It’s June, which means that it’s time to celebrate Pride Month. There are a lot of ways to celebrate pride! You can go to parades, pay homage to the most iconic gay icon of our time (the Babadook), or potentially, all of the above. But, for cologne-scented clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, Pride Month means but one thing–putting out bafflingly tone-deaf tweets about the LGBTQ community.
Earlier this week, the notorious cargo shorts retailer came under fire online for posting a tweet credited to someone named “Kayla” (a merchandiser) that said, “The Pride community is everybody, not just LGBTQ people.”
— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) June 11, 2017
Oh, boy. This is… almost true? Anyone can (and should) celebrate Pride whether they identify as LGBTQ+ or not, since doing so is a vital sign of support for LGBTQ allies. But this doesn’t mean that Pride is for everyone. Pride Month is specifically for people who identify as LGBTQ–those who have felt oppressed for their sexuality or identity, struggled to repress their sexuality, or have lost their lives as a result of being who they are.
Saying that Pride is for “everyone,” then, is basically the equivalent of saying, “Actually, all lives matter,” or “You know, not all men do that.”
Understandably, people are…not wild about the whole thing:
Love you @TrevorProject, but this is not a productive statement. Pride is for LGBTQ people because of the ways it’s forcibly taken from us.
— Camille Beredjick (@cberedjick) June 10, 2017
……. I appreciate the work that the Trevor Project does but this quote is bullshit. Pride is for queer people. that’s the whole point.
— Riley J. Dennis (@RileyJayDennis) June 10, 2017
LGBTQ just got the All Lives Matter treatment smh ?♂️
— Zeus Tipado (@tipado) June 10, 2017
This tweet might have gone over slightly better (maybe?) had it come from a corporation with a slightly better track record as far as things like “tact” and “sensitivity” go, but, if you’re at all familiar with Abercrombie & Fitch’s history, you’ll know theirs is anything but. Over the past decade, the retailer has faced controversy after controversy, with allegations of racism (predominantly hiring people from white fraternities and sororities), sexism (making female models wear super-revealing clothing), Islamaphobia (refusing to hire someone because they were wearing a headscarf), and many, many other issues.
For what it’s worth, Abercrombie has since issued a half-apology:
Pride is an important time for the LGBTQ+ community. At A&F we work to ensure that everyone feels included, respected and empowered. #pride
— Abercrombie & Fitch (@Abercrombie) June 11, 2017
So. Hopefully A&F learns from this mistake (as they should have from their many other mistakes) and sees that Pride is, in fact, not for everyone–but everyone should continue to celebrate it.
What do you think of Abercrombie’s tweet? Is it an important issue or are people making too big a deal out of it? Let us know in the comments!