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As Trump and Pence Ignore Pride Month, MAGA 'Pride' Shirts Still Offered for Sale

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Staff Reporter
Thursday June 4, 2020
As Trump and Pence Ignore Pride Month, MAGA 'Pride' Shirts Still Offered for Sale
  (Source:shop.donaldjtrump.com)

Not that anyone expected recognition for Pride month from President Trump - who presides over the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ administration in modern history - or his vice president, Mike Pence, a supporter of so-called "conversion therapy" who allowed HIV to ravage the state of Indiana while he was governor there. But to some, the Trump campaign's continued selling of MAGA "pride" shirts is confounding. Especially when they cost $25.

The shirts were introduced last December, and met with what NBC News (perhaps charitably) described as "mixed reviews."

NBC reported that the rainbow-themed swag included both a baseball cap and "a white T-shirt that reads 'Make America Great Again' in rainbow letters."

NBC News summarized the Trump-Pence administration's hostility toward LGTBQ Americans in a concise paragraph:

Several policy measures criticized as anti-LGBTQ have either been proposed or enacted under the Trump administration, including the president's contentious transgender military policy, which bars transgender personnel from serving openly and denies them access to gender-affirming medical care, and the administration's proposed rule to expand the exemption that allows religiously affiliated businesses to ignore anti-discrimination laws.

The Trump-Pence administration has also refused to allow LGBTQ individuals and families to be counted on this year's once-per-decade Census, a move decried as an attempt at "erasure" by critics.

The Human Rights Campaign condemned Trump and Pence's silence regarding Pride month in a June 1 statement that read in part:

Today, while Trump and Pence acknowledged Global Coptic Day, they failed to recognize Pride Month.

HRC President Alphonso David stated:

"This June, the Trump-Pence administration has yet again failed to recognize Pride Month to honor the history of the LGBTQ community and acknowledge the ongoing movement toward full equality."

David went on to add:

"In a global pandemic and national crisis highlighting ongoing racial violence and police brutality across the country - violence that particularly targets Black lives - Trump and his administration have stoked division, hate, and anger with continued attacks on LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and other vulnerable communities."

The statement pointed out that while Trump has drawn criticism for appearing to stoke division and violence during the riots that erupted after the death of George Floyd - an African American man who died in Minneapolis last week while a police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring both Floyd's pleas and the alarmed cries of bystanders who witnessed the killing - the Human Rights Campaign has "released a letter, joined by prominent LGBTQ and civil rights organizations, condemning racism, racial violence and police brutality while calling for action to combat these scourges. The letter is signed by 300+ leaders of the nation's most prominent LGBTQ and civil rights organizations."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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