Has Pride become too corporate? | The Tylt

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Culture
Has Pride become too corporate?
#KeepEmbracingPride
#KeepEmbracingPride
#StopCoOptingPride
#StopCoOptingPride

As LGBTQ-friendly companies—or those simply capitalizing on Pride—focus marketing efforts more and more on celebration and inclusion, some argue that the whole point of Pride is getting appropriated and diluted. Others welcome any and all positive messaging. This year, with parades and events cancelled due to COVID-19, the corporate presence, especially online, will likely be stronger than ever. Has Pride gone corporate?

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Has Pride become too corporate?
#KeepEmbracingPride
#StopCoOptingPride

Taking a look at all the temporary rainbow redesigns of corporate logos, it’s easy to forget that the modern incarnation of the LGBT rights movement began with a riot. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the aftermath of the infamous police raid on the gay nightclub, the Stonewall Inn. This year, with Pride celebrations shuttered, the corporate presence in social media will undoubtably be strong.

Does the recent trend of businesses celebrating Pride support LGBTQ communities and the history of activism, or simply trivialize it for a quick buck?

#KeepEmbracingPride

Pride is, first and foremost, a celebration by queer people for queer people, and a remembrance of the ongoing process of fighting inequality and oppression. But it’s also a big, fabulous explosion of color and music, making it a blast for LGBTQ people and allies alike. It’s only natural that forward-minded companies join in as both a marketing opportunity and a way to show real support.

Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index ranks several Fortune 500 companies in terms of LGBT inclusion, insurance for partners regardless of gender, medical support for trans people in transition, and other concerns. Some very large companies such as Walmart, Kroger and General Motors earned top marks. While not every business waving a flag this June is necessarily gay-friendly, at the very least the general trend in large companies is toward inclusion and fairness.

#StopCoOptingPride

While positive visibility and recognition are predominately viewed as beneficial to the queer community at large, there’s little value in a company waving a flag one month and forgetting the LGBTQ world the rest of the year. Unless a company actively engages in fair and inclusive practices and honestly looks at how it treats their employees and clients, businesses are just cashing in on a trend rather than doing any real good.

As marketing executive Jay Porter told the Chicago Tribune:

I don’t have any friends that only speak to me in June. I would hope that brands would treat the LGBT community the same way. The community is saying, ‘Don’t just be my friend when you think it’s my month.'

Even support from genuinely queer-friendly companies comes with its own problematic element, namely that it shifts the focus from the free expression of identity despite oppression to a watered-down commercial event that serves advertisers more than it does LGBTQ people.

#KeepEmbracingPride

Some large companies, such as Starbucks, have been longtime allies of LGBTQ communities. It's not hypocritical for them to utilize this in marketing. 

#StopCoOptingPride

Some people just ain't having it, regardless. Pride isn't a "hooray for capitalism" parade. 

VOTE NOW
Culture
Has Pride become too corporate?
#KeepEmbracingPride
#KeepEmbracingPride
#StopCoOptingPride
#StopCoOptingPride