Pride Paraphernalia: A Gay Love Letter to Target

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Emma Simpson is pictured at Target.

By Emma Simpson,
The Gay Agenda

I meet my girlfriend in the parking lot and hop gratefully in the car after a long day of work, breathing a sigh of relief to finally be off my feet.

On autopilot, we make our way through town, chatting about how our days went, but there is an underlying tension. I wonder if she’ll ask me… no, not today. I shake the thought out of my head. I’ve given up completely when she takes a pause.

“What?” I ask. She hesitates, and then, “…Do you want to go to Target?” Oh, thank heavens. I thought she’d never ask. “Definitely,” I nod as she takes the exit.

Emma Simpson

Tori and I have always loved Target – the familiar red bull’s eye is comforting and reassuring. Plus, we can always find some inexpensive yet adorable decoration to drool over in the Dollar Spot.

But we love it even more now that the store has launched a line of LGBTQ pride items. Officially available online mid-May just in time for Pride Month (June), the Pride line includes t-shirts, various accessories, home decor, patches, and even pronoun pins!

For a major store like Target to produce a line of LGBTQ-themed items in a time of such uncertainty for the LGBTQ community is really huge.

Saturday Night Live

Kristin Wiig plays an overzealous Target employee.

Target has made a stand for the community in the past when the company asserted that everyone should have the right to use the bathroom that best correlates with their gender identity in the wake of legislation that would prevent just that, and now they have made it very convenient and relatively inexpensive for us to, quite literally, wear our pride on our sleeves.

I’ve heard some people argue that this isn’t “real support” because they’re just trying to make money off of the queer community. To some extent, the assertion that Target is trying to make money is true, of course: they are a retail company and their goal is to make a profit. But there is no denying that they’ve done a seriously decent job with this line.

It is specifically inclusive of people who are transgender, as evidenced by the aforementioned pronoun pins, which are not colored in a traditionally gendered way and there are also lapel pins bearing the symbol for transgender, a combination of the male and female symbols that incorporates the colors of the transgender pride flag.

As for clothing, there is quite a large assortment of t-shirts, many bearing rainbows but quite a few that just express “pride” in some form. In my opinion, they could have included more in the way of explicitly bi or pansexual representation, as these groups do have their own flag colors and such, but nevertheless someone in charge made very sure that this line would have something for everyone.

I respect that some people don’t feel like this is indicative of actual support, but for me, seeing cute accessories celebrating a part of my identity that I often feel judged for at my favorite store is a really incredible feeling. Plus, I actually really like some of the items – they’re cute! (I have my eye on a rainbow shrug that I want to wear to a local Pride Parade later this month!)

Regardless of the capitalist society we live in, it’s a big deal for a mainstream manufacturer to provide Pride products, because we can’t find them just anywhere, and sometimes they’re expensive. Now, thanks to Target, us queers have easier access to celebratory garb that we can wear for a Pride event, a fun night out, or just walking down the street — always looking fabulous.


Tori Tucker and Emma Simpson write the column The Gay Agenda together for InDepthNH.org

Tori Tucker

Tori Tucker was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She graduated recently from Keene State College with a major in English-Writing, with minors in music and German. 

 

Emma Simpson

Emma Simpson is a Women’s and Gender Studies major at Keene State College. She is the vice president of her campus a cappella group and involved with Planned Parenthood as a volunteer.

InDepthNH.org and Manchester Ink Link co-publish The Gay Agenda

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