Combatting Rainbow Capitalism and Pinkwashing at Gay Pride

Banks. Deodorant. Cupcakes. It seems like every company creates rainbow products for pride month — that's what prompted a group of activists to march in response to "rainbow capitalism" and pinkwashing. 🌈


Pinkwashing is the practice of a state or company presenting itself as gay-friendly and progressive, in order to downplay their negative behavior. The practice of a company using support of breast cancer-related charities to promote itself and its products or services. In 2017, Donald Trump deemed trans people “unfit” to serve in the military and disruptive to military service, and banned their enrollment, causing an uproar across the nation. Securing housing, work and livelihoods are major factors that motivate trans people to enlist. Yet for all recruits, and disproportionately for trans people, the military is fraught with dangers, including sexual assault. A recent study by the Society for Social Work and Research found that trans service members were 29 percent more likely to report being sexually assaulted than straight and cis personnel. According to Omar G. Encarnación, a Professor of Political Studies at Bard College, the Obama administration was accused by some critics of pinkwashing "to distract from other unsavory policies such as the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants and the failure to prosecute those responsible for the human rights abuses of the Bush administration’s War on Terror.

LGBTQIA pride marches have become increasingly corporate and heavily policed since they began in 1970. That's why Reclaim Pride Coalition co-founder Natalie James launched a protest march the weekend of 2019's World Pride NYC — also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The coalition quickly discovered they share concerns about police oppression/corporate sponsorship at LGBTQIA pride events. The march will be retracing the same route the Gay Liberation Front marched in 1970 — the year after the Stonewall uprising. The march is a direct response to rainbow capitalism and pinkwashing. James says she is hopeful that this protest march is just one piece of a wider movement towards social justice.


06/30/2019 10:22 AMupdated: 07/01/2019 12:57 PM
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  • Maxence B.
    06/30/2019 23:55


  • Jani A.
    07/01/2019 03:15

    It's wrong if it's purely for money, but if the core idea is to support, I'm totally fine with it. Makes one at least feel welcome and safe. And Pride is more than just getting equal rights too. It's a call for everyone to be themselves, no matter if gay, straight, bi, trans, asexual etc. Be proud of who you are, love your body and mind, don't be afraid to show it to the world, don't judge others for being themselves! And as an addition due to people sometimes willfully misunderstanding things: do whatever you want to as long as it's consensual. So no, I am not telling pedophilia is ok. For anyone suffering from it, be brave and seek help before you hurt people around you and that way yourself! ❤

  • Brut
    07/01/2019 13:51

    After Alabama banned an episode of "Arthur" that features a gay wedding, a local church decided to spread the message of inclusion by showing the children's TV show. 🌈 3

  • Siramul I.
    07/02/2019 16:45

    Can we let people alone for a while this march is all.about acceptance, positivity and love how does that affect people ? Good lord stop the hate already.

  • Eugene K.
    07/02/2019 18:33

    I agree with Jani Asikainen, as sponsorship goes, the LGBTQ+ Community needs the money and publicity to help reach out to as many people as they can. And then there are the queer employees who work at these businesses who benefit from progressive policies at their workplace. As with many things, we must remember to judge such things not with binary thinking. Perhaps there is a way to change the message being sent about accepting corporate sponsorship? Like asking for pledges to fund Aids research, or same sex adoptions, and not just ask for money for a parade.

  • Drew M.
    07/03/2019 13:52

    Always another thing to cry about.

  • Mercedes J.
    07/03/2019 15:21

    Natalie Bravo. Great interview The planet is for all to share, and to be able to develop and enjoy who we are and why we are here. Discrimination is a way to dismiss but working together for a cause and for justice is noble. Mama

  • Noah S.
    07/03/2019 22:35

    I dont know about yall but it makes me happy af to see big companies make money on the rainbow thats what corporations do, they have been doing it with straight people forever and im sorry but im not going to fight the normalization of my sexuality. Put that flag in stores and on shelfs and everywhere else, make it a household norm and before you know it i can walk down the street holding my boyfriends hand and nobody will look twice #pride

  • Diane W.
    07/04/2019 13:57

    These people are laughing all the way to bank at those who think this trend is something to be involved in to be accepted....sad sad sad

  • Isac S.
    07/05/2019 16:09

    hahahahahahahahha so stupid

  • Anirt Y.
    07/06/2019 21:53

    I dont get it. Lgbtq leaders want big name and cooperation to have a more accepting view and be supportive... They got it Now that have it... They dont want it

  • Rene T.
    07/07/2019 00:25

    How about buying a product or using a service without any g-d political/social BS at all?

  • Red M.
    07/07/2019 00:53

    We get it y'all gay good for you.

  • Loretta G.
    07/07/2019 14:05

    There were sosomites in bible times God destroyed some of them king David fought against also nothing new still EVIL!!

  • Armando M.
    07/08/2019 16:35

    Esperando la nueva orden mundial aquí desde mi casa verlos a ustedes haciendo ustupideses en ves de tumbar el puto gobierno de mierda

  • Jason B.
    07/08/2019 21:36

    No one gives a shit how you live your life. Just don't be hatefully contaminating the blood supply with HIV through acts of terrorism like has been done since the 80s. Don't be trying to recruit children. Don't be trying to legalize pedophilia.

  • Thomas L.
    07/09/2019 04:57

    Get over yourselves already

  • Jose V.
    07/09/2019 18:57

    mirate esto y recuerdame verlo cuando llegue

  • Eric B.
    07/10/2019 15:00

    So, you complain about not having enough representation, but now that you have it, you're also unhappy. Just stfu and acknowledge you're just like everyone else and stop expecting the world to cater to you.

  • Keith J.
    07/10/2019 15:30

    Can we stop the BS? I'm gay and I think it's nice that companies show support. So what if they want publicity? Let them have it. Stop complaining when you wanted this.