Business owners from Phoenix on a mission of acceptance with ‘Gay Pride Apparel’ clothing line

From the Maryvale neighborhood in west Phoenix to the big apple, how these two helped a retail giant create a wave of Pride merchandise.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:12 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Sergio Aragon and Jesus Gutierrez have been best friends since grade school, growing up in Phoenix, with big dreams about making a difference. They weren’t quite sure what their mission in life was until a few years ago, when the two gay men created their own line of clothing and accessories called Gay Pride Apparel. “We come from 51st Ave and Indian School, and now, look at us taking this call here in New York City with you,” said Aragon. “It’s all, literally, a dream come true.”

The savvy business owners noticed all the fanfare and celebration surrounding Pride Month every June, when cities across the country recognized the LGBTQ community. But then, it goes away. “June 1st comes up, and every single store, every single sidewalk has rainbow,” said Gutierrez. “But then July 1st comes, and its all washed out, all thrown out.”

The Arizona entrepreneurs believed the LGBTQ community should have a way to show their pride year round, so they came up with a line of products designed to celebrate and empower the LGBTQ community every day. “We’re like, we needed to do something to make sure everyone feels accepted and loved in our community,” said Aragon.

Their pledge to spread the love, just got a much wider audience. Retail giant Walmart has just launched an exclusive collection of Gay Pride Apparel, that is now available in stores nationwide. “Walking into a store and seeing two gay men plastered on a little display with all our products, I think its very special,” said Gutierrez.

The businessmen are especially excited about having their products on display in their hometown Walmart stores back in Phoenix, where all their friends and family can see them. “They’re all so excited to see their kids, grown up kids, in a Walmart store, which is such a big accomplishment,” said Aragon.

All the attention is nice, but Aragon and Gutierrez say the best part of having their gay pride products go national, is the acceptance that comes with it. “I hope that someone out there can finally feel seen by walking into a Walmart with their parents, or by themselves going grocery shopping,” said Gutierrez. “To acknowledge our history - we’ve come a long way as a queer community.”

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