If you’ve poked around your social media today you may have seen a lot of businesses have changed their logo to incorporate the Pride flag. Like clockwork, many companies will do this to mark the start of Pride month.
I mean, that’s great and all. I think our community should absolutely be celebrated and supported. Perhaps I am being cynical and uncharitable but when a multi-billion dollar company says they support the LGBTQIA+ community, I ask myself HOW they do so.
Sure, they may have a diversity/inclusion committee on staff, but does their support extend beyond this? I am not asking for a parade or anything like that, I just want to know what they do to support us.
At the very least, I hope that a business isn’t hypocritical. It’s contradictory for a company to say they celebrate diversity but at the same time they donate money to politicians who support conversion therapy or those who vote to limit our basic rights.
Sure, it’s nice when Amazon has a “Support LGBTQIA+ voices” image on their website but the pessimistic part of me thinks that this is a thinly veiled attempt to just sell more stuff. A cursory, minimal gesture.
And YES, I KNOW a business has a goal of growing their business and they are trying to make as much as money as they can, but is Amazon, for lack of a better phrase, putting it’s money where it’s mouth is?
Well, let’s find out.
According to Business Insider:
At the same time, the company’s PAC split donations from 2019 to 2020, donating $659,000 to Democratic candidates and $648,500 to Republicans. More than $460,000 of those donations went to politicians who voted against the Equality Act.
Now, before you start blowing up my email and posting unhinged comments, the point of this little blurb is about donating money to people who voted against the Equality Act. It’s kind of hard to feel supported by a business that donates money to politicians who tried to stop this legislation.
The Equality Act was pretty straight-forward with its goals. According to congress.gov, the bill, in part, reads:
This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
I don’t know, but to me donating money to people who want to stop something like this is the opposite of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
Amazon isn’t unique in this hypocrisy. If you did enough research into publicly disclosed corporate donations it would be hard to find almost any company that isn’t contradictory in the celebrate Pride/financial contributions paradox.
This makes it tricky for someone like myself who wants to support LGBTQIA+ businesses and avoid those that, well, aren’t. I won’t eat at certain restaurants buuuut I do order from Amazon on occasion. By definition, this also makes me a hypocrite.
It would be almost impossible to live a life that cuts all financial ties to companies that have this contradiction. I wouldn’t be surprised if my mortgage holder pays lip service about celebrating Pride but making political contributions to people that don’t align with my values. Sure, I can stop going to a certain store but changing who my mortgage is with is not as simple.
At the end of the day, we just do what we can. Almost everything has been commercialized whether it’s Pride month or Christmas. It’s easy to be cynical.
Don’t let a business tell you to feel pride about who you are. It’s easy to forget that visibility for those in the LGBTQIA+ community was started by people who just were tired of being vilified and being attacked for being who they were and loving who they loved.
4 thoughts on “It’s Pride Month In Case You Hadn’t Noticed”
I was on a committee doing endowments for a very very large organization.
Our committee was composed of marketing, finance and PR representatives. Everything we selected was run through a process to determine the value of support. If the value did not exceed the cost of doing so independently then we were not allowed to donate to the cause. Most of things that committee found to be most needed were nixed because they did not create enough value.
Corporations don’t give out of the goodness of their heart or to fight social injustices. They simply give to get more in return.
Like you said, if you support us then do so in a meaningful way not just through marketing campaigns.
I don’t worry to much about who supports this or that
The best way for me to show folks that we are here is just be visible.
I mean if a business is blatantly bias against someone like me then sure I stay away
But mostly I don’t worry much about it in my day to day life
You will never change everyone’s mind about trans folks or gay folks
Always enjoy your commentary and analysis. The Supreme Court’s ruling on over throwing Roe vs Wade is the start of the erosion of personal freedoms for every American. 2022 is important to vote for the candidate that reflects our values. Progress means not restricting our hard earned rights.
I understand where you are coming from, a lot of members of the LGBTQ community feel the way you do. A simple logo change or an extra commercial or two during the month of June is not enough. Same thing goes for Black History Month, don’t just support Black people during the shortest month of the year. Support and respect Black people all year long. Same goes for AAPI month and all the other heritage months. But we who are in these communities that have celebratory months should also take some solace in the fact that year after year these big companies and businesses always have to plan out for us during our months. We always have to be in out minds. And without these months, they would lthink less and less of us.It is always great to want more, but let’s cherish what we have presently as well.