Source: Universal Pictures/Target

Target's Pride Collection Goes to 'The Birds'

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Target's decision not to sell Pride merch in some stores didn't stop flocks of shoppers from snapping up a perfectly campalicious figurine calling back to Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The Birds."

NBC News reported that the $5 seasonal offering – its official name is "Movie Star Featherly Bird Friend" – is designed to echo Hedren's look from the 1963 horror thriller, in which birds of various species inexplicably descend on unwary towns to attack their human inhabitants.

"As of Tuesday afternoon, listings on eBay showed resellers hawking it for as much as $41.99," NBC News noted, before adding that the "Bird Friend" item "does not immediately reveal its connection to queer culture."

Dressed in a tiny plaid coat, miniature pearl necklace, and scarf, with daubs of color on its cheeks and above its mascaraed eyes, the figurine gives queer vibes that seem impossible to miss.

Perhaps not coincidentally, "'The Birds' was once included on The Advocate magazine's list of '17 Horror Films Only LGBT People Understand,'" in part because of the sapphic sparks shared onscreen by Hedren's character and the one played by co-star Suzanne Pleshette, NBC News recalled.

"Hitchcock's films in general are often known for queer subtexts," the article went on to note.

Gay Twitter certainly understood...

...even if some of the platform's users mistook the Hedren look for the stars of other queer classics.

An eruption of anti-LGBTQ+ animosity that included boycotts and trolling roiled last summer's Pride, as homophobic backlash to trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney's partnership with Bud Light metastasized in a more general pushback against Pride and companies that had supported it for years without controversy.

Target was one of the companies that suffered from the backlash, with shoppers threatening the chain's employees and attacking displays of merchandise both physically and online. The company responded by pushing Pride displays to the back of some stores and removing Pride merch from some other locations.

Target's fair-weather-friend response had some customers and equality advocates crying foul, but it seems shoppers looking for products with that special something extra have forgiven the company in time for this year's Pride month.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. 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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