Conservatives Want to Boycott PetSmart Over Its Pride Month Collection

It’s Pride Month, and you know what that means: Conservatives are once again up in arms about companies selling LGBTQ celebratory merchandise.

Haylee Thorson - Author

Jun. 1 2023, Published 3:50 p.m. ET

An image of the sign for PetSmart as photographed on March 16, 2020 in Levittown, New York.
Source: Getty Images

It’s officially Pride Month, and you know what that means: Conservatives are once again up in arms about companies selling LGBTQ+ celebratory merchandise.

After Target faced significant backlash from right-wing individuals surrounding its 2023 Pride collection, PetSmart is now the latest victim of a boycott.

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The pet superstore’s assortment of “You Are Loved” products for Pride Month includes everything from rainbow-striped plush toys to a highly-controversial dog bikini. And naturally, anti-gay social media users have a lot to say about how the items actively contribute to society’s downfall.

Here’s what you need to know.

You Are Loved® Pride Dog Bikini by PetSmart
Source: PetSmart
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Conservatives are urging people to boycott PetSmart because of their Pride collection.

With Pride Month in full gear, conservative backlash against LGBTQ-marketed merchandise is already off the charts — despite various companies’ inclusive intentions.

When PetSmart announced its You Are Loved collection in May, the company revealed it donated $200,000 to GLSEN, an education organization that “works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.”

PetSmart's senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Kristin Shane, got candid about how the brand’s Pride collection would increase visibility for the queer community.

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“PetSmart is proud to elevate the voices and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, from our associates and the pet parents we serve to members of the community and allies," Kristin explained in a statement, per Newsweek.

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However, right-wing individuals seem to think that rainbow-patterned dog toys and apparel are offenses of the highest order.

On Twitter, self-proclaimed “conspiracy theorist” Liz Churchill posted a screenshot of two products from PetSmart’s You Are Loved collection and wrote, “From the ‘Pride Shop’ at PetSmart. ‘You are loved PRIDE Dog Dress and Bikini.’ This is unacceptable. Please boycott.”

PetSmart isn’t the only company facing a boycott over its Pride collection.

Unfortunately, the backlash against LGBTQ-affirming merchandise has grown increasingly common. In addition to Target and PetSmart, countless other major companies face boycotts from conservatives in the United States.

Self-described “proud hillbilly” and far-right vlogger Paul Ray Ramsey even went as far as to tweet, “Let’s reclaim the month of June,” while offering instructions on how to avoid businesses supporting the LGBTQ+ community at all costs.

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Other companies facing boycotts over their Pride Month branding include Bud Light, Kohl’s, and The North Face.

Since Bud Light named trans influencer and TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney as their spokesperson in March 2023, sales have continuously plummeted for the brand leading up to Pride Month. According to Newsweek, the company’s sales had dropped 29.5 percent as of May 30, 2023.

After taking a break from TikTok during the Bud Light controversy, Dylan took to the vertical video app on April 27 to share her thoughts. “What I’m struggling to understand is the need to dehumanize and be cruel,” Dylan said. “I just don’t think that’s right”

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