5 Queers Share Their Thoughts On Corporate Rainbow-Washing

Photo by Ra Dragon on Unsplash

This year, more than any year in my past, I’ve noticed the near-total rainbow-washing of social media by corporate brands. As a signal of where we are as a society, I know this is a good thing; but I can’t help feeling conflicted.

I’ve lived in Toronto’s famous “gaybourhood” for 7 years now. I’ve watched Pride happen every June. I watched it evolve from something that felt like grassroots activism to something that felt … commercial.

While we haven’t had Pride since 2019 as a result of COVID, we can still feel this shift online. Even in 2019, the tone was different. Bigger. More stages, more music. More people. More allies identifying themselves with stickers.

But mostly, it’s been more

Companies handing out stickers. Offering me some discount to buy something ) Trying to sign me up for a credit card I don’t need. Asking me to wear a shirt with their logo, washed in rainbow.

This year, I couldn’t kick the feeling that something felt off about the logos.

Perhaps because it’s COVID and Pride isn’t happening in the way we’re used to.

Perhaps it’s because of the amount of time I spend on LinkedIn. Perhaps it’s because it’s

Perhaps it’s all of the above.

And so I went out and asked four people to share their thoughts. Here are their answers.

A cis lesbian assumes they’re all bandwagon jumpers

A bisexual, cis man expects corporations to act like corporations

A cis gay man feels frustrated by capitalism

A gay trans man is cautiously optimistic

A cis bisexual woman is suspicious

Talking about the things people are afraid to talk about. LGBT+, Startup Culture, Diversity.