Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Is Pride Too Commercial Now?

reject modernity


embrace tradition


[Tweet by SzMarsupial]

I'm sure we all remember back in the day when corporations wouldn't touch the LGBTQ+ community with a 10 foot pole for fear of public stigmatization by association (along with governments, churches and charitable funding organizations of all kinds). This made it impossible to fundraise for the provision of our community's social services like coming out groups, peer counselling, suicide prevention hotlines, health care in the midst of the AIDS crisis, etc. All services to our community ran on a proverbial shoestring and only existed at all thanks to generous individual LGBTQ+ donors and an army of volunteers.

Well, now that the LGBTQ+ community is more accepted and respected (and our purchasing power is more understood), corporations all love us, of course. They eagerly participate in Pride celebrations, splashing their logos everywhere and ready to sell rainbow everything to everyone. They're all keen to turn a buck on Pride these days!







Along with everyone else, I cast a cynical and somewhat disapproving eye on this development. However, I also know that Pride Committees (certainly here in Canada and, I'm sure, elsewhere) don't let big corporations just have a free ride. Corporate participants are pressed to show their commitment to LGBTQ+ issues by coughing up sponsorship money for various aspects of Pride Festivals, which are expensive to stage these days given their sheer size and inclusiveness. Event insurance coverage alone can cost mega bucks. I applaud and encourage shaking down these corporations for as much money as we can get out of them for the opportunity to market to our community, both at Pride and all year long.

And yes, there is also non-monetary value in corporations demonstrating acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, helping to make that acceptance mainstream and visible, reducing the perception that our community is without supporters and allies.


So, all things considered, I can live with greater commercialization of the Pride movement as a necessary means to an end.

However, HRH the Cat is urging me not to be an idiot and, in these lucrative times, to cash in on my own behalf. What can I say? She's always been a bad influence on me.


37 comments:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Hahahaha
HRH may be right, but I am with Jason Hudson: I understand the thirst of companies that suddenly go gay in June but it does bring a smile to my face seeing all the tacky gay shit they pull out of their heterosexual minds.


XOXO

Lisa said...

I feel the same about pink ribbons in October. But you arrived at the best advice I can give you on the subject, take the good the money brings. Better to have rainbows dripping from the crevices than to go it alone. Besides, it gives the celebates of the world like me a chance to appreciate you. Sending rainbow hearts and hoping that you have an excellent pride month

Travel said...

My how things have changed in the past 30 years

Boud said...

I think hrh has the right idea! cut out the middleone.

Bob said...

The LGBTQ+ community needs to do their due diligence and find out who supports all year and not just in June, and then shine a light on the wannabes.

Marie Smith said...

HRH is brilliant!

Frank said...

I agree, it's a two edge sword...not that's not the right image...but you get it. Also, many of these corporations donate big to conservative, anti-LGBTQ candidates in the US. They put their money where they get the biggest return on investment. Pride is not so much a core value as a brand.

pam nash said...

HRH always offers good advise!

Linda said...

Hmmm, HRH gets smarter and smarter hahaha! It's true what you say Debra, both of the cons and pros. Great nuanced entry!

Adam said...

I just can't wait for the day Chick-fil-A will go rainbow in June 🌈đŸŗ️‍🌈🍗🐔

Leanna said...

Corporations are always finding a way to make a quick buck off of someone or something. I can say one thing though if the cause isn't big enough then they won't know or even look at you.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I don’t mind companies cashing in on us during Pride. I just like to know which companies DON’T support us the rest of the year.

Give me your PayPal info. (Or would you prefer a check?)

Breenlantern said...

I never actually support an organization just because it slaps a rainbow on its logo or home page once a year. But I'd rather see them pander to us than vilify us.

Sassybear
https://idleeyesandadormy.com/

Old Lurker said...

The problem of Pride is that it is not commercial enough. Wouldn't it be great if 10/37 year olds in Saudi Arabia or Brunei could see rainbows screaming in their shopping malls, or their social media logos rainbow-colored? But that is far too much to ask. It would be cultural imperialism, and could lead to legal troubles, and might affect profits.

What kind of world is this when we are hoping Disney (Disney?!) wields its corporate might to keep Florida in check? Instead we can expect more political donations from the company to Republicans who vote for anti-trans legislation. That's corporate pride!

Quinley said...

It's really nice that companies (and people) nowadays are more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. However, I agree also it doesn't (always) feel completely genuine given that they do it for money and not (always) because they care. (Disney for example is a good example of this).
-Quinley

Anonymous said...

Gay washing, like green washing, serves the corporations' profit statements. Due diligence is required to know the facts, but it's exhausting! It's hard to keep up with which companies are using us for their own profit and sending our dollars to the enemy in government.

I do remind all of my lesbian friends that while H*me Dep*t is a great spot to find a friendly dyke, that company is a huge supporter of the drump. They don't get any of my hard earned cash!

Meanwhile, I agree that it is heartwarming and fun to see rainbows everywhere during Pride month. đŸŗ️‍🌈
Thank you, Debra, for the great post and reminder!
E

yellowdoggranny said...

as long as they are embracing their not tossing stones..so enjoy it..

Fundy Blue said...

This leaves me feeling sad and angry, Debra. I'm glad that corporations are supporting the LGBTQ+ community with some sponsorship. But I'd like to see the executives stand up and vote for for people who would effect change in the laws for gay people. These corporate decision makers are far more likely to vote for people who will advance their corporate bottom line by cutting taxes for them and other things like that.
I feel like gay rights are going backwards in parts of my country and hate is becoming more open. It is discouraging. At least Canada gives me hope!

Joanne Noragon said...

I'm the grandmother of four LGBTQ+ grands, and they truly do drive the way they are accepted, except among the homophobic among us, but the times they still are achanging. I am proud of them.

Mistress Maddie said...

Simple answer....YES!

Lady M said...

Perhaps you should start a "go fund me" page.

Mike said...

So, do YOU have exchangeable goods and services? 😁

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Lady M -- HRH says she likes how you think.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Mike -- My agent HRH says, for YOU, a warm and genuine smile from me can be had for a mere $100. That's a helluva deal!

Kirk said...

These corporations play it both ways. Capitalizing on Pride, but also giving money to anti-gay politicians. Still, like Jason Hudson, I can't help wishing it was there when I was growing up. The best you could hope for back then was Johnny Carson making fun of Anita Bryant in his monologue.

But it's not only LGTBQ. There's been those moments when corporations have tried to capitalize on the ENVIRONMENTALIST movement. How weird is that?

Richard said...

I don't trust it. Not one tiny bit. I am not going to go to Burger King and buy a gay burger. It is good that they feel the need to get our money, but it is cynical and wrong.
They think they can have us in their pockets, if they slap
a rainbow sticker on it every June. My experience as a gay man and LGBTQ person is personal.

Mike said...

@Deb -- Are you going to smile for the whole hour?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Mike -- A whole HOUR? HRH says it's $100 per MINUTE. I'm top shelf, man.

Sandy said...

Money does speak, certainly always has and always will...but, better visibility and acceptance is long over due and welcomed. Change comes in many forms.

This N That said...

Love these..Hope you are having a fun month!!!

Liz Hinds said...

Jason's words are telling.

Janie Junebug said...

I didn't realize corporations had jumped on the PRIDE bandwagon, but it's better than shunning gay people. We have PRIDE information on the large monitors where I work.

Love,
Janie

LL Cool Joe said...

Sorry I haven't been around but I've loved catching up on your Pride posts. Some great memes. Thanks for the laughs and hard work. You must spend hours finding all this stuff!

Laura Morrigan said...

Yeah, good and bad! Take em for all they have, I say!

Martha said...

Money certainly talks, as usual. And I also applaud the shaking down of these corporations that are self-serving. At least the community is getting exposure.

Rommy said...

Darling Youngest is definitely a rainbows EVERYWHERE kind of person, while I do shake my head at the corporate appropriate of Pride now that there's money to be made. I just try to reframe it as being happy that it's so much easier for my child to be himself than it was in past years.

Ur-spo said...

this week alone I heard two podcasts on this issue. One was along the line 'how I stopped worrying and came to love it" while the other was very much against it.
I think it wasn't too long ago companies feared looking 'gay supportive' lest there was backlash viz. drop in sales, so any company visible is OK as far as that goes.
all the same I heard many of these 'out of the closet' companies still donate to bad people.