LGBT+ pandering only during Pride month doesn’t go unnoticed

Staff Report

Pride month rolls around every year in June. It’s a time for the LGBT+ community to come together and celebrate. It’s also a time for brands to turn everything they can think of rainbow to pander to the LGBT+ community.

The athletic retailer Nike is catching some flak for its “BeTrue” design, which employs the use of the pink triangle on its sneakers. For decades, the pink triangle has been used and identified by many as a symbol of LGBT+ protest and by the AIDS activist organization, ACT UP.

ACT UP, which recently celebrated its 30th year of working for equality, took some offense with Nike’s use of the symbol. “Hey @Nike, we love that our work moves you. How about donating the proceeds to current work we continue to do?” ACT UP said in a tweet.

ACT UP co-facilitator Jason Rosenberg said, “The corporatization of Pride has been an ever-looming issue we’ve been seeing for [the] past decade and beyond. We’ve seen companies and institutions participate in pride en masse, even some that have poor LGBTQIA+ employment discrimination records or an utter lack of representation in the workroom. ...

“We deserve better [than] to have our work be exploited by corporations that profiteer off grassroots resistance imagery.”

Nike isn’t the only brand caught up in controversy this Pride month.

Chrissy Amber, a resident of Fayetteville, exiled a major media platform over LGBT+ exploitation, “Youtube is about as exploitative as they can get. They demonetize and blacklist LGBT+ content creators, and then create elaborate ads ‘celebrating pride.’”

The site’s Restricted Mode feature, introduced by Google to “filter out potentially inappropriate content,” automatically hides many LGBT videos. LGBT+ creator Rowan Ellis sparked the controversy after posting a video in which she said the move by YouTube implied a “bias” because it “equates LGBT with ‘not family friendly.’”

Katrina Kalb, LGBT+ activist in Oklahoma said “For me to trust a business, I must see integrity in the business. For an entity to be opportunistic during Pride is more upsetting to me than the business who opposes Pride. I believe there should be [more] clarity for all marginalized communities to know who truly supports them versus those who are discriminating.

“We have as much of a right to know who we are giving our dollars to, as those who believe they have a right to discriminate. There is power in business protest. The LGBT+ community, as well as their allies, have a great voice with great power knowing who to support and who not to. Their voice leads to conversations; which leads to education which in turn leads to minds and votes changing. Thus, changing the tide of a community as a whole in their support.”

Business isn’t the only ones eager to take advantage of the queer community during Pride month. Politicians also use this time to try to capture the LGBT+ vote.

Politicians can sometimes fall under the false assumption that walking in their city’s Pride parade suddenly makes them an ally to the LGBT+ community.

A political ally dedicates themselves to fighting for LGBT+ rights year ‘round, not just during June or at Pride events.

Brands and politicians who pander during Pride month do not go unnoticed. These actions are unwelcomed by many; but also prompts a plea for ally-ship 365 days a year, not just during one month of the year.

Copyright The Gayly 7/3/2018 @ 3:36 p.m. CST.