Political Notes: Political merchandise receive Pride designs

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Friday May 31, 2024
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President Joe Biden's reelection campaign is again selling the popular Pride-themed aviator T-shirts. Image: From Biden-Harris 2024<br>
President Joe Biden's reelection campaign is again selling the popular Pride-themed aviator T-shirts. Image: From Biden-Harris 2024

It is another Pride season during an election year, meaning political merchandising has gone rainbow-themed. LGBTQ voters have various options to show their support for their favored candidates or political party this June through Election Day on November 5.

At the top of the Democratic ticket President Joe Biden's reelection campaign, as of May 31, was hawking three T-shirts and a sticker pack via its online shop. It continues to sell a white tee featuring three rows of six aviator sunglasses in the colors of the rainbow flag.

While consumer goods of all kinds have seen their prices spike in recent years, Biden hasn't inflated the cost of the shirts, as they are selling for the same $32 as they did last year. The design plays off of the leader of the free world's penchant for wearing Ray-Ban 3025s sunglasses that are wire-rimmed and teardrop-shaped.

"Show your PRIDE in supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this summer. This reimagining of the president's signature sunglasses not only shows your community that you support LGBTQ+ folks, but also helps to ensure we can elect leaders who will protect them under the law," notes the campaign on the purchase page.

Stickers of Vice President Kamala Harris wearing a Pride-themed jacket decorated in rhinestones are available. Image: From Biden-Harris 2024  

Another white tee also selling for $32 features a photo of Vice President Kamala Harris waving a small Pride flag with her right arm while wearing an oversize denim jacket bedazzled with rainbow rhinestones. She had worn it to the San Francisco Pride parade back in 2019 when she was serving as a U.S. senator.

The image can also be purchased as a pack of two 2" x 2.5" stickers for $6. All purchases on Biden's campaign store are a donation to the Biden Victory Fund.

The national Democratic Party has its own Pride-themed sticker pack it is selling for $6. The two 3.75" x 4" stickers are in the shape of its mascot, a donkey, and features the rainbow stripes of the Pride flag.

The rainbow donkey is also featured on 100% cotton black or white tees and navy blue and white tank tops. All retail for $32 on the Pride section of the party's online store and purchases benefit the coffers of the Democratic National Committee.

There are also items featuring the images of pioneering Black LGBTQ advocates Bayard Rustin and Marsha P. Johnson. Additionally, there are tees and tanks for sale for either trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual Democrats.

"At the DNC, we stand with the LGBTQ+ community in the fight for equality," it notes. "We are committed to ending anti-LGBTQ+ violence, bullying, and discrimination, and creating a future where all LGBTQ+ Americans can live with dignity and respect in their communities, their workplaces, and their schools."

As for former President Donald Trump, convicted May 30 of all 34 charges in his hush money trail in New York state, his campaign once again doesn't appear to be selling anything Pride-related this year. A review of his campaign store ahead of June 1 didn't find anything rainbow-themed.

Back in 2019, ahead of his 2020 reelection bid, Trump had sold Pride-themed campaign items, as the Political Notes column noted at the time. In a recent email Emma Watson, the merchandise director for the Democratic National Committee, contrasted the pro-LGBTQ equality, voting rights and reproductive freedom messages featured on the party's merch versus what Trump is selling.

"Let's look at what Donald Trump is saying with his merch: he's selling $99 self-glorifying NFTs, $400 sneakers, and is trying to profit off the Bible. We think that says a lot about his intentions — that he's running this campaign for himself and his billionaire backers," noted Watson.

Down ticket in California Congressmember Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has several Pride-themed items for sale this year in his campaign store supporting his U.S. Senate bid. There is a white 100% cotton tee or tank for $30 that uses the rainbow colors to border his name in a 1970s Style Striped Logo Type Effect.

Congressional candidate Will Rollins' campaign is selling a Pride-themed tote bag. Image: From the Rollins campaign  

Gay congressional candidate Will Rollins (D), scheduled to be in San Francisco June 2 for a $100 per person fundraiser with Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, is selling an equality-themed tote bag for $30 among his campaign items this year.

The former federal prosecutor is again trying to unseat conservative Congressmember Ken Calvert (R-Corona). They are running for the 41st Congressional District seat includes the LGBTQ resort and retirement mecca Palm Springs where Rollins now lives.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has issued a Pride-themed bobblehead. Image: National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum  

Pride bobblehead debuts
As for non-politician related Pride products, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has issued its first rainbow-themed bobblehead. The Milwaukee-based institution is featuring the Progress Pride Flag, which includes the white, pink, and blue colors of the transgender pride flag with black and brown stripes representing people of color to form a chevron pointing right toward the rainbow stripes of the pride flag.

It costs $30 with an $8 flat-rate shipping charge per order. But they are not expected to ship until September.

"In celebration of Pride Month, we are honored to create the first-ever bobble of the Pride Flag," stated National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar. "The rainbow flag has been a symbol of Pride worldwide for nearly 50 years and we are confident this bobble will be a must-have for people in the LGBTQ community and everyone who supports them."

Keep abreast of the latest LGBTQ political news by following the Political Notebook on Threads @ https://www.threads.net/@matthewbajko.

Got a tip on LGBTQ politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail [email protected]

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