HONOLULU (KHON2) — As many states across the U.S. are battling for control of the culture wars, everyone else is enjoying the freedom of expression.
One such event took place in New York on Saturday, June 10.
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H&M USA made history on Saturday by breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ official title for the “Most People Attending a Drag Brunch”. The event was held to honor national Pride month and to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community, according to an H&M spokesperson.
The event in New York provided space for a 412-person drag brunch in the Brooklyn borough. H&M donated proceeds from the brunch to Marsha P. Johnson Institute which also co-hosted the event.
“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with H&M, a global retailer that puts real and significant resources behind their PRIDE commitments,” Elle Moxley, Founder and CEO of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute said. “At a time when the trans community and drag performers are being villainized, targeted by dehumanizing legislation and cast out from communities, this World Record demonstrates that no effort will interrupt the beauty of our community.
According to GLAAD, there have been 161 protests and significant threats since early 2022 that have sought to stifle individual freedoms.
The drag brunch featured almost two hours of performances from Aquaria and five show-stopping drag queens: Dragon Sisters, Vena Cava, Victoria Holiday, Serena Tea, Mo’Riah and Janelle No.5.
“Pride is to be supported 365 days a year, but our initiatives during June highlight this ongoing commitment,” says Carlos Duarte, President of H&M Region Americas. “While we have moments like this to mark the importance of art and joy in our community, we will continue our consistent commitment to groups like the Marsha P. Johnson Institute which provide vital services and empowerment to so many in need.”
H&M indicated that the company made a decision to “double down” on its year-round commitment to providing a safe workplace for diverse individuals and groups of people.
“H&M proudly stands with the LGBTQIA+ community and is unwaveringly committed to inclusivity for everyone, 365 days a year,” said an H&M spokesperson.
H&M has been partnering with the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, a national nonprofit dedicated to protecting and defending the human rights of Black transgender people, for three years.
“Our continued glory in celebrating who we are by bringing people together to set this world record shows the strength and support of the broader community that stands with us,” added Moxley. “We are so grateful to H&M for their continued support and platform and the resources that events like these provide for not only the elevation of issues around our communities but direct support that celebrates artistry and individuality. We are overjoyed that this event set a new World Record!”
In June 2023, H&M said it relaunched its campaign, “My Chosen Family”. This initiative seeks to celebrate the essential role of non-biological families in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. H&M, which is an official sponsor for both New York City and Los Angeles Pride Parades, said the concept will be showcased as part of H&M’s floats in both parades.
“Our culture of inclusion at H&M extends not only to our colleagues, but also our customers and the communities in which we operate,” says Donna Dozier Gordon, Head of Inclusion and Diversity for H&M Region Americas. “Community connections bring H&M’s I&D commitments to life and shape the legacy we will leave.”
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In addition to all the other work H&M is doing to support humanity and all its diversity is to provide ongoing support of The Ali Forney Center, ACLU and the Trevor Project.