It's time for brands to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to Pride
You're happy to take our money, but what are you actually doing for our community?
June is upon us! Which means that, for a lot of people, we can start to think about busting out the shorts and drinking one too many glasses of rosé over the inexplicable amount of bank holiday weekends.
But for me, as a member of the LGTBQ+ community, it’s a signal that Pride season is nearly here. Which means two things:
Over the next few months, I’ll be smearing myself head to toe in glitter and revelling with other people from my community in spaces where I can express myself in a totally safe space without fear of judgement
The brands are back, trying to get our money
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that so many brands are in support of LGBTQ+ people now. The progress that we’ve made in the last few years is amazing, and I couldn’t be happier.
But to members of the LGBTQ+ community, it all feels like a terrible money grab. It’s around this time of year we see brands putting out some terribly thought-out Pride product, desperate to get our money.
M&S get the first big shout of the year with their terribly thought out Lettuce, Guac, Bacon and Tomato sandwich. Do you get it? I’m surprised they didn’t cram some quince in there for good measure too.
Apart from being a totally hamfisted approach at getting our money, it’s also not doing a huge amount for our community. A portion of the sales of this sandwich is going towards akt (formerly the Albert Kennedy Trust), which provides vital services for LGBTQ+ youth living on the streets.
Sounds good right?
Sure! Except for the fact that M&S, a company which last year posted profits of £66.8m before tax, has set the donation limit at a measly £10k.
hiya! i love akt and have had a monthly txt donation set up for ages. fab that you are getting a bit of cash, but this is nothing more than a marketing stunt for m&s with an insulting £10k limit. m&s should think more carefully about how they exploit the LGBT pound. much love! x
— Aaron Wright (@aaronzimbra) May 1, 2019
And this is just a thin end of the wedge.
Converse, a name we all know and love (I have about three pairs) also decided to hop on the queer bandwagon. They proudly announced that they are running a Pride-themed collection, including a series of shoes based on the transgender flag - which is a huge deal! Our trans brothers and sisters are some of the most underrepresented people in society.
However, despite the increased cost for these limited edition shoes, not a single penny of their profits are going anywhere near any LGBTQ+ charities or safe spaces. Boo.
literally, the only pair of shoes i own is @Converse and it makes me sad they are doing a pride collection and not even donating a shred of the proceeds to an lgbtq org? they're just keeping ALL the money for themselves when every org out there, especially small ones, struggle? pic.twitter.com/sJ8HNyYSoo
— Calvin (@calvinstowell) April 19, 2019
But it’s also about more than just money for us. If brands really want our pink pounds, they should start with the basics.
Look around, what local non-profits can they support? How can they support more diversity and inclusion in their own workforces? What steps have they taken to include more trans and gender non-conforming people in their own offices? These kind of steps are what really show us that you care about the LGBTQ+ community.
To paraphrase one of the greatest poets of our time; if you want our money all year round, you better work, bitch.
Written by Croud's Content Strategist, Billy Leonard.