Monday, June 24, 2019

Foolish Pride

“Pride is too commercial now.”

Yes, I miss the good-ole days of being shunned by corporations. πŸ™„


Edgar_Carpenter said...

My objection to the commercialization of Pride is not to companies giving us their support and marching along - but to corporations using it as an advertising venue and swamping non-corporate groups with big glitzy very loud sales floats and sample distributors. I also dislike parades in places like Dallas where the commercial interests are pandered to while some local groups are marginalized or excluded, and the day is a big white-folks sell-fest (black LGBT people here have been marginalized for decades - they hold their own pride events because of that) rather than a celebration of our past.

I'm ok with the times changing - but not all the changes have been good or good for us.

Brian said...

You can’t get outraged that someone refuses to make your wedding cake AND be upset when straight establishments welcome your business.

Jessee said...

People who don’t like corporations advertising and giving out samples at Pride events are always welcome to go to Chick-fil-a if that makes them feel more comfortable.

Edgar_Carpenter said...

@Jessee - I'm not against corporations advertising to LGBT people, or against them giving out free samples as part of their advertising. I just don't like it to take over the LGBT Pride celebration, which it largely has. They have 364 other days during the year to market to us in every city.

I've been going to marches and then parades for a very long time, so part of my response is to the loss of Pride (formerly Gay Freedom Day or Gay Liberation Day, depending on the city) as a day to party and celebrate among ourselves in good years, or to band together to stiffen our resolve or comfort each other in bad years. When groups from corporations march too, just as more LGBT people, that's also fine - it points to our successes in business, and they're LGBT people too, so of course they should be there. What I and lots of others object to is corporations' sales forces using our party to sell us stuff - we're not coming together to make marketing easier for them, or to admire the Michelob float. At least, that didn't use to be our motivation - perhaps that has changed for people like you.

If all you have known is today's super commercial Pride parades in big cities, that's unfortunate. If you're so inured to constant marketing that you think it's fine to be marketed to anywhere, any time, that's fine too. Invite Mastercard marketing to your wedding, have a Bud Lite float carry your mom to the cemetery after her funeral. But you've missed out on some astonishingly wonderful days of unity that just can't happen with the current level of commercialization (and police regimentation) in big cities - the commercialization changes the atmosphere and changes the attention of the day towards something else.

Pride parade day has not been taken over everywhere, at least yet. So some of us avoid New York and San Francisco and other relentlessly commercial parades and go to Pride parades in other places where the day is more focused on who we are, what we've done so far and what we need to do in the future - as a community. Not on what we can be convinced to buy that day.

And if you think that's the same as having christian chicken at chic-fil-a, you're not likely to have a clue what I'm talking about.

jaragon said...

I think Pride parades specially in big city has become more than just a gay event. I have no problem with corporate sponsorship.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Everyone's Pride experience is different. But I think we can all agree that the progress we've made -- excellent HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention meds, marriage equality, repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" -- has changed the tenor of the events. Although we may be nostalgic for the way Pride used to be, would we really want to go back to having our friends die and having even fewer rights?

As for corporate Pride floats, every one I've ever seen or been involved with was also connected to the company's internal LGBTQ group for its employees -- more progress. It's never just about selling a product, although the fact that companies see us as a viable audience is also progress.