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Abercrombie & Fitch Tried to Get in on the Pride Merchandise Game, Went Full #StraightLivesMatter

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This being Pride Month, you may have noticed a lot of your favorite stores have stocked their shelves with a surplus of rainbow merchandise. Now, sometimes a company will create cool partnerships that benefit great organizations with portions of proceeds and real awareness-raising. More often than not, though, when corporations try to mine social causes for marketing purposes, the results fall short of anything resembling true allyship. Usually, these companies just embarrass themselves with obvious cash grabs. But even the grabbiest of companies don’t often fail quite as spectacularly as Abercrombie & Fitch, who recently tweeted out a Pride message that essentially erased the very meaning of Pride.

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Hey Kayla, Merchandiser, here’s the thing: No, it’s not. Pride is specifically and explicitly about the LGBTQIA community. And that “A” is not for Abercrombie. It’s not even for ally, not that you’re being one. True allyship means knowing that not everything is about you. It’s for a group you clearly don’t give a crap about unless they’re handing you money.

And by the way, there’s no “S” in that acronym, because straight people don’t need to bring awareness to a support system that has literally always existed for them. Pride is about declaring pride in the face of a society that tells you you’re supposed to feel quiet shame. Pride is about honoring the struggles and sacrifices of those who have paved the way for the queer community. It’s a highly personal and political event created in direct response to the Stonewall Riots of 1969. It’s sure as hell not about making sure straight people don’t feel left out because then *gasp* they maybe wouldn’t want to buy a t-shirt.

As you might have guessed, people were not pleased with Abercrombie & Fitch’s #StraightLivesMatter message.

Even their damage control apology misses the point.

Thanks for making it really easy to decide where not to spend our money, Abercrombie. To bypass the store and donate directly to the Trevor Project–which works to provide crisis and suicide intervention resources for queer youth–you can do so here.

(via Daily Dot, image: Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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