I hope everyone is safe during this time. Wash your hands, sanitize everything, clean your groceries, and so on. As we are quarantined, we can take some time to pick up a new hobby or pursue our true desires and dreams. We can binge watch Netflix and Youtube all day, but we always see the numbers of COVID increasing. The number keeps rising each day and so does our anxiety and fears. As of today there are 586,057 Americans confirmed that they have COVID and 23,604 that have passed away due to the virus. Now, let me change some numbers around. As of today 0.17% of Americans are affected by COVID and 4% have passed away. See the major difference of how the media and the news scare us. Don’t take me wrong, pandemic are no joke, and we should respect procedures. My point is to not let media bring our morality down. Instead at looking at the death count, let us look at the recovered count which is almost double the death count (43,637). What was the real reason why people bought 100 toilet paper rolls and $700 of canned goods? Did we all automatically think the world is going to end due a virus even though medical science and technology have been evolving? No! News articles instills fear to everyone with shocking titles and death. Everyone would rather worry about the poison instead of the antidote. Notice how news article don’t really cover the good. They want us to keep watching the bad and scary. It is what keeps us hooked and makes us pay attention to the news. Ask yourself this, how much did you keep up with the news before the virus? Did you read the whole article word for word or did you look at the beginning and the end? I just want everyone to know that we cannot let the media affect our mood. Take this time to appreciate the good in this pandemic. When we put negative energy out there, negative energy comes back to us. Why don’t we put positive energy out and we shall get positivity back. Don’t forget that grocery workers, healthcare workers, postal services workers, food industry workers, customer service representatives, construction workers and anyone that are working during this time are working triple than normal, and they do not have time to put up with sour attitudes. Saying thank you is the least we can do. I believe these workers deserve overtime normal hours and a raise. Take your time to say thank you at least and support your local restaurants and grocery stores.
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.