben Shapiro,
have primarily led to an influx of homophobia and transphobia in the last ten years.
Further, former president Donald Trump, who was recently found guilty of sexual abuse, vowed to end gender-affirming care for minors if re-elected in 2024. Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who recently announced his run for president, has led the discussion in the erasure of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans people. Just this year, DeSantis has signed bills into law that directly target drag shows and
harm trans people.
How the government, whether it be federal, state, or local, responds to issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community has a direct effect on how everyday Americans respond and behave. While a majority of conservatives tout the importance of stabilizing the US economy and the natural right to constitutional freedoms, they are simultaneously causing companies to struggle, damaging the economy, while
attempting to strip LGBTQ+ individuals of their autonomy and rights.
Although the alleged goal of these people is to “protect the children,” these actions adversely affect millions of Americans, and as we have already seen, this goal does not end at boycotts.