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.