Every year when the Pride season officially starts, there’s an influx of adverts from brands and companies detailing how they’re “Officially Supporting Pride“. From streams of Facebook posts showing same sex couples holding hands and using the brand’s product, to novelty items where everything from bottles to burgers have been dyed rainbow colour. There aren’t many companies out there now that aren’t jumping on the Rainbow band wagon during Pride season.
Don’t get me wrong, plenty of brands get it right. From Skittles who started promoting their support for the LGBT community long before Pride season began, to IKEA who aired one of the first same sex couples in one of their commercials.
However, there are still a high percentage of businesses that take complete advantage, and when you look closely at some, they couldn’t be further from the meaning behind Pride. Some folks over on Twitter have even taken it upon themselves to challenge companies by asking them exactly how much they’ve donated to Pride or LGBT charities during Pride season.
Will proceeds from the RT Pride shirt be going to charities or will RT do more to support LGBT causes? @PodrickATX@MaxCookie
See, some brands state they’re supporting Pride, but look beyond their Rainbow coloured product and you’ll see nothing but the rainbow coloured product. No proceeds to an LGBT charity, not even a place in the Stonewall list of employers equality index. Once outside of the Pride season you’ll also often find adverts by said brand placed in news outlets that spread hate!
Good Job (!)
Being inclusive means more than just obeying the law. Failure to take positive action for LGBT people can harm a company’s workforce, its reputation and growth
– The Guardian
What also frustrates me during Pride season is when brands take advantage of the pink pound. Around June/July I’ll suddenly get an influx of emails about how shop X will be offering “exclusive discounts” during Pride – and yet their brand has zero relation to the LGBT community and has never once shown a same sex couple in their advertising (as a starting point!). They just want to take advantage.
If you’re a business and want to show support, here’s three simple ways you can be a genuine LGBT ally (if you want to become a better LGBTQ ally personally, here’s a guide to that here):
Support the LGBT community ALL YEAR ROUND.
Don’t wait until Pride to start supporting the LGBT community. Get yourself on the Stonewall employers index, educate yourself on diversity within the workplace, create an inclusive environment for customers, and start being more inclusive when it comes to your advertising!
Donate proceeds of Pride merchandise to LGBT charities.
If you really must focus solely on the Pride season, then at the very least make sure proceeds of your extra special merchandise (that probably would have cost very little extra to source) goes to an LGBT charity. Otherwise, you’re just taking advantage and that’s wrong!