4 years since gay marriage has been legal across the entire United States. The first state being Massachusetts back in 2003. There is a long ways to go because there is still homophobia, transphobia, other countries where gay marriage is illegal, gay conversion therapy, stoning, and more. This is why we need to continue the fight. Companies like Nike, Zales, Target, and Tiffany Co has displayed their support of the community for a while. Featuring same sex couples on advertisements or have some of the profits go to donations. These are wonderful ways to help make different sexualities normals. However, I was browsing through various stores like Marshalls, Kohls, and TJ Maxx and I noticed that they had a Gay pride collection. At first, I thought wow this nice seeing that they have a small section for the community. It shows that they support us. Nike, Zumiez, and Converse were showcasing their new rainbow collection. Then it hit me. They are using this month as a marketing tool. Don’t get me wrong, most if not all of these companies have good intentions for having gay themed related clothing and support our communities. I have a fear that companies are using this month as a cash grab. Most people assumption is hey they have gay pride stuff here so this means that they support the community. I’ll buy a shirt from this multimillion dollar company. A better way to help support the cause is to go to the LGBT Center. They always accept donation of any amount. Companies may say that 10% or 25% of the profits will be going to the donations. But, if you break the percentage, the shirt cost $10. The cost to make that shirt was $1 and after all the fees and labor cost. The profit of that shirt would be $4. 10% of that is 40 cents! But, if 100,000 people bought a shirt then the donation would be $40,000. How about if we donate $10 to the local LGBT center and that would be a million dollars. These companies are trying to say hey we support this community so give us money. Like I said, it just feels like a cash grab for people that want to dress up in rainbow colors. Remember, sexual orientation does not equal personality. If I wear active wear, I’m going to wear active wear to pride. I don’t need to wear a rainbow themed coloring because that is not who I am.
I know that people will not know where their money goes after purchasing said item. The main problem is that companies are really exploiting this time of month to get a cash grab. I am not judging people that buy the clothing because they are showing pride for the group. They want to display it during the month. That brings to the other problem. Pride parades are slowing becoming like St. Patricks day. Another excuse for people to drink and party without acknowledging the main purpose. I want people to know the main message of the pride parties or parades. No one should be ashamed about who they truly are. Now, it feels like people just want another day to drink and dance. It’s a day that we are standing up to make this community a social norm. It’s okay for people to celebrate but is it really a celebration without knowing the reason why we celebrate.
What can we do to help this community? There are a few great ways to help. The first one is to not fall for the merchandise. I love design but I wish this color theme can be more than the gay color scheme. Donate to the community directly. You don’t need to allow giant corporations to do the donating for you. You can research if there are any LGBT centers that need donations. Support with love. Be happy for family and friends that are out and proud. And be comforting towards the ones that are finding themselves. Pride parades and parties overall message is that people should be themselves and should not be afraid to show. It’s not another day to party. But overall have fun celebrating and be safe. In conclusion, our goal is to help make this community a norm in our lives to the point where its normal for a child to have 2 dads or 2 moms. There should be no shock value. We need to make sure we are stepping in the right direction.