As Pride Celebrations Across The Nation Are Canceled – Does This Mean Companies And Communities Will Be Less Prideful In June?
Many of us venture to other parts of the country, or even overseas, to celebrate in the beauty, brilliance, and joy that is our Pride celebrations. Heck, some of us have even been saving up our coins from last year to FINALLY take that trip to San Francisco or New York Pride. As we approach June, Pride Month, we as the LGBTQ community may feel a little less prideful. COVID-19 has hit every individual and every planned celebration around the globe. Some events in October are even being cancelled. While some cities are opting to reschedule and others believe going digital would be a good idea, it simply won’t be the same. All of this change, celebrations being dismissed, it brings up an important question: Without a parade to sponsor or merchandise to purchase, will corporations remain our allies and continue to show their support or will we have confirmation of what many of us deep down feel, that they were simply only pandering to the LGBT Community?
Let’s be realistic, some of the major corporations aren’t going to be heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, companies like Disney, Nike, and McDonalds are laying off workers, but those corporate pockets are deep and full for years to come. With that said, not being able to show it during the celebrations physically and in person, will they be able to showcase their pride in other meaningful ways? Could they continue to express their praise of the LGBTQ community digitally?
Will we have money to celebrate and splurge? With many people out of work and more of our personal funds going toward the essential daily items, most likely we will not be using any disposable income (if it exists) to be buying Pride paraphernalia marked up with corporate logos, the rainbow edition 2.0. This means that corporations are now going to have the marketing drive to fully back and support us, our celebrations, our community.
Will we survive without their support? Don’t get us wrong, we know that our rainbow is being misused to make money by many (not all) corporations, often called “pink-washing.” But what are these corporations looking for in return? No, they are not getting any money from us by hanging their banners or letting their Speedo-clad boys gyrate on a parade float for our enjoyment. They are looking for the name recognition and brand remembrance so we can have their company/product in our mind when we pull out our cash. One of the bigger corporation categories that support our community “spirit”-ually are the alcohol companies. We wonder, should these companies maybe look into supporting our bars, keeping them afloat, until this thing is over or better?
We also know that LGBTQ centers across America are supported by organizations that step up during the pride month(s). These centers need the support to keep their doors not necessarily open at this time, but keep the bills paid and the doors ready to be opened. A lot is at stake for corporations as Pride approaches, but there is a great deal at stake for our community, too – and these businesses should know we are closely watching.
Collectively as a community, we should be considering how we will continue to demonstrate our pride, may it be during the traditional month of June that our LGBTQ leaders have trailblazed for us or throughout the rest of the year.
What are ways you believe we can continue the traditions and celebration despite not being together? Are virtual prides the answer? How do you think corporations should step up and show their pride and support? Will we prove to ourselves and the world that LGBTQ+ Pride is more than a parade with booze, beads,parties, and parades?
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.
Image from “Companies Sporting a Rainbow Version of Their Logo for Pride Month” by Brian Hadaway.