The North Face, a company specializing in clothing and supplies for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, is standing by its Pride participation despite right-wing criticism after it featured a drag queen in an online ad.
The ad for North Face’s “Summer of Pride” campaign features Pattie Gonia and debuted on Instagram Wednesday. “I’m a real-life homosexual,” the queen says in a video. “I’m here with the North Face to help you come out ... in nature with us.” They go on to show some of the company’s Pride Collection merchandise and note that North Face will host outdoorsy Pride events in Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
Congresswomen and far-right firebrands Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert are among those calling for a boycott of North Face.
“Big name brands sexually targeting children makes me want to buy all generic brand clothing now,” Greene tweeted. “Besides.. we can save a fortune NOT wasting money on labels that are grooming our children.” In reality, there’s nothing sexual about the North Face campaign.
Boebert tweeted, “Well, I guess North Face wanted to get a taste of what conservatives did to Bud Light and Target,” referring to outrage over Bud Light’s partnership with transgender celebrity Dylan Mulvaney and Target’s Pride merchandise. “How many times do we have to explain to the woke marketing departments at these disgusting companies that America is not a nation of degenerates? It’s time to boycott ANY product North Face has ever made. Let’s make it as shameful to wear North Face as it is to drink Bud Light!”
Several other conservatives tweeted denunciations of North Face as well.
North Face, however, is standing firm. “The North Face has always believed the outdoors should be a welcoming, equitable and safe place for all,” a company spokesperson said in response to an inquiry from Newsweek. “We are honored and grateful to support partners like Pattie Gonia who help make this vision a reality. … Creating community and belonging in the outdoors is a core part of our values and is needed now more than ever. We stand with those who support our vision for a more inclusive outdoor industry.”
The company’s support contrasts with Target’s decision to pull some of its Pride merchandise after receiving threats and Bud Light brewer Anheuser-Busch’s mixed reaction to the right-wing criticism. North Face also posted a statement on Instagram, saying, "We recognize the opportunity our brand has to shape the future of the outdoors and we want that future to be a more accepting and loving place. We're partnering with Pattie because we believe the outdoors are for everyone. The North Face online community is designed to be a safe, positive and inclusive environment. It's why we have a zero-tolerance policy against racist, discriminatory, threatening, abusive, harmful, vulgar or attacking social media comments, which will be removed immediately."
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued a statement praising North Face: “Including LGBTQ people and holding true to your corporate values is good for business. The North Face is following hundreds of other businesses that include and stand with LGBTQ people and our allies. At a time when over 20% of Gen Z is LGBTQ and a supermajority of Americans support LGBTQ people, The North Face’s decision should be a signal to other companies that including LGBTQ people and allies is better for business than siding with a small number of violent extremists who want to keep LGBTQ consumers and employees invisible.”