With another Pride Month that has come and gone, many companies are ditching the trendy rainbow ads they donned all June and are opting back to their standard marketing campaigns. During June, it can seem amazing the amount of rainbow clothing and flags that are everywhere, but that does not always equal the amount of support those companies are giving back. It is no surprise that there are companies that take advantage of people's want for celebration. These companies appear supportive on the surface, when in reality all they're doing is slapping a rainbow on clothing and calling it "pride."
It's totally great that companies want to make advertisements that show support for Pride Month, but not if it's purely for status or corporate gain. There is no room for corporation greediness in our world; we have enough of that already.
Pride Month is a time dedicated to honoring the history of the LGBTQ+ community, while also celebrating the progress that has been made. Wearing a rainbow top and day drinking is not the point of Pride Month. For some, it is the only time they feel able to outwardly express who they are.
When companies create pride campaigns with little to no contribution back to support the community, what they're doing is ultimately selfish. They are capitalizing on a community of people who want nothing more than to celebrate their pride. Even if the initial intention is to do something good, it means nothing if it isn't backed by support, donations, and taking part in the conversation of LGBTQ+ rights.
There are companies and people who are doing the right thing in terms of support. Through my own research, I came across many companies that donate 50-100% of proceeds from their pride lines to organizations that directly benefit the LGBTQ+ community, like The Trevor Project.
So much of why companies show this surface-level support in the first place has to do with image. Image matters to us as individuals and it especially matters to companies. The image we give off affects how people perceive us. So then why is it that companies want to give off a false image?
I think representation in every way is important. People want to relate to what they see in advertisements, movies, etc. It makes us feel apart of a community. It is so special to be celebrated as an individual but it is also just as special to see people you relate with on a large platform. The representation should not be just a way to meet a quota. It should be a genuine act of support.
As I move forward, I want to be more socially aware of the products I buy, especially if the company is claiming support for a specific community of people. There is nothing wrong with being loud and proud about who you are and what you believe in, but there are ways to make sure that your pride roots in love and support that is deeper and active within the community, in ways both big and small. Do your research, stay educated, and live proudly, 365 days a year.