Pride Month: Are Companies ‘Pink-washing’ or Amplifying the Rainbow?

June 15, 2023

Pride Month: Are Companies ‘Pink-washing’ or Amplifying the Rainbow?

Introduction:

Today, we delve into a rainbow-hued debate that swirls around the month of June: Pride Month. As a queer-owned business, we understand the complexities and nuances of this annual celebration. So, let’s grab our metaphorical rainbow capes, sprinkle some glitter, and dive into the swirling pool of arguments surrounding companies changing their logos during this vibrant time.

“LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it’s like to be there.” ―   Ronan Farrow

The ‘Pink-washing’ Perspective

When corporations hastily don their rainbow attire, a certain scepticism arises. Is it merely a marketing ploy, aiming to capitalise on the colourful hearts of the queer community? Some critics argue that companies are merely ‘pink-washing’ by superficially aligning themselves with Pride. After all, actions speak louder than a company’s temporary logo transformation.

The Power of Visibility

On the flip side, some argue that the influx of rainbow logos during Pride Month fosters visibility and inclusivity, promoting acceptance and support for the LGBTQ+ community. As a queer-owned business, we appreciate the importance of allies and the positive impact they can have. The more corporations that join the Pride parade, the stronger the message becomes, and the closer we inch towards societal change.

Pam Currie, co-founder of Co.Lab, shares a thoughtful perspective: 

“Pride is not just a month; it’s a mindset and a commitment to creating a world where every individual feels seen, accepted, and celebrated. While we navigate the complexities of companies changing logos, let’s remember that true allyship goes beyond colourful symbols. It’s about fostering genuine inclusivity, challenging systemic barriers, and amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year. Let’s build a future where Pride is not just a marketing trend but a universal language of love and acceptance.”

Final thoughts…

While it’s easy to slip into a black-and-white argument, the truth often lies within the colourful gradient between. It’s crucial to recognise that not all companies engaging in Pride Month activities are driven solely by profit or ‘pink-washing.’ Many genuinely support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. By partnering with queer organisations, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, or donating to relevant causes, these companies amplify their commitment to more than just their bottom line.

Carole Harper, co-founder of Co.Lab believes we should commit to inclusivity on the daily

“While we appreciate the visibility that companies bring during Pride Month, let’s remember that true change happens when we go beyond the surface. It’s about creating inclusive policies, fostering safe spaces, and dismantling the barriers that hinder progress. By infusing authenticity into our actions every day, we can ensure that Pride is not just an annual event but an inherent part of our collective journey towards equality.”

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