Where Did All the Pride Go?

Brands Are Missing the Mark on LGBTQ+ Support This Year
Words y: Simon Hatter, Founder of HATTER
As Pride month rolls around once again, the usual sea of rainbow-coloured merchandise and corporate social media posts seems to have receded.

This year, the glaring lack of support from brands is not just disappointing—it’s a stark reminder of how performative allyship can be.

The Vanishing Act

In previous years, we saw brands enthusiastically draping themselves in rainbow flags, launching Pride-themed collections, and posting heartfelt messages of support for the LGBTQ+ community. But this year, the silence is deafening. Where are the campaigns that once filled our feeds? Where are the promises of solidarity and support?

The lack of visible support this year is more than just a missed marketing opportunity—it’s a betrayal of trust. For many in the LGBTQ+ community, these campaigns were more than just colourful displays; they were symbols of acceptance and support in a world that often feels hostile. The absence of these symbols this year sends a clear message: when the going gets tough, many brands would rather stay silent than stand up for what’s right.

It’s no secret that the political climate has grown increasingly hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community. Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is on the rise, and hate crimes are becoming more frequent. In such a climate, the support of powerful brands is more crucial than ever. Yet, many have chosen to retreat, perhaps fearing backlash or loss of business in less accepting markets.

Being a true ally means standing with the LGBTQ+ community not just when it’s convenient, but when it’s needed most. It means taking risks, speaking out against injustice, and providing tangible support. Brands need to understand that allyship isn’t a seasonal trend—it’s a year-round commitment.

Brands That Have Gone Silent

Here are a few examples of brands that once showed strong support for Pride but have noticeably dialled back their efforts this year:

  1. Starbucks
    • Then: Starbucks has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, often featuring Pride-themed merchandise and donating to LGBTQ+ causes. Their 2020 campaign included a series of heartfelt videos showcasing the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals.
    • Now: This year, Starbucks has been quieter. There are fewer Pride-themed products and less visible support on their social media channels.
  2. Target
    • Then: Target has previously launched extensive Pride collections, complete with clothing, accessories, and home decor. They also donated a portion of the proceeds to LGBTQ+ organisations.
    • Now: This year, their Pride collection is noticeably smaller, and there’s been less promotion of their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
  3. Adidas
    • Then: Adidas has been known for its vibrant Pride collections and partnerships with LGBTQ+ athletes and influencers. Their campaigns were widely celebrated for their inclusivity and support.
    • Now: In 2024, Adidas has significantly scaled back its Pride initiatives, with fewer products and less engagement on LGBTQ+ issues.

What Brands Can Do

If brands want to regain the trust of the LGBTQ+ community, they need to go beyond performative gestures. Here are a few steps they can take:

  1. Publicly Support LGBTQ+ Rights: Use your platform to speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and hate crimes. Silence is complicity.
  2. Invest in LGBTQ+ Initiatives: Allocate funds to support LGBTQ+ organisations and initiatives. Show that your support goes beyond just words.
  3. Create Inclusive Policies: Ensure that your workplace policies are inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ+ employees. This includes everything from anti-discrimination policies to inclusive healthcare benefits.
  4. Engage with the Community: Don’t just market to the LGBTQ+ community—engage with them. Listen to their needs, support their causes, and amplify their voices.

A Call to Action

To the brands that have gone silent this year: it’s time to step up. The LGBTQ+ community needs your support now more than ever. Don’t let fear or convenience dictate your actions. Stand with us, speak out, and show the world that true allyship means more than just a rainbow logo.

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