Pride Month officially starts on June 1st, and it's an incredibly special month for the LGBTQ+ community. It honors the 1969 Stonewall uprising as well as the numerous LGBTQ+ individuals who have made their mark on history. It takes tremendous courage to come out to friends and family, and when someone does decide to come out, they can live their lives as openly as they can. Pride month is a way for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate who they are and live their true selves.
Many companies, however, have taken Pride month as an opportunity to make money off of the LGBTQ+ community. A lot of big brands like Calvin Klein and Nike have products that are aimed toward the LGBTQ+ community, but do not disclose if they are even donating any proceeds to help bring awareness to any LGBTQ+ organizations while companies like Fossil and Levi actually donate all of their profits to LGBTQ+ organizations like GLSEN or The Harvey Milk Foundation. It's great to see companies support the LGBTQ+ community during pride month, but why not support the LGBTQ+ community all year round instead of just during pride.
Now, don't get me wrong I love the idea of having more LGBTQ+ themed clothing items in my closet. I mean converse released some amazing shoes and Calvin Klein did just release a gorgeous jean jacket, but being apart of the LGBTQ+ community is not something that big brands should be making money off of. Being apart of the LGBTQ+ community isn't a trend, in fact, it's terrifying at times. According to the Washington Post, 40% of the homeless youth population is LGBTQ+, and so many LGBTQ+ teens don't even feel safe enough to come out of the closet because they fear that they will lose everything they know. That's why organizations like the Happy Hippie Foundation, an organization helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth, are extremely important. They help bring awareness to the actual issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
You can go ahead and purchase that amazing rainbow colored jacket or those gorgeous pride-themed shoes, but think about this before you do so: Is my purchase going to actually help affect change in the LGBTQ+ community or am I just helping big brands realize that they can make money off of the LGBTQ+ community this month? If you want to know about which brands are actively donating money to the LGBTQ+ community during pride month check out ET Online's report on it.