All the brands homophobes and transphobes have attempted to boycott, from Bud Light to Build-a-Bear

Pride collection in Target store

As Pride Month kicks off, businesses big and small are showing support for their LGBTQ+ employees, customers and the community at large, with colourful social media posts and products. 

But this year, corporate “rainbow-washing”, which some activists have long criticised as disingenuous, has a new dimension to it – will brands back down in the face of mass right-wing boycotts? 

In recent weeks, conservatives have turned on brands showing even the tiniest morsel of support for the LGBTQ+ community, urging others to boycott them and some even destroying products in stores.

Negative reactions against LGBTQ-inclusive businesses and marketing campaigns are nothing new, but in recent months, the problem has increased amid increasingly hostile attitudes toward the community, particularly in the US. 

As a result, members of the LGBTQ+ community are closely watching brands to see how they react to negative feedback – whether they stand with the us, or bow to the pressure. 

A rainbow shirt displayed in a Target store. ( Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

One of the brands in question is US supermarket chain Target, which was condemned by the LGBTQ+ community for removing some products from its Pride range and moving store displays following threats from right-wingers.

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The increasingly furious conservative backlash to LGBTQ+ engagement was noticeable in April, after Bud Light collaborated with Dylan Mulvaney in a sponsored Instagram post. The ensuing anti-trans backlash was swift, unprecedented and violent, with social media users, politicians and commentators attacking both the beer brand and Mulvaney. 

In the weeks that followed, people got more than a little upset over the “woke” collaboration, as online echo chambers turned ever more insular. As a result, people called for boycotts, took to smashing Bud Light displays in stores, musician Kid Rock shot cans with an assault weapon and bars refused to sell the brew due to supposed religious beliefs. 

The backlash reportedly saw billions wiped from the market share of Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light. 

Despite this, the beer manufacturer still appears to stand with the community as it has donated thousands of dollars to a queer initiative, despite being criticised for not publicly supporting Mulvaney more.  

Other brands have similarly come under fire for either running Pride campaigns or simply featuring LGBTQ+ people as part of their marketing. 

That said, the more brands anti-LGBTQ+ people boycott, the more they limit where they can shop, as well as the media they consume.

Short of fully designing their own clothes, farming their own food, distilling their own beer, building their own toys, cars and homeware, producing their own films and TV shows and writing their own books, the right-wing brigade will soon have nowhere left to go. 

Brands and media being boycotted: 

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