June is recognized typically as Pride Month, where LGBTQ+ members are able to share their experiences during parades, marches and other social events. This includes recounting the long history it took for being a member of the community to be acceptable socially and legally and for discussing the hardships and issues that still face LGBTQ+ identifying members today.
Recently, retail store H&M has stated that they are going to become involved with the celebration by releasing an LGBTQ+ collection, titled “Pride Out Loud.” LGBTQ+ magazine Out is also contributing to the campaign by using LGBT celebrities, such as Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, pop singer Kim Petras, rapper and drag performer Aja and musician Shaun Ross (to name a few), to showcase and advertise some clothing from the new collection.
On May 31, H&M released the collection online internationally and in U.S. stores, accompanied by several videos Out magazine created. The clothing line is ’70s themed, with vibrant colors and sequins decorating clothing and accessories. The day that the collection came out, I went with my friend to H&M and can say that it is cute and comfortable clothing. Even better, 10% of the proceeds from the clothing line will be donated to the United Nation’s official organization against homophobia and transphobia.
By being the first company to not only be talking about supporting the LGBTQ+ community but also including us in their merchandise and using our members to represent us, H&M has stepped up.
Another company that became involved in June Pride was American Apparel with the They O.K. clothing line. A video was released with various people from the LGBTQ+ community wearing various outfits from the campaign and describing what this slogan means to them. The video discusses the growing acceptance and usage of pronouns that are not “he” or she,” but “they.” This further highlights that sexuality and gender are a spectrum that all people fall under. The company states on their page that all sales from this clothing line will be sent to the Trevor Project, a suicide and depression hotline for LGBTQ+ youth under the age of 25. It is noted that before gay marriage was legalized, the company released Gay O.K. tee shirts and carries the concept of accepting one’s queerness with still here still queer shirts.
In the past and currently, members of the LGBTQ+ community didn’t want to be seen as different and unusual people because they weren’t cisgender or heterosexual and tried very hard to pass as a “normal” person. With these clothing lines being sold in popular stores all over the world, it encourages buyers to be truly proud this June and makes the company proud of how they are growing into an inclusive corporation.