TikTok reviewers seem pleasantly surprised at Target's 2022 Pride Collection: 'They actually hired gay people this year'
- TikTokers again this year rated
Target's pridemerchandise, which prominently featured queer artists.
- Target's collection included things like astrology and being a "plant parent," and came after criticism for its 2021 collection.
Target showcased the
@trashbuns It’s still rainbow capitalism but it’s cute so I don’t really care lol #targetpride #pridemonth️ #pride #target ♬ Wii Shop Channel - McTweet
Another creator, Madison Rodriguez, posted that her lesbian mom mom had "freaked out," seeing that shirt in the store.
The merchandise collection also features a binder-like "compression top," from TomboyX that Cherie noted (in another video) could be subtle enough for trans youth to wear without necessarily coming out to parents.
The clothes also have gender-neutral sizing, ("adult general sizing") as another TikToker pointed out.
@betterwithapen I’m not coming out, I’m confirming it as canon ❤️ #fyp #pride2022️ #pridemonth #bipride #targetfinds ♬ original sound - I love my dog
It is a bisexual stereotype or joke that "we also never know what to do with our hands (enter finger guns and peace signs)," as Rebecca Willems wrote in Peaceful Dumpling.
'They took the bullying last year to heart.'
One writer called last year's assortment "foul" in F Newsmagazine, criticizing it for being unpleasant to look at and "reflect[ing] just how poorly and shallowly major corporations view the LGBTQ+ community."
"They took the bullying from last year to heart," said Kris, a TikToker, who walked around in a physical Target and complemented several of this year's products.
Many of the TikTokers still had various issues with this year's collection.
Many focused on "Rainbow capitalism," a term that refers to companies using proximity to LGBTQ people for social clout while potentially working against it behind the scenes (and, in this context, companies participating in LGBTQ culture in general).
One expert noted that this year's merchandise drop isn't above feedback, either.
"I don't think it has the style of queers of color," said Byron Craig, assistant professor at Illinois State University.
Besides a few products, the merchandise, didn't quite have the same aesthetic appeal and connection for him as a Black member of the LGBTQ community, added Craig, who studies and teaches race and rhetoric and citizenship as well serves as the co-president of ISU's Queer Coalition.
"Oftentimes, we hear these voices that aren't representative of the entire queer community. And that's the problem I have with these TikToks," he said.
At least three of the collection's designers are Black and queer, per Target's landing page. Craig said his feeling could also be due to generational differences on his end -- and to a larger issue of one type of voice (i.e., potentially young Black queer people) being held up as representing everyone from a certain group.
Target is supporting GLSEN, an LGBTQ education nonprofit, again this year, among other groups, the company told Insider. It did not respond to a follow-up about the collection's appeal to LGBTQ people of color.
Aside from Target specifically, too many diversity and inclusion efforts in the corporate world are a "performance," Craig said.
"Visibility without action is a problem," he added.
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