June is Pride Month and everywhere you turn, rainbows abound. Corporations are marketing to the LGBT community more than ever to get support and money.
Being catered to by corporations is also seen as the height of hypocrisy. Known as “rainbow capitalism,” businesses accentuate their acceptance of the LGBT community during June but also give to anti-LGBT politicians the rest of the year.
Now PRISM, a South Florida group working to empower youth, is calling on big businesses to be responsible corporate citizens.
“For years, companies have profited off of the LGBT community while doing little to support it,” PRISM founder Maxx Fenning said. “It's time for companies to put their money where their mouth is, and that means supporting us all year long.”
Much of this is inspired by the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which becomes law in Florida on July 1. It prohibits any discussion of sexuality in the early school years. But even before it becomes law, its effects are being felt in Florida high schools. On June 20, PRISM and other groups started a social media campaign, #StayGay. The launch video got more than 34,000 views in the first 24 hours.
"Rainbow capitalism negatively impacts the entirety of the community worldwide," said CJ Walden, vice-president of PRISM. "Corporations who gain profit from pride-related merchandise without giving back to the LGBTQ+ community only do us harm."
The first goal of the campaign is accountability. PRISM said #StayGay not only makes it known just how much companies contribute to anti-LGBT campaigns and the LGBT community, but it also shows companies how they can connect with LGBT nonprofits in the state.