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Diatribe: The Business Of Gay Pride Can Be Quite Distasteful.

06/27/2014

gay-moneyA friend of mine finds herself in a peculiar situation this week.  She and her family have worked, tirelessly, for many years to raise funds on behalf of the LGBT community and many various charities in their community and across the country.  Having participated in and organized fundraising events for such a long time, they’ve become very effective leaders and have built many productive relationships with various sponsors and donors.  This year, after paying the required participation fees, etc., her organization is being turned away from the local Pride Parade because one of their sponsors is a competitor of another, major, parade sponsor.  Furthermore, they were expected to refuse a donated truck/trailer/driver and rent from a designated vendor who would give them a discount.

Kickback much?

I find the business of gay pride to be quite distasteful.

Perhaps “pride” events should be done away with completely.  As much as gatherings of this nature proved beneficial to the LGBT community in decades past (for many this was a rare opportunity to even SEE another gay person), “gay pride” events may have long since grown to do more harm than good.  In a society where LGBT citizens strive for inclusion, hasn’t it become increasingly unproductive for the community to continue to segregate itself for any reason … even “pride”?  Instead of “gay marriage” shouldn’t there simply be “marriage” … instead of “gay bars” just “bars”?  Hasn’t internet and a world-wide economy negated the need for gay-themed vendors to gather on one Saturday each June to sell their wares to shirtless drunks who feel that there is safety in numbers?  Isn’t there an “app” for that?

Did the President of the United States really need to set aside a month to celebrate the alienation of a group of people who long to be included?

Gay dollar-signHistorically, media coverage of “pride” events appears to have focused primarily on the fringe attendees of these events (men in dresses or women with short hair riding motorcycles) as well as the sexual nature of the only corporations willing to sponsor the events (condom and lubricant manufacturers, gay nightclubs, etc.).  It appears that the public has grown to anticipate a Mardi Gras atmosphere at every event and those who don’t understand and/or oppose homosexuality continue to see an opportunity to protest and politicize the gatherings which only fuels and encourages ongoing hostility.

It has always been a belief in the business community that gay people have more disposable income.  As the nation slowly begins to accept and embrace their LGBT family, friends and neighbors, it appears that they’re becoming increasingly interested in their gay dollars as well.

“Slap a rainbow flag on it and the gays will buy it” seems to have become a legitimate marketing strategy.  I’d like to think they’re smarter than that.

My friend’s situation is just one more example of how “pride” events have morphed from celebrations to business opportunities … gatherings of potential customers … money-making opportunities.  I’m sure that she’ll address the conflict directly, intelligently and in a way that will make her children proud … and THAT is a pride to celebrate.

Imagine how many young lives might be changed if the time and money spent on streamers and balloons during the month of June was invested in youth shelters and educational programs.

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5 Comments
  1. Rick permalink

    WELL WELL, an event, all about equality, that is denying inclusion…… What will it take? When will it happen? The latest group, seeking equality, has denied a group of fundraisers, that have someone supporting them with transportation FOR FREE, and they can’t use it because it isn’t PC…….Let us hope that this doesn’t discourage this passionate person from working for the cause.
    Pride is something that should be supportive. Anyone that earnestly wants to participate. Some of these events have become yet another chance to “party” and doesn’t include the message that some of us would like heard. I just want a real life. The boring stuff, a home, dinner on the table, laundry that needs to be finished, a lawn that needs to be cut……. The REAL stuff. We don’t need another “party Boi” event….. We are adults…… Can’t we just be Adults, Not Gay Adults……..

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    • Haven’t these events really become fundraisers to raise money for next year’s event so it can be bigger than this year’s event which is going to be the biggest event ever?

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      • Rick permalink

        All cities need their Pride Event to grow and grow…… It needs to be better than THAT city’s Pride Event……

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  2. thedogs'mother permalink

    Waaaaay back in 1978 our communications/advertising/marketing class had the president of the Gay Students organization come speak to us. It was interesting and informative. One of the frat boys made an idiot out of himself by grabbing me and another girls to escort him out of class so we could *protect* him.
    Over the years I have become more and more disillusioned with the field and left it to pursue education.

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  3. Pride Parades have and will do more than any investment in LGBTQ groups directly. The $$ used to put the parade on generate more $$ and awareness and participation for those groups then if the parade money were just given to them. Visibility is our best tool towards achieving acceptance and equality. As for the contracts – it’s business and to secure advertisers and vendors agreements are made – it’s not perfect, but it happens and maybe your friends with all their work and experience can help work out the kinks in future parades.

    Almost all parades are about watching the floats and celebrating something. Pride Parades are about the experience of being together – there is nothing like it. It’s the feeling that being gay is the norm or majority – it is freeing and relaxing and exhilarating. People forget and overlook this.

    All parades are about showing off, spectacle, drama, the floats and the bands and most of the people in them like showing off and being the center of attention and contributing to the spirit of the celebration – Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. Gay or Straight but the gays do use way more glitter. The news never shows the boring, bland parts of the other parades and when it comes to the Pride Parades – they just can’t find anything that’s bland and boring. 😉

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