While many criticize Target’s annual Pride collection as purely a marketing ploy and money grab, this year, that argument might be harder to make.
The yearly Target Pride collection usually includes plenty of rainbow flags, cups and water bottles, and lots of shirts and shorts that you’ll definitely see at any large queer event in a major city you go to. But this year, the store has also teamed up with queer clothing brand TomboyX to sell binders and packing underwear.
If you’re not familiar, binders (also known as compression tops) are garments that trans men, trans mascs, nonbinary people, and others who want to reduce the size of their chests wear to help relieve dysphoria. Packing underwear is used by trans masc people to wear a packer, which gives the appearance of having a penis or bulge.
Hopefully next year, they’ll add underwear for trans women as well. Just like trans men use binders and packing underwear, some trans women use tucking underwear or gaffs to help alleviate their dysphoria. It would truly be amazing if you could buy affordable tucking underwear at Target.
Especially right now, when trans people are so under attack by the government and in the “culture wars,” this is a real and helpful way that Target can actually reach out to the LGBTQ+ community. It shows that Target is a place that welcomes trans people and says they belong.
Additionally, trans-friendly clothes can be hard to get, especially in smaller cities, so a mega-store like Target offering them to consumers allows a whole new segment of people to purchase the items. Trans or gender nonconforming people in red states can now just head over to their local Target and pretty discreetly and affordably get some affirming clothes.
Pieces in the TomboyX x Target collection include rainbow and trans flag colored briefs and bras, as well as the boy shorts, boxers, and the aforementioned binders and packing briefs. The clothes range in price from $15-$25.
Of course, it still is corporate Pride content, and not everything about the collection is having the same effect. Target was selling a shirt as a part of the collection using ACT UP’s famous “Silence = Death” slogan and art without permission and without donating proceeds to ACT UP.
After ACT UP NY posted that Target had not gotten permission and was not working with them, Target decided to pull the shirt.
To see all of the offerings in the TomboyX x Target collab, visit Target's official website here. The collection launches in stores nationwide on June 1.