7 minutes ago
A Pride Portrait. .
There’s been a growing conversation this year about corporate sponsorships and marketing of Pride. As a consumer and a gay man, it brings me joy seeing all of the Pride products and merch in such a mainstream way. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely value looking on the other side of the argument and certainly corporations that tout Pride while supporting anti-LGBT legislation (et al) should be made to be held accountable. Does it irk me at times to hear cis gender straight girls using gay/black/femme/drag language without understanding the history or origin of those words? Sure. But here’s the other thing I see. I see a straight community and a nation beginning to learn how to celebrate my community. I see gay art forms getting more attention, honors, accolades, and, therefore, funding/compensation. I see kids growing up in a nation where their sexuality & exploration are becoming less & less taboo. When the Stonewall riots happened 50 years ago, a statement was made that we are coming out and we are not going back. Progress isn’t perfect. If people feel they want Pride to be their own and want to keep it as a rallying cry- a rejection of the status quo- that should also be their right and there are many great organizations that are set up to do just that (check out the Queer Liberation March). It’s going to take all kinds of people and points of view to keep progress moving forward. @kellycutrone wrote in her book that we should not subject ourselves to religious organizations that look to ridicule us unless we are looking to be a part of change from the inside out. I feel the same way about Pride. We have fought for (and begun to gain) acceptance and equality. And as our challenges lessen, it is our responsibility to help others into the light (like our trans, non-binary, and people of color brothers/sisters/friends). Finally, as someone who has long worked on the other side of the retail landscape, I can’t help but think about the gay voices behind a lot of these products. Designers, marketers, sales people... who have long pushed to recognize Pride within our industry. To me, that’s to be celebrated- we still have more to do. 🌈