So, I will make no secret that I’m rolling my eyes at all of that marketing stuff that goes up every year. But I’ve been thinking, it doesn’t have to be so superficial and pointless. Maybe there’s some rare exception out there that took the opportunity to say or do something meaningful.

Did you come across a company or organisation lately that use the occasion to take some stance beyond feelgood buzzwords or implement a policy internally or in their area of operations that is of at least some importance?

  • Denali
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    118 months ago

    Why are we still pretending like brand visibility isn’t important. Yes it’s pandering to make you want to spend money, yes it’s all “virtue signalling” bullshit - but it still goes to show they value and want our business. Many brands decided not to do anything remotely showing support for us this year and that should be worrying, yes they didn’t do anything in the first place and obviously didn’t have our back, but they still showed some form of representation for us and helped push us into the public so we don’t have to hide. It’s so ridiculous seeing young queer anticapitalists actively shit on the only goodwill rep we had in mainstream venues. They might not have meant anything to you but they sure as hell were good rep for normalization more than just bitching about how much you hate it on the internet.

    • raccoona_nongrata
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      28 months ago

      Well said. People have gotten kind of turned around in regard to corporate pride support.

      The idea that you can criticize a company for being insincere or hypocritical in its values should be thought of as separate to general support acceptance by companies of pride and the societal impact it has. The general support is always an overall good thing in comparison to the alternative.

      What I think happened somewhere along the line was people were made to conflate the two, the discussion became framed in such a way that it was implicitly accepted that you couldn’t criticize the insincereity without also taking the position that companies can’t have values and shouldn’t take positions on social issues.

      But that last concept is actually quite a far-right sort of notion. You see people using the same argument for why it’s ok for companies to externalize their costs and do things like use slave labor etc. “A company can’t be moral or have values, it’s only there to make profit.” is a lie that has been trojan-horsed into the discussion about pride.

      Companies do function to make profit, yes, but they are still made up of human beings who can and should be held morally accountable for the actions of the corporations. And profit can still be made without being immoral, perhaps not as much as easily, but mugging a person and stealing from them is also technically “easy” but we still consider it wrong, even if that mugger needs, generally, to make money to live.

      The far-right excels at this kind of political framing of debate and public discussion. So much so that often times they get center or even left leaning people unwityingly adopting their terminology and the underlying implications that support their worldview. I don’t think the center/left has done a good job of combatting or even understanding how framing is effecting our political discourse.

      • agrammaticOP
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        18 months ago

        For clarity, I refer to an emphasised line in OP where I very clearly write that it occurred to me that it doesn’t have to be meaningless and that I’m looking for examples where the better-case scenario happened.

        • raccoona_nongrata
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          18 months ago

          Yea, I was broadly agreeing with your statement and expanding upon it, not so much challenging it.

          The general idea I was going for is that even those who are anti-capitalist could benefit from acknowledging some of the nuance that has been lost in the discussion of corporate pride. Anti-capitalist sensibilities have been disingenuously co-opted to get people arguing against their own best interests (in the context of pride and lgbt acceptance).

          The benefit of companies adopting pride is holistic, regardless of insincerity by some.

          I could be confused myself though, and maybe misinterpreted some of what you were getting at.

  • @emeraldheart@beehaw.org
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    98 months ago

    Not anything major on my end, but my library does do occasional displays of queer material (among other materials) all year round, which I’m always appreciative of.

    • agrammaticOP
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      68 months ago

      Oh! Good point. That’s the case for my local libraries too - I took it for granted but I shouldn’t have.

      • @emeraldheart@beehaw.org
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        18 months ago

        Before I worked at a library I took them for granted too. They’re such incredible resources for the community and they do so much more than lend books. They do community outreach, activities, events, many have video games and board games, movies, etc. You should check out your local branches sometime! 😊

  • stevexley
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    88 months ago

    It’s easy to bag ‘corporate pride’ for being insincere ( because a lot of if is) but it’s also a sign of general societal acceptance that would provide some reassurance to those who feel surrounded by bigots

    • CoderKat
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      58 months ago

      Yeah. It might not be some massive move, but it does mean something. It’s great to see your employer, other possible employers, your local politicians, your municipal services, and even just random businesses that you might use (or not) show that they’re accepting, especially when the status quo is to keep quiet to satisfy bigots.

      • RiikkaTheIcePrincess
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        38 months ago

        Idunno, tolerating our symbology for a month doesn’t mean tolerating us ever. They’re still gonna call me “sir” if I go in there, even if they gave/sold me a shirt with a pride-ified version of their logo on it. I’m not convinced that the filthy rich co-opting our symbols for profit for a moment is really of benefit when it doesn’t actually mean anything.

        It’s fully vacuous and may even devalue our symbols, I say. Seems like exploiting us and supporting us would look different.

      • chuso
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        28 months ago

        I think the same every time there is criticism of “pinkwashing” and “rainbow capitalism”.
        Yeah, some may be doing it just for profit and as a PR stunt, but it still matters.
        I remember pride parades in London and Brighton were full of corporate floats like those from Deliveroo, Starbucks and National Rail.
        Did they do it just for promotion? OK, maybe. But it still sends the message. A message that says that when you go into a National Rail train or a Starbucks café you can feel safe. And a message that other companies can also join and show that support without fearing that may damage their business with them.
        Unfortunately, those messages are still needed today, so I don’t really care very much if they do it for marketing as long as it still works for the cause.
        If you are going to a bar and see they have tuned their logo to show the pride colors during June, they may be doing it for marketing, but at least you will know you can come in and feel safe there.
        I even saw a float from the Premier League in Brighton and we know how much work is still needed there.

        • agrammaticOP
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          18 months ago

          A message that says that when you go into a National Rail train or a Starbucks café you can feel safe.

          But is that message backed up by anything concrete? In a different comment thread here, I linked to a local initiative called Emergency Entrance where this is backed up by an action plan that participating venues need to adapt at a shop level and carry out at any time of the year.

          I even saw a float from the Premier League in Brighton and we know how much work is still needed there.

          That goes against your thesis though. It’s an example of a well-known organisation that did not do nearly enough work to be considered safe, and yet it can very easily adopt the colours without any tangible commitments.


          I understand that maybe corporate participation in Pride sends such a message of safety. But if that message isn’t backed up by concrete actions to offer actual safety, that can even be dangerous.

    • Fulthi
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      18 months ago

      I also feel this way. Even though they might be doing it for capitalism reasons, it still gets the message out there, in your face, and shifts the Overton window. A good thing but for a bad reason. I’ll take it.

  • Wage_Slave
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    78 months ago

    Not so much a company, but the small town I grew up in had pride days. It was not a real big or fantastic affair, but it was fun, and lots of people were out in the pride gear that I would have never thought for a second would attend a pride event. Even the hillbilly term of “gays days” was tossed around insert the redneck with good intentions meme by older boomer guys as they waited for rainbow soft serve.

    I left when I was twenty. Even before then, constantly trying to get away from the redneck small town. My childhood here was miserable as a poc and as someone who was/is as socially well adjusted as bum pickles. Racism, Phobias for each color of a skittle, and a very entitled population where being a hate filled asshole was all but encouraged.

    BUT! 23 years later i find myself coming back. Only been back a couple months and it seems like a much friendlier place than i remember and the fact that this event was in the downtown, advertised and endorsed by all the local shops, left me speechless. This is not the same place I left, but replaced by a much more optimistic and caring community.

    And as a jaded old dude, the town as a whole, recognizing and celebrating, well that was meaningful as hell to me, and I am sure many of the kids who had to stay deep closeted because of the town they lived in, so many years ago.

  • Silent-G
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    68 months ago

    I think my favorite thing I saw was the Opera GX Twitter account changed their pfp to two men kissing in their logo. On one hand it was just a silly meme, but it also made me think how the rainbow logos have become just a standard thing that no one really cares about after so many years. The rainbow has very little to do with what homosexuality actually is, it’s just a flag. I get that the flag holds a lot of meaning, but I’d love it if this caught on and eventually all the logos during pride month featured same-sex couples kissing or hugging or getting married, actual representations of gay people rather than just the rainbow.

    • Boz (he/him)
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      18 months ago

      I didn’t see that, but I like it! You’re right that it’s a better gesture than just sticking a rainbow somewhere. Homophobes hate guys kissing more than they hate rainbows. (It is probably bad that one of the ways I judge expressions of support for LGBT+ folks is “would homophobes/transphobia/etc flip out about this,” but hey, at least I admit it…?)

  • @Spacemanspliff@midwest.social
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    48 months ago

    Any company or organization that ACTUALLY cares about LGBTQ+ issues are going to be doing things all year round and likely won’t make a big deal out of doing things for pride month.

    Seemingly all my company did was hang a flag, but we were founded and are still ran by LGBTQ+ individuals, do a bunch of LGBT events through our the year, and are considered a safehaven for LGBTQ people to work in an industry that isn’t always as friendly as it should be.

  • @mewpichu@lemm.ee
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    48 months ago

    I’m part of a non-profit queer marching/symphonic band that does year round performances, so I’m exposed a little differently than most, but there are a number of corporations that do large donations/sponsorships that aren’t exactly promoted out into the world. It might be insignificant to some, but these donations are what allow us to basically continue existing year after year so that we can continue supporting the local community.

    While I do live in a predominantly lgbtq-friendly area, the extent to which our performances are televised makes a difference in terms of visibility all across the US. We were the first queer band to ever perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade last year and the amount of messages we got from watchers from all around the country for the following few months was truly amazing.

    • agrammaticOP
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      18 months ago

      Thanks, that’s indeed a very good example of a meaningful contribution.

      My employer did donate to a local NGO too last year (but not this year? not sure), but it wasn’t visible externally. I think it would have been fine it it was publicised. Instead, what was publicised was a blogpost that honestly didn’t say anything specific at all except for hitting a few keywords for good SEO.

      • @mewpichu@lemm.ee
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        28 months ago

        We make it so that donations can go towards specific things (eg. a major food chain donated last year towards new custom percussion equipment in preparation for Macy’s) which makes for a very exciting internal announcement. Unexpectedly, I don’t think I’ve seen anything official from companies other than super vague announcements that you need to be searching for specifically.

  • Boz (he/him)
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    8 months ago

    Penzey’s Spices has been donating the proceeds from the sale of certain products to an organization supporting trans rights in Florida. They are also talking about Stonewall and outrage as part of their Pride messaging, rather than just vague feel-good phrases like “Love Wins.” I don’t mind feel-good messaging, but for Pride, feel-good always feels to me like the company is trying to communicate LGBTQ+ support without actually saying anything “controversial” and supportive, so I appreciate Penzey’s taking a more definite stand. They also always do some merch that’s more creative than just sticking a rainbow on something, which is not exactly meaningful, but I like it. Penzey’s is one of the few companies I support partly for their politics (though, fair disclosure, I also adore their products, and highly recommend trying them even if you don’t care about their messaging, especially the salt-free spice blends).

    On a less meaningful, but nice note, Shipt put the trans and PoC stripes in their logo as well as the standard rainbow, which I like. Sadly, they’re not a very competent service. The actual people who work for them are fine, but their website “works” like it’s 1999, which is to say, it doesn’t. So, on one level, I feel supported, but on another level, are they really LGBTQ±friendly if they aren’t customer-friendly in general? They aren’t saying mean things, but neither are they making my life more enjoyable.

    …I’m kind of joking, but also not. I know it’s a little outside what you’re asking, but I feel like it’s important to judge companies as businesses, not as human-like entities. A business has no feelings or opinions. Marketing campaigns that present human feelings or opinions are fake, and if you know how to spot a fake, they will seem fake to you, even if there are positive policies behind the messaging. That’s part of why I don’t get too upset when a company’s pride messaging seems superficial. It might be deliberately misleading, or it might not, but it can’t be real, and I don’t need to torture myself looking for authenticity. I’d rather just enjoy the show, and look for actual facts about the company’s policies.

    Ultimately, I think companies can have positive or negative effects on the LGBTQ+ community, but it’s a lot more complicated than whether they do something meaningful for Pride, or something superficial, or nothing at all. I want to know if they offer employees health insurance that pays for HRT for trans people. I want to know if they sell those cute pumps in size 11 Wide. And, by the way, who makes their shoes, and what are those workers paid? Are they good shoes? I don’t have time to ask all those questions in June. But I do have time to keep track of which companies are trying to sell me “LGBTQ+ friendly” as part of their product line, so I can check later. As others have said, whether those campaigns are backed up by actions or not, it’s nice to see my community celebrated, and my gender and sexuality validated.

    Besides, as Bud Light discovered, sometimes the wrong people are going to take those cynical, superficial gestures seriously, and then you might have to admit you were just kidding, which, although true, will not convince the people who are angry, and instead, will make a lot of other people angry. I found that whole business hilarious.

  • ArugulaZ
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    38 months ago

    They’re afraid to, thanks to DeSatanic and other right-wing lunatics. The same right-wing lunatics who think nothing of shooting a thirteen year old in the back, or incarcerating a three year old for pooping his pants.

  • snailwizard
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    28 months ago

    So I work at a store that sells primarily graphic novels, and there is a lot of stuff this month from queer writers and artists. We have a great little display in our front window that shows a bunch of characters in mainstream media and also some choice LGBT+ graphic (SFW) lit. Not only are publishing companies featuring more diverse content this month, but there has definitely been a push to feature more of it year-round. I know it’s not like, explosive, but representation is so, so important.

  • ArumiOrnaught
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    18 months ago

    I saw Cummins at pride. I also know in their shop close to me has the only fem diesel tech I know.

    No, it’s not good enough. But it does normalizes things. You can’t change someone’s mind if their first reaction is hostility. A lot of times knowing a coworker who is queer is enough to make people less problematic. It forces them to realize “the gays” are just people instead of the demon they have only heard about.

  • mochi
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    18 months ago

    What do you mean? I saw them all virtue signaling on social media. That had amazing impact. /s

  • metaStatic
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    18 months ago

    Not only didn’t I see anything meaningful I didn’t see the typical meaningless crap either. Guess it’s not profitable to pander to “the gays” any more.

  • Unhappily_Coerced
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    08 months ago

    Why not just hop on twitter and search #seattlepride ? There’s probably (maybe?) tons of businesses who partook in that circus and hashtagged all about it…

    Otherwise. What exactly do you want? You said it plainly already…

    superficial and pointless / feelgood buzzwords

    What else can you honestly expect? That is exactly what most observance months or commemorative months are all about… Besides making people feel recognized and accepted, what do you think corporations should be spending their money on that would make potential customers feel better about themselves?

    • agrammaticOP
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      8 months ago

      Why not just hop on twitter and search #seattlepride ? There’s probably (maybe?) tons of businesses who partook in that circus and hashtagged all about it…

      I didn’t have any reason to think that that city’s pride month is particularly relevant to my question to go search it in advance.

      Besides making people feel recognized and accepted, what do you think corporations should be spending their money on that would make potential customers feel better about themselves?

      Before I asked my question, I was thinking if two things:

      1. Companies, where relevant, can let us know what policies they enacted that make them stand out. E.g. maybe they are an employer that will give parental leave even to families not recognised by the law in that jurisdiction, or that they just finished an internal project that saw or their internal and external documents to stop collecting gender information where it’s not justified and where it is justified, that they do it in an inclusive way.

      2. They do something to mitigate anti-queer hatred in their area of operations that has an action plan backing it up. For example, where I live, there’s this Emergency Entrance programme where companies can enrol and display a sticker identifying them as refuges for people targeted by right-wing extremists. It looks like just marketing too, but it actually comes with an action plan that those participating are supposed to implement which adds a more tangible layer to the display of symbols to show support. (EDIT: The idea is, if you are being harassed or attacked, participating venues will offer you shelter, they will jump in to de-escalate, and contact emergency services and the right-wing violence registry to handle the incident)