This article was published on January 7th, 2023
Do you look forward to pride every year? Every year when you get to the festivities and whisper under your breath, “this place is so packed, why did I even come?”
If you have done this, have you wondered why?
Well, keep reading because in this post we are going to tell you what Pride has become, and three excellent ideas for making a change.
To understand what we’re leading with you must first understand that Pride around the world is paid for with donations. Without donations and the cash needed to get the festivals up and running, they would cease to exist.
Now, think about the world and how it works. How do big businesses continue to make more money year on year?
One simple word, advertising.
The last time you went to a Pride parade, festival or after party, or even pre-party, you saw Sponsoring brands everywhere you look.
When you’re at the bar, you may see Stoli – our choice of vodka because of how they support the LGBTQ community, including HomoCulture. You look around and can see various companies’ advertisements everywhere.
At the parade, you may see Wells Fargo and Target, businesses which heavily contribute to the advancement of our community.
At the after party, you see a promotion bar in the club. These people walk around and give out drinks for free and they’re usually paid for by the company giving them out.
The companies do this for brand awareness. The companies here are specifically targeting us to hopefully make a profit in the future. It’s important to know that not all these brands are contributing to LGBTQIA+ bias, but many of them are.
We’ve previously talked about how companies target our community specifically during June because it’s Pride month.
But should we allow them to do so if they have an insidious agenda, without the intent of improving their antiquated policies that affect us negatively?
Oppressive LGBTQ policies such as parental leave only being available to those in heterosexual partnerships? Or not making a policy that prevents people at work asking us about orientation at work?
The policies are oppressive and since Pride is becoming a power house advertising event for companies advertising to us, perhaps we should verify they actually care about us.
Earlier in this article we talked about brand awareness. This is the act of advertising continuously even if you know it’s not bringing in immediate new sales.
Coca Cola does an excellent job of brand awareness advertising. You never see an ad telling you to buy a Coca Cola, but the next time you’re thirsty, statistically you have a higher chance of choosing a Coca Cola over any other soft drink in front of you.
It’s because the company knows the psychology of sales, of which the largest part is awareness. Always being fresh in your mind leads to increased sales.
The companies that are taking part in donations with Pride festivals do so with the intent of receiving a coveted spot in the parade or at an event. We say coveted because in all these circumstances the businesses will be exposing their brand to a large amount of people in one community.
The truth is, these companies know the value of our business, and they know they can reach a large amount of us at the Pride Parade. For businesses that never partake in the advancement of our lives, we should not allow this to happen.
Behind every business at Pride, there is a business trying to make a profit off us somewhere. The goal of the bank is to show it is inclusive, meaning to earn your business. The alcohol brands want you to know they love the community so you should have fun with them. They’re trying to bring us into their narrative and have us see them as the hero in our problems.
What could we do to ensure that these businesses, which could be taking advantage of us, are ensuring our best interest is at heart? How do we know which businesses would have our best interest at heart, even if money weren’t involved?
The first thing to do is understand which businesses have truly equal LGBTQIA+ workplace policies. To do this you can check The Human Rights campaign’s company equality index. This equality index is a comprehensive look into businesses that are LGBTQ+ friendly in the United States.
The next thing we need to do, is keep our money in our pockets, and not circulating in these businesses which use us. Because, when we stop giving them money, they will begin to wonder why and implement changes until they get the answer. It’s kind of like one big A/B test until we are the variable that helps them understand they need to focus more on our community when they advertise to us and benefit from our pink dollars.
Finally, you should research which businesses will be sponsoring or donating to your local pride celebration and let the organizers know how unfriendly they truly are.
Do you feel pride has become something it’s not? If so, are you willing to find out which businesses these are and make a change? Let us know in the comments below.