How to Celebrate Pride Without Being a Rainbow Capitalist.
We’ve tapped into the conversations about ‘Rainbow Capitalism’ and are skilled at finding stories from LGBTQ+ creators all year long.
THE BIG TAKEAWAY: Queer joy and radiant colors beam from all corners of the internet and television screens during the month of June. Every year, droves of people in the LGBTQ+ community stand in solidarity with one another during Pride Month. Parades, festivals, and rainbow-clad windows in cities nationwide mark the 30 days of celebration. However, many in the LGBTQ+ community recognize Pride Month is not just about fanfare. Instead, they know its history is rooted in protest and the fight for liberation for generations to come. And there is growing frustration about the ways that history is being glossed over for someone else’s gain.
SELLING THE RAINBOW: Many corporations have commodified Pride Month to drive sales without supporting the LGBTQ+ community year-round. Known as ‘Rainbow Capitalism,’ people have been calling out this practice for a while — but in the last few years, it’s become a full-blown cultural trend.
A CLOSER LOOK: Mentions of Rainbow Capitalism increased by 275% in 2021 over 2020. And in 2022, we expect that conversation to double AGAIN: The volume of mentions this year has nearly caught up with those from last year, and we are only mid-month! Moreover, discourse is broadening to the months before and after Pride Month, which indicates this trend extends beyond June. We can say more people are addressing the issues surrounding Rainbow Capitalism more frequently and readily this year than in years past.
THE RESPONSE: The growing onslaught of brands participating in Rainbow Capitalism has given rise to countermovements like #QueerLiberationMarch that support anti-corporate Pride. Supporters plan marches and elevate the voices of LGBTQ+ artists and business owners to reclaim the true spirit of Pride Month. And with so much attention (and activism) it’s clear: Slapping a rainbow flag on your brand one month a year isn’t the way to reach this community.
So, how DO you do it? People First elevates LGBTQ+ voices not just during Pride Month but year-round in our campaigns. The (not-so) secret ingredient: Engaging LGBTQ+ creators organically to discuss important topics from their lived experience on their terms.
Here are some examples:
THE BOTTOM LINE: It turns out that the best way to reach the Queer community is by empowering members of the community to speak about the issues they care about in June and beyond. Go figure!
We’re being glib, but the point is important: Rainbow Capitalism has distracted the public and misses the mark about the true meaning of Pride Month. However, our findings show people are pushing back against the commodification of Pride Month now more than they have in the past. People First works hard to ensure we source powerful stories from LGBTQ+ creators year-round to increase the number of authentic narratives about topics that impact everyday life.
And by the way: Celebrating the LGBTQ+ staff members who are an integral part of your company doesn’t hurt!