[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.