This pride month, since I am out and proud already in most of my social settings, I want to focus on something this month that isn’t about myself and my own identity.
I want to talk about rainbow capitalism.
Rainbow Capitalism is where large companies MS paint their logos rainbow for all of June to “Celebrate that love is love” while in their ads, disembodied hands hold one another on a bench. Where are these people’s heads? Rude, giving them no heads.
This sort of capitalism on LGBTQ+ identities for monetary gain is actually extremely hurtful to the community, it’s not the same as “Holiday” capitalism. Not only are the profits of those products not going towards any sort of LGBTQ charity or LGBTQ cause, but most of these companies also pay money towards politicians in their CEO’s home states that actively hate the LGBTQ community and vote to denounce their civil rights even further.
It’s all extreme pandering to make it seem like a company is on board with LGBTQ identities and lifestyles when really, their record shows that they aren’t in the slightest. While capitalism is toxic in many forms, this has to be one of the worst ways to do it.
What should companies do instead?
Using their platform to educate others about the many intersectional queer identities is a start. For example, Bud Light (Yes, that Bud Light) for this June has not only given their logos multiple LGBTQ flags but explained to their audience what they mean, and battled any trolls in their way. And education is what’s most important. If you’re going to do Rainbow capitalism that is digestible to cisgender heterosexual folks, then you might as well educate them in the process.
Reach out to LGBTQ centers and Planned parenthoods (who supply a lot of gay and transgender healthcare), and give them money. Yes, give away money. Shocking for a company to do, but if you want to help the LGBTQ community, this is the indirect way to help. Especially if you’re selling our flag, then give the money back to us somehow.
Another acceptable way for Cisgender Heterosexual people and companies to celebrate the LGBTQ community during Pride month is to donate, donate, donate directly to LGBTQ and especially Transgender people in crisis. So many people post their PayPal links online in social forums like Twitter and Facebook, to escape a hostile home environment to funding their social or physical transition. Donate directly to us, and that’s how you help us directly and get +20 ally points.
But Rhian what if I want some cute rainbow merch? If I’m an LGBTQ person myself and need something for Pride? Then please, please, if you can, buy directly from LGBTQ artists. There are so many out there, and they are so talented it kills me. Buy directly from them on Teespring or Etsy, or Amazon, Ebay, etc. They will appreciate the added business, and you’ll have some rockin’ socks or shirt by an actual LGBTQ artist (+20 gay points) at Pride.
All in all, if a company wants to support LGBTQ people, support us directly, not slapping a rainbow sticker and calling it ‘good’. I hope this made you reconsider buying that rainbow covered Listerine, toilet paper, or rainbow sugar cookies with the frosting that has so much sugar that it’s so sweet, a little too sweet, and a little too good to be true.
(Featured Image: Here)
(I actively encourage any links to someone’s PayPal or Artwork in the comments!)