It’s that time of year again. Rainbow flags, unicorns, glitter and all things fabulous. There are rainbows all around and companies changing their display picture on Facebook to a rainbow version of their logo. All good, because Pride is just one big party, right?
I received an email from a PR a few days ago which gave me rage. Twitter Rant Level Three rage. It was regarding a rainbow smoothie recipe. How to make a rainbow smoothie for Pride. Great recipe for a lovely, instagram worthy smoothie featuring avocados. And then the hashtag. #Avocadopride.
I was merrily reading along until I got to that point. Avocado… pride? Pride for avocados? Here’s the email I sent back…
Thank you for sending this over. I love companies celebrating Pride.
I do wonder, however, how a rainbow smoothie benefits the LGBT+ community? As a company, are you also donating to or in some way supporting any LGBT+ charities or outreach programs?
Before sending this out with the hashtag #avocadopride, was it at any point considered that Pride exists as primarily a protest march? A way to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and put pressure on countries where it is still illegal to be gay? There are 68 countries where being gay is pubishable by law. In nine of those countries, homosexual activity is punishable by the death penalty. Do avocados also have this problem?
Can you please reassure me that this is more than “jumping on the bandwagon”?
We all know avocados are delicious and are often slaughtered in their millions for people to enjoy their innards, but what does this have to do with Pride?
Pride was born of the Stonewall Riots back in 1969, a time when being gay had only been legal in the UK for two years. Before that, gay and bisexual men (not women!) could have faced a maximum of life imprisonment. The first Pride festival was in 1972. It was a march for equal rights for the LGBT community and was attended by 2000 people. There was no merchandise. No avocado pride. No glitter or unicorns. Just people fighting for acceptance. It was only as recently as 2013 that gay people received equal marriage rights in England, Scotland and Wales.
While we’re out there at Pride, having a party, I try to keep in mind those who can’t. Those who live in one of the ten places where they could be put to death for “homosexual activity”, where who they are is a crime. Where they have to hide the very essence of themselves because their country is homophobic. I think of those who have to hide their sexuality because they would face a prison sentence. Imagine that, a prison sentence just for being gay. Just because you love someone. I think of those who are killed in homophobic attacks like the attack on Pulse in Orlando just over two years ago. Forty nine people killed, and for what?
A few companies did an excellent job with their advertising around Pride. I always think whether me buying a rainbow product actually has any benefit to the LGBT community. The companies that stuck our for me were Costa Coffee, Starbucks and the Hummingbird Bakery. These were just companies that I bought from on this particular day, and I was pleased to see that they were donating either all proceeds or a portion of their proceeds to LGBT causes. They showed exactly how a company can get it exactly right by uplifting LGBT causes and joining in with rainbows and sparkles too – best of both worlds I think. There are plenty of companies out there who are doing a good job with LGBT+ advertising, both around Pride and year round, but then there are the bandwagon jumpers – and they ruin it for everyone!
Eden had a little talk with mama about “Christian” protestors at Pride London. There were five of them. Their number gets smaller every year. We think it’s important to acknowledge to Eden the bad as well as the good. We want her to know why Pride exists and why it is so important. Despite us being an athiest household, we teach her that these protestors aren’t representative of any religion as any God would not preach hate. This is what she had to say…
That’s my thoughts on the matter, too.
As far as I’m concerned, the more people that celebrate Pride, the better. However we need to keep talking about why it exists. We need to keep talking about those who are killed for being who they are and we need to keep marching to show the the LGBT+ community will not be silenced. We need to do that until equal rights is a reality.
Then and only then can we sit back and enjoy the party… But even then, I won’t be talking about bloody Avocado Pride!
Here’s some of my favourite imaged from London Pride this year.