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Pride Month DOs and DON’Ts

This Pride Month, DO wear pride paraphernalia, but DON'T buy your merch just anywhere. Check out these inclusive businesses for our Pride gear.

This Pride Month, DO wear Pride paraphernalia, but DON’T buy your merch just anywhere. 

According to HRC’s 2023 Corporate, Municipal, and Healthcare Equality Indices (HCMHEI), which showcases LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices, and benefits of our nation’s employers, the following companies offer their employees workplace protections, inclusive benefits, some internal training and inclusive culture, and follow some form of LGBTQIAA+ corporate social responsibility.

With its health-forward messages, numerous vaccines, and cute bandages, CVS tops HCMHEI with a perfect 100. A search for Pride products sends you to their exclusive LGBTQ-owned or founded brands page. Here, you’ll find external links to LGBTQ+-owned web shops and an assortment of Pride-themed beauty products they sell. They even sell sex toys. 🤗 You’ll also find external links to shops for Black-, Women-, AANHPI-, and Hispanic-owned or founded brands. Happy shopping!

Second on the list is Apple Inc., which has an equitable 100 HCMHEI score. Yet, its merchandise is limited to Pride Edition Apple Watch wristbands. Go figure.

Etsy, with its unparalleled universe of quirky, creative cyber storefronts, also tops the HCMHEI list at 100. I love that most of the shops are run by creatives. The company also strives to keep the human connection in e-commerce while keeping sustainability and responsibility top of mind, and that’s what I love the most about Etsy.

Although Inc. has also been anointed with a perfect 100 score, DON’T assume its small shop owners concur with LGBTQIAA+ inclusivity. Let the buyer beware, use your best judgment, and DO your homework.

Woxer is a webshop founded by women, LGBTQ+, and Latinas that sells comfortable, all-Jersey underwear. From sports bras to boxer briefs, they ensure your tushie is cozy in your undies.

Founded by USWNT champions Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, and Christen Press, re—inc claims to design for all gender identities and body types. Their Pride shop is well-priced with atypical yet colorful gear for everyday wear.

Delivering on the premise that everyone deserves “gender joy,” both& fashions fit individual body types. Although the company doesn’t sell Pride-specific apparel, they DO cater to those who identify as LGBTQIAA+.

Despite receiving lousy press and a -5 point deduction (the worst being -25) in HRC’s criteria for Responsible Citizenship when Target took down its pride display in some of its retail stores responding to the political, consumer, and conservative hate-group backlash for displaying Pride merch prominent, Target Corp enjoys a 95 on HCMHEI. However, unlike some retailers in it to take your money, Target puts its profit where its mouth is by offering employees workplace protections and LGBTQIAA+ inclusive benefits. If that’s not the definition of Corporate Pride, I don’t know what is. Wherever you are, you can find affordable Pride merch on Target’s website.

Another LGBTQ-inclusive retailer to consider is Walgreens Co., which also scored 95 on HCMHEI. Its website offers a variety of fun Pride merch. A quick search will indicate if your local branch carries your desired items, making your shopping experience easier and more efficient.

If you’re an outdoorsy gay—or ally—trek to L.L. Bean’s website for adventure-themed pride gear. With a 90 on HCMHEI, you’ll be Pride-hiking in style.

These are only a handful of shops, alternatively, you can buy your Pride merch from an LGBTQIAA+ activist organization and help fight discrimination everywhere. HRC leads the charge and has a groovy shop with sporty merchandise.

DO consult HRC before buying Pride 2024 gear, and DON’T assume all Pride gear retailers have the best intentions for the LGBTQIAA+ community. Happy Pride Month 2024. Be safe and keep your wits about you.

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