In June, many companies often produce a product of some kind celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride month. Starbucks created a kaleidoscope-styled limited edition collection this year which included two different types of coffee cups and two tote bags that were available at Target. Each item in the collection costs around $18.95. Starbucks also had a featured Pride Stories section on their website that included the company’s history of inclusion. During the month of June, Starbucks donated a total of $100,000 to two different transgender equality projects. Starbucks is among the companies that go above and beyond showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Bath and Body Works produced multiple products for Pride, including body mists and soaps. The various products were wrapped with rainbows and “love always wins” placed prominently on the bottles. Not only did Bath and Body Works come out with a collection of items dedicated to Pride, but they also donated $1 million to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a large non-profit that works with many LGBTQ+ individuals and families. The HRC supports its LGBTQ+ members and also helps to give a platform to activists trying to change the world around them in a positive way.
Converse came out with a Pride collection featuring colorful artwork on shoes and shirts. Converse has been donating to LGBTQ+ organizations since 2015, but this year they donated a part of the proceeds of their Pride collection to the It Gets Better Project, which is focused on empowering LGBTQ+ youth.
Harry’s came out with a brand-new limited edition bright yellow and iridescent blue handle razor. The collection includes a box set saying “Never Been Prouder”. They also have a line of merchandise designed by well-known queer artist Zipeng Zhu. The merch includes fun-colored items like fanny packs, totes, mugs and hats. The best part of Harry’s Pride products is that all proceeds go straight to the Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project is a large foundation that has tons of different services and has a Trevor LifeLine that is open to call 24/7 for those in crisis or feeling suicidal. Morphe, YouTube and Macy’s are just a few of the other companies partnering up with the non-profit.
It is wonderful to see that so many companies donate money to LGBTQ+ groups. It is clear to many companies that it is not enough to just change your logo during the month to avoid people trying to cancel you. Donating to these organizations is really helpful and allows for fantastic supportive products and services to be created for the LGBTQ+ community.
Oppositely, some companies have been caught displaying rainbow logos while having donated to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and organizations. According to an article published by Popular Info, over 25 companies this year have been exposed as supporting anti-gay politicians. It is upsetting to learn that companies have donated more than $10 million to politicians trying to stand in the way of passing and creating LGBTQ+ friendly legislation.
The many companies that are being accused not only change their logos during the month of June, but also maintain a 100% rating from the HRC. The rating of these companies is detailed in the Corporate Equality Index, which works to rate the workplace of LGBTQ+ equality. Clearly companies can maintain perfect scores but still create further boundaries.
CVS Health is one of the companies that supported politicians who voted for anti-trans laws. CVS backed a co-sponsor of a bill in Texas that could end the career of doctors who give gender-affirming care. CVS has been known to support other anti-trans senators which could lead to intense repressive health laws and would ban anyone under the age of 21 to receive any type of gender-affirming care.
CVS is not the only company up to shady business. AT&T, a partner with the Trevor Project, has put out tweets expressing support of the LGBTQ+ youth. However, they have also donated to multiple anti-LGBTQ+ politicians over the last two years. It is very clear that there is a gray part of this whole rainbow business. I think it is inappropriate for these companies to be showing off their support for the LGBTQ+ community but then turn around to support people who are working against the very community they say that they support. Many companies put on a show of support that is masked with deceit. It is so important that we learn to understand what companies are funding so we know who we are giving our money to.
Sydney Avery can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @sydneyavery08