Love may have won, but empty words still ring hollow.
Every June, Pride Month kicks off with a set of codes and conventions that companies rely on to signal allyship. It’s the usual drill: rainbows, drag queens, “love is love” slogans, and more rainbows. Pride marketing often amounts to nothing more than platitudes—convenient, market-tested rainbow washing that corporate America has adopted as social responsibility has become more important than ever to the bottom line.
It’s easy to look to coastal cities where thriving gay nightlife and commercial hubs paint Pride as one big party. Gay Pride has always been a political statement; in some of the worst places to be gay in America, such as South Carolina, Alabama, and Kansas, Pride is still a form of protest. In other words, the struggle is far from over.
Companies need to understand that LGBTQ+ customers are aware when Pride is used as a commercial opportunity; Reboot Online, a UK-based marketing agency, found 96% of respond...