FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Corporate Pride is Cheap

The satirical website McSweeney’s recently published a piece called “My Coming Out Story, Sponsored by Bank of America.”

Anyone who has been to an LGBTQ Pride celebration (or seen Pride-themed ads on Facebook) will immediately get it: Corporations are falling over themselves to wrap themselves in rainbows, because they see Pride as a corporate branding opportunity.

Let me be clear: The greatest struggle of my life is not a corporate branding opportunity.

A lifetime of feeling different and wrong and dating people I’m not attracted to because I think it’s the only way to live — and only getting to fully inhabit my true self starting in my late 30s after years of therapy — has nothing to do with selling toothpaste, beer, or bank accounts.

Years ago, I got a degree in marketing. In our senior capstone class, we learned that you can either change your product so it’s more in line with what people want, or you can change people’s impression of your product so that they think it is.

Slapping a rainbow on your brand constitutes the latter. I want to see more of the former.

If a corporation wants to truly support the LGBTQ community, here are the questions I want them to answer:

Are your LGBTQ employees afraid to come out at work for fear of discrimination? Do they feel they must change jobs before they can transition to the gender they identify as or come out as queer? Do they feel comfortable discussing their families with coworkers the same way straight employees do?

If an LGBTQ employee faces harassment at work, does your HR department deal with it appropriately?

Are LGBTQ employees promoted at the same rate as straight employees? Do you have LGBTQ people in management?

Do your benefits fulfill the needs of queer couples as well as straight couples?

If your insurance covers pregnancy for heterosexual couples, does it also provide for the fertility treatments, surrogacy, or adoption that a gay or lesbian couple would need to start a family?

Does your insurance cover gender affirming medical procedures and surgeries transgender employees need? Do you allow transgender employees the time off needed to get gender affirming surgeries and recover from them?

Did you provide benefits for same-sex partners before same-sex marriage was legal?

Do your political contributions support candidates who advocate LGBTQ rights?

Can your LGBTQ employees go the bathroom they feel most comfortable using when they’re at work? Do their colleagues use the proper pronouns (he/she/they) for trans or nonbinary workers, and are those workers supported when they correct colleagues who misgender them?

Do your advertisements feature LGBTQ individuals and families?

Are your products inclusive of LGBTQ people and our needs? Can a transgender or non-binary person buy your products without feeling misgendered by them? (For instance, if you make shoes, do trans women have to go to your “men’s” line to find shoes that fit?)

Are your employees trained to treat LGBTQ customers respectfully?

For example, transgender men and non-binary people who were assigned female at birth can get pregnant and give birth. And children of same-sex couples have two moms or two dads. When these families go for prenatal visits at the doctor, are they confronted with paperwork and providers who assume that only women get pregnant and all couples include a mom and a dad?

Like my high school English teachers said, corporations should “show, don’t tell.” Instead of telling us what fantastic allies they are, they need to show us. And that takes more than putting rainbows in your advertising and handing out cheap rainbow swag at our Pride celebrations.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
July 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.
Anthony DiMaggio
System Capture 2020: The Role of the Upper-Class in Shaping Democratic Primary Politics
Andrew Levine
South Carolina Speaks for Whom?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Big Man, Pig Man
Bruce E. Levine
The Groundbreaking Public Health Study That Should Change U.S. Society—But Won’t
Evaggelos Vallianatos
How the Trump Administration is Eviscerating the Federal Government
Pete Dolack
All Seemed Possible When the Sandinistas Took Power 40 years Ago
Ramzy Baroud
Who Killed Oscar and Valeria: The Inconvenient History of the Refugee Crisis
Ron Jacobs
Dancing with Dr. Benway
Joseph Natoli
Gaming the Climate
Marshall Auerback
The Numbers are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts are a Bust
Louisa Willcox
Wild Thoughts About the Wild Gallatin
Kenn Orphan
Stranger Things, Stranger Times
Mike Garrity
Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem
Helen Yaffe
Cuban Workers Celebrate Salary Rise From New Economic Measures
Brian Cloughley
What You Don’t Want to be in Trump’s America
David Underhill
The Inequality of Equal Pay
David Macaray
Adventures in Script-Writing
David Rosen
Say Goodbye to MAD, But Remember the Fight for Free Expression
Nick Pemberton
This Is Heaven!: A Journey to the Pearly Gates with Chuck Mertz
Dan Bacher
Chevron’s Oil Spill Endangers Kern County
J.P. Linstroth
A Racist President and Racial Trauma
Binoy Kampmark
Spying on Julian Assange
Rose Ramirez – Dedrick Asante-Mohammad
A Trump Plan to Throw 50,000 Kids Out of Their Schools
David Bravo
Precinct or Neighborhood? How Barcelona Keeps Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Global Capital
Ralph Nader
Will Any Disgusted Republicans Challenge Trump in the Primaries?
Dave Lindorff
The BS about Medicare-for-All Has to Stop!
Arnold August
Why the Canadian Government is Bullying Venezuela
Tom Clifford
China and the Swine Flu Outbreak
Missy Comley Beattie
Highest Anxiety
Jill Richardson
Weapons of the Weak
Peter Certo
Washington vs. The Squad
Peter Bolton
Trump’s Own Background Reveals the True Motivation Behind Racist Tweets: Pure White Supremacy
Colin Todhunter
From Mad Cow Disease to Agrochemicals: Time to Put Public Need Ahead of Private Greed
Nozomi Hayase
In Crisis of Democracy, We All Must Become Julian Assange
Wim Laven
The Immoral Silence to the Destructive Xenophobia of “Just Leave”
Cecily Myart-Cruz
McDonald’s: Stop Exploiting Our Schools
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Veggie Gardens Won’t Feed us in a Real Crisis
CounterPunch News Service
A Homeless Rebellion – Mission Statement/Press Release
Louis Proyect
Parallel Lives: Cheney and Ailes
David Yearsley
Big in the Bungalow of Believers
Ellen Taylor
The Northern Spotted Owls’ Tree-Sit
July 18, 2019
Timothy M. Gill
Bernie Sanders, Anti-Imperialism and Venezuela
W. T. Whitney
Cuba and a New Generation of Leaders Respond to U.S. Anti-People War
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail