You know Pride’s here when you start seeing commercials from the most unlikely companies/corporations in a bid to snatch up our pink dollars. In the last week alone I counted at least three random ads- even one from a car company- with noticeably colourful rainbow-esque undertones and same-sex couples (even interracial ones) riding on queer hot topics like gay parenting, gay marriage and most recently trans issues-like the bathroom fiasco- all whilst reminding us to purchase with pride– cause they support us. Good to know the almighty dollar knows no gender or sexuality. I’m here for it- the increased visibly and all- BUT what’s the real motive and end game of this seasonal show of support? Does it really benefit us- the queer community- or just fatten the pockets of already filthy rich corporations?
My thing is this: if you really support us then why only advertise this support around/during pride and what, if anything, have you done- besides perhaps a very public donation or sponsorship (again usually around pride)- for the queer community. Do you actively ensure unbiased employment of LGBTQ identified persons? Do you provide a safe harassment free work environment for your queer/trans employees free from retaliation? Or do you make a point of NOT supporting or doing business with anti-gay corporations/businesses? Lip service and seasonal tosses of cash shouldn’t be the only influencing factor in how we spend.
On the flip I give props to companies and small business that make a point of embodying that support year round.. Those businesses that don’t only display the pride flag or rainbow stickers for the month of June. Those mom and pop businesses that show up and provide moral support and even supplies like blankets, coffee or a warm meal to homeless LGBTQ youth in dead of winter. Companies whose workforce actually reflects diversity at all levels, not just customer facing. Would you not prefer to support those businesses rather than the once a year flash in the pan ones with the appealing ads?
My point is simple: true support requires no advertisement. So before you jump outta pocket for your annual pride swag or whatever, remember to support the businesses that actually support you.