i’ve been talking to some friends recently about the pride parade and how it’s evolved over time... the pride movement started as protests and riots to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities/demand = rights, but ever since it started featuring big companies and brands..
...I started to get uncomfortable with the performance of it. someone who’s opinion I really value brought their pov to light in that it seems more about advertising oneself as part of the community, rather than helping, educating and supporting others.
I was frustrated when I saw huge brands like target, nike, ralph lauren, apple and coca cola advertising their pride products... but where was that money going? what do you have to show for this?
slapping a rainbow on everything is not honoring the pride movement and its origins. escpecially if companies do this while continuing to exploit the labor of workers, of queer workers.
and I haven’t even mentioned the police officers with pride patches, the police cars with rainbow garlands, who boast their “pride” while they are guilty of targeting and murdering LGBTQ+ people, specifically trans people of color.
the walking while trans ban and police brutality has terrorized those who identify as trans poc for decades and cops have the audacity to use the pride parade to boost their reputation
and the worst part is... a lot of queer people buy into all this. myself included at times. yes, the capitalism of pride made me incredibly uneasy and I didn’t want to support those who used it as a PR opportunity—
— but I found myself looking for pride gear, posting pics with rainbows & going to parades without taking the time to thoroughly understand why the hell we were all there. showing off your pride is great, but ONLY showing off your rainbow is missing the mark.
so if you’re queer, educate yourself this pride month. think of marsha p johnson, sylvia rivera, harvey milk.. people who gave their life to gay liberation. if you’re an ally, do the same. ask how can you continue their legacy rather than just celebrating it?
if you’re an institution or business, back up. what did you do to get your float in the parade? simply advertising your love for the LGBTQ+ community during pride month makes us question where you were after the orlando shooting...
...who makes up your staff? how do you treat LGBTQ+ workers? have you been advocating for their healthcare? have you been actively condemning police brutality? money can’t buy advocacy.
money can’t buy advocacy.
social media posts alone can’t award advocacy.
this is a long thread but I just hope we continue to confront people within and outside our community to ask what it means to have pride. it can be uncomfortable! but it’s necessary to question someone’s goals in their activism
in short... pride cant be another profitized macy’s parade. and even if you’re queer, that doesn’t mean you get a free pass of not educating yourself about the movement and activists it was meant to commemorate before reassessing what pride means to you
stand up for blm and those who fought for the rights you have today, sign petitions, donate, show up for your identity and your community’s history. we still have a long way to go