North Texas Daily

Companies using Pride Month as a money-making scheme is twisted

Companies using Pride Month as a money-making scheme is twisted

Companies using Pride Month as a money-making scheme is twisted
June 18
15:00 2021

I hope everyone is having a very happy Pride Month so far. It is a great month to spread the message of love and being comfortable with who you are. With any type of movement that involves large groups of people participating, companies look to capitalize and make some money.

As terrible as that sounds, I thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and look at some of the companies that tend to come off as tone-deaf and disingenuous. I promise by the end we will spin this into something positive, but it is important to talk about how companies will take advantage of representation for their own gain.

It is impossible to include the word “company” without having Disney somewhere nearby, and that is exactly where we will start. Disney loves to make statements about how the first openly gay character will appear in their next film, only for that appearance to be in the background and not related to the plot at all. This happened specifically in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and a similar case in “Avengers: Endgame.” This type of representation comes off as completely disingenuous. It feels like Disney is doing what they can to put a checkmark in a box instead of pushing for representation that feels genuine and passionate.

There are tons of companies that have taken to social media, changing their pictures to their logo and the LGBTQ+ flag merged together. It is really interesting to see how all of these companies are really excited to celebrate Pride Month, but as soon as it ends, we won’t see posts regarding pro-LGBTQ+ topics until this time next year. It shows us where some companies stand with their priorities. I can’t stop thinking of the segment during “Bo Burnham: Inside” where he is acting as the head of a company, and all he cares about is brand awareness instead of the cause being fought for. The sad truth is these companies are bringing awareness to their brands, and not the movement they are supporting. Representation of any kind should be taken as a positive thing, but people are starting to catch on to the true intentions of some companies.

Something I have been trying to do is see if the money I am spending is going to a good cause. A lot of times there will be signs that say, “A portion of the proceeds will go to [this] foundation.” I find comfort in seeing these sort of things that and knowing my contributions are going towards what I am choosing to support. If not, the money is just going into the pocket of some bald white guy living lavishly in Silicon Valley.

You can also go look and see which companies are actively donating to LGBTQ+ causes such as LEGO and Vans. What matters most is we are all coming together and making it easier to see which companies have the best intentions towards the actual significance of this month.

There are so many organizations that you can directly support too such as The Trevor Project and GLSEN. Once again, I hope everyone has a great Pride Month. Even with some companies only looking out for themselves, we can still all come together and celebrate being who we are 365 days a year.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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