Pride collection backlash has derailed retailers, but LGBT designers are more empowered than ever

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06/24/2023

When Walmart approached Gay Pride Apparel founders Sergio Aragon and Jesus Gutierrez to launch an exclusive Pride Month collection this June, it felt like a “full circle” moment for the first-generation Mexican Americans, who have been shopping at the discount big-box store their entire lives. “My family grew up low-income and Walmart was all we had,” Gutierrez tells The Independent. “If I would’ve seen a Pride display at age nine, it would’ve been so special.” Little did the founders of Gay Pride Apparel – whose mission is to celebrate and empower the LGBT+ community through clothing and accessories – know that they would soon be on the receiving end of “violent threats” from protestors, angry over the Pride Month merchandise.

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