I’m the Most Popular Person at This Suburban Target (Because I’m Wearing a Tee That Says ‘I Heart Hot Moms’)

I had purchased the shirt while on a trip with my ex-girlfriend, who is not a mother. On this trip, we visited her mother and her grandmother, who I apparently offended. Things were not going well. It was probably a sign the relationship wasn’t for much longer. We were walking around the beach, still cold in May, trying to make the best of things.

In a touristy t-shirt shop in Virginia Beach, it glimmered out from a stack of tees with american flags and eagles or boring drinking jokes. I was drawn to it. I found my size. The lettering, marbled in yellow, white, blue, and pink was perfect. Without the yellow, it would have been the colors of the trans flag. I bought it for just $10. From what I remember, my ex was somewhere between rolling her eyes and not knowing what to say. I told her I obviously wouldn’t wear it around her mom.

It wasn’t until we were back home that I began wearing the shirt in earnest. I’d wear it while working out, mostly, or working around the house. That is, until one day when I had to run an errand for work deep in the country, like a 45 minute drive outside of Pittsburgh. When I parked in the person’s driveway, I had to watch out for chickens. I collected the boxes of merch I’d come for and chit-chatted a little with the lovely country queer who was helping me out. On my way home, I needed to stop somewhere for some household items, so Google Maps pulled up a Target in some suburb I’d never stopped in before.showed a Target on the way back, one in some suburb I’d never stopped in before. So, there I went.

More men than usual were looking at me, but it wasn’t with the either kind of oh-you’re-here-and-you-look-kinda-alt-maybe-I’m-interested looks I get from dudes in their late twenties, thirties, and forties or any kind of casual acknowledgement of hey-we’re-sharing-a-space-while-shopping kind of look. No, these were double-takes, nervous smiles, wide-eyed too-long stares. I looked down at my, let’s be real, braless but also relatively flat, chest.

“I Heart Hot Moms”

So, that was it.

The looks from the more normie women were subtler. Either they were too busy to care, or they gave the shirt a puzzled or concerned glance and kicked up the speed of their legging-wrapped legs. If I was allowed some conjecture, which, I’m wearing this shirt in a Target already so we’re already here, this was a great litmus test for identifying bisexual or queer suburban women, because some women with shopping carts stuffed with Capri Sun and other items indicating a family life (or chaotic bisexual addiction to juice, I guess) gave me wry little smiles from behind the straws of their Starbucks frappes. This shirt had actual hot moms in Target smiling at me!

It was a lot more attention than I ever have gotten in a Target. I was popular! Popular with hot, suburban, bisexual moms! Apparently, expressing your appreciation for people you think are hot via cheesy joke t-shirt is a tactic you can try, one I’m hopeful is maybe more funny than creepy in this case.

Then, as I grabbed what was probably just oat milk, toilet paper, and pop from the shelves, I rolled my cart past a few Target employees, their alternative lifestyle haircuts indicating some potential affiliation with queerdom. They gave me big smiles or nodded from behind masks. Also masked, I smiled with my eyes and nodded to acknowledge them.

After a quick run through the self checkout, I was ready to return to the anonymity of my good old Subaru hatchback, but on the way out, the employee on receipt checking gave me a broad smile. They had the slightly tan look of someone who gets outdoors a lot, and they had shoulder-length hair in a butch way. You know what I mean.

“I like your shirt.”

“Thank you. I didn’t realize I was wearing it.”

They closed their eyes when they smiled. They got it. The way this situation wasn’t even some intentional act of queer fuckery, but was just something that happened to happen. I wished them a wonderful day and went out into the sparkling sunshine and the heat of parking lot asphalt.

In case this was unclear, I do in fact heart hot moms, and I’m wishing all the hot moms out there a very good Mother’s Day. Oh, and yes, you can bet I’m wearing the shirt today.

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Nico Hall is Autostraddle's and For Them's Membership Editorial and Ops Dude, and has been working in membership and the arts for over a decade. They write nonfiction both creative and the more straightforward variety, too, as well as fiction. They are currently at work on a secret project. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram. Here's their website, too.

Nico has written 226 articles for us.


  1. Ugh I love this so much. Well done you. I have a thing for MILFs (who doesn’t???) and got a sticker that says “MILF” for my car. But it doesn’t say “I <3 MILFs” just “MILF” so who knows what ppl think!!!

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