End of the rainbow

Should we be upset that companies take down their pride logos on July 1?

rainbow pride flag

Though we could (and should) be proud of our sexualities and gender identities year-round, another pride month has come and gone. And all over the Internet, companies and brands are replacing their rainbow-hued logos with their usual, less flamboyant emblems.

Should we be irritated that companies only show off LGBTQ pride for 30 days of the year?

On Reddit user doesn’t think so. “Please stop complaining about companies taking down their pride logos after June 30,” that user wrote. “It’s so entitled. We are what, like 8 percent of the population? Equality is important, gay rights are important, but why should companies devote their entire existence towards promoting our cause? There are so many different kinds of people who are struggling and need support out there so to me it’s so egocentric and childish to throw a tantrum that companies don’t spend more than a month promoting pride stuff. The world doesn’t revolve around us. We should be grateful that pride is mainstream enough now that companies take even a month to support us.”

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That Reddit post inspired dozens of responses — and many of the commenters think the July 1 straightwashing, so to speak, isn’t the point. “The criticism isn’t about them changing their logos,” one user contended. “It’s about them using the logos for PR and not actually remotely supporting us.”

“Support doesn’t always have to be monetary,” a Redditor wrote in response to that point. “Visibility can go a long way. When I was young, you would never ever see the kind of support you see for the LGBTQ community you see today. Yes, they may not have supported us when it was difficult, but it does the community a disservice to alienate and turn away advocation of acceptance.”

“‘Acceptance’ means nothing,” another user chimed in. “Queer liberation is about far, far more than making it so that people feel like it’s safer to come out. It’s about justice, and it is linked to liberation from all other forms of oppression, to which these corporations actively contribute. To a queer person in crushing poverty, ‘acceptance’ of their queerness is the cheapest form of support imaginable.”

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Said another: “The issue is not changing back the logos. It’s its consequences. If I’m a f*cking homophobe all year, I do business with homophobes, sell homophobic sh*t, and when it’s acceptable I disguise myself and ‘yay gays,’ it’s infuriating. And after the gay boom is over, go back to the normal attitude of all the year. People does complain about it, and it should bother everyone. Are they really helping? They could ‘help’ with visibility all they want, but if the other 11 months they’re doing more wrong that good, it doesn’t f*cking matter.”

Once you’ve read these impassioned comments — which, by the way, have been edited for brevity and readability — check out the rest of the conversation on Reddit. And then tell us in the comments below: Are you frustrated when companies take down their rainbows on July 1? And for that matter, do you think companies are walking the walk as they talk the talk of LGBTQ inclusion every June?