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Pride Month: Rainbow Capitalism Silences the LGBTQ+ Community

Omaira Mahan

Posted on June 11, 2021 00:11

3 users

Companies creating and selling limited edition Pride merchandise is rainbow capitalism, not activism.

June has arrived and pride flags and rainbow-colored merchandise appear across store windows yet again for Pride month. Retail stores and companies have dropped their limited edition Pride merchandise during June, which has raised eyebrows and created skepticism as to whether or not companies are only promoting Pride for their own profits and financial gain. Putting up rainbow products and selling them during Pride month is not an effective way to bring about awareness and promote equality and does not end the injustices and discrimination that LGBTQ+ members have to face. 

The term 'rainbow capitalism' refers to companies promoting LGBTQ+ merchandise in order to make profit, without actually supporting LGBTQ+ communities. Pride month raises concerns for rainbow capitalism and companies such as  Target has been criticized for its latest Pride merchandise. Other companies such as Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch and Crocs have dropped Pride edition merchandise as well, pasting the rainbow flag on their products. Selling rainbow merchandise and dropping Pride collections does not create visibility in LGBTQ+ community and only steers away from it.

For most companies, the Pride flag only goes up during Pride month after a long year of silence. When companies only hang their Pride flags and donate a portion of sales to LGBTQ+ organizations for a month, it creates a sense of hypocrisy and concern that these companies are showing their support only for financial gain. These actions do not bring actual change nor does it shed light on injustices that LGBTQ+ members face regularly. Rainbow sneakers and "love always wins" tees do not result in change. They do not bring awareness to issues that negatively impact the LGBTQ+ community such as homelessness, discrimination, and gay conversion therapy. Creating anti-discriminatory laws, advocating LGBTQ+ rights, and supporting LGBTQ+ owned businesses all year are examples of effective ways to help advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and promote change.

Rainbow capitalism is an issue that many companies are able to get away with during Pride month. It is important to remember that creating a rainbow design and selling it is not effective advocacy. This only silences the LGBTQ+ community because issues within the community such as discrimination and homelessness are being masked by rainbow sunglasses and rainbow graphic tees. 

Omaira Mahan

Posted on June 11, 2021 00:11

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Source: Daily Mail

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