It wouldn’t be Pride Month – or most months, for that matter – without a brand tripping up when it comes to LGBT activism.
Abercrombie & Fitch had that experience over the weekend, when the multinational clothing company tweeted a quote from someone who works for LGBT charity The Trevor Project.
It read: “‘The Pride community is everybody, not just LGBTQ people.’ – Kayla, merchandiser”, with a picture attached of a woman wearing a top designed by A&F.
It was part of the Made For Love collection designed for Pride Month in partnership with The Trevor Project, which the company has promised will receive 100 percent of the proceeds.
Though Kayla’s message was ostensibly one of inclusivity, it was met with the same kind of reaction you would expect if someone showed support for All Lives Matter.
Pride is about being proud of being LGBTQ. That's why it's called #Pride.
If you respect us, don't co-opt that—especially for profit!
— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) June 11, 2017
LGBTQ just got the All Lives Matter treatment smh ?♂️
— Zeus Tipado (@tipado) June 10, 2017
Straight ppl just gotta zip it during Pride… @Abercrombie
— Kayla A. Greaves ? (@KaylaAGreaves) June 13, 2017
@Abercrombie That comment speaks to a profound lack of awareness of those of us who grew up needing pride because it was a safe place.
— Harrison Blythe (@iHarrisonBlythe) June 13, 2017
And again no.
Pride is trans women of colour throwing bricks, not capitalist merchandising.
— Julie ⚧ (xy) (@XYcyberjulie) June 10, 2017
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Queer, trans, nonbinary lesbian activist Riley J. Dennis also tweeted, saying: “I appreciate the work that the Trevor Project does but this quote is bullshit.
“Pride is for queer people. That’s the whole point.”
Another user said the post was “tone-deaf af. pride is for #LGBTQIA2S. “S” ain’t for “straight” & “A” ain’t for “ally.” we’re guests at most. sit down.”
Following the backlash, A&F deleted the tweet and posted two messages defending itself.
The first post said: “Pride is an important time for the LGBTQ+ community. At A&F we work to ensure that everyone feels included, respected and empowered. #pride”
And the second tweet said: “We are proud to show commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and to bring awareness to the important work the @TrevorProject does.”
The company did not, however, express any remorse for the original post.
So – should Abercrombie & Fitch apologise?