How to spot Real vs. Fake corporate support for the LGBTQIA+ community
When June hits, Pride starts and corporations around the U.S. and the world lift up their rainbow flags in support. But some are not exactly in for the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, rainbow washing their dirty bigotry.
Here are some of the Fake ‘supporters’ and the real ones so you can choose where you put your money wisely.
The Fake – Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret has claimed it’s support for LGBTQ employees and customers with this latest tweet:
Here at PINK, we’re proud to celebrate our LGBTQ associates & customers that make an impact in their communities. Inclusion makes us stronger and we’re committed to giving everyone a voice. We’ll be sharing Pride stories from associates, Campus Reps and PINK fans all month long! pic.twitter.com/zJsh2MwuGK
— vspink (@VSPINK) June 4, 2019
But Twitter never forgot about VS’ recent rejection of trans women as potential Angels.
Nikita Dragun pointed out their transphobia in the most glamorous way:
dear Victoria’s Secret,
you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here i am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY! 👼🏻 pic.twitter.com/rKQHp7SLNq
— Nikita Popstar Dragun (@NikitaDragun) December 5, 2018
So really, how can VS expect us to believe this?
This Twitter user said it best:
Aerie and all their beautiful, diverse, unphotoshopped models watching VS get dragged on the daily pic.twitter.com/zFIhSkQU10
— autumn thee season | BLACK LIVES MATTER (@lyktheseason) June 7, 2019
The Real – Aerie and Savage Fenty
Aerie, the daughter company to American Eagle, is known for their inclusive body shapes and real looking models. In stark contrast to Victoria Secret, Aerie’s branding includes trans models, women with disabilities, medical conditions.
American Eagle promotes and supports LGBT rights for real.
One hundred percent of sales from their American Eagle x It Gets Better Pride Collection to benefit the It Gets Better Project, which works to uplift, empower, and connect LGBT youth around the globe.
And when Rhianna was asked to include Trans Models in her Savage Fenty Lingerie line, she responded with a woker than woke message.
— Alberto Otero (@lbertootero) November 29, 2017
The Fake – Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters has an undeniable presence as a giant in the fast fashion industry.
With its numerous collabs with other (better) brands, and in house overpriced clothes UO is always on the prowl to keep up with recent trends. Which is probably why it’s trying to get on the pro-LGBTQIA+ bandwagon.
UO consistently tries to rainbow wash its very dirty bigotry with literal rainbow plastered products pro-LGBTQ slogans. But in reality, the CEO of UO, Richard Hayne is openly anti-LGBT and donates regularly to political candidates and organizations that share those views.
REMINDER THAT URBAN OUTFITTERS IS ANTI LGBTQ+ I know they have "pride" ads in their stores but it's a ploy. Richard Jayne (CEO of UO) also (and sadly) owns anthropology and free people. SOoOo fuck these brands, esp UO who sells Walmart clothes at 3x the cost.
— 𝓬𝓪𝓵𝓶 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓽𝓲𝓽𝓼 🍒 (@Smalltiddycrybb) June 10, 2019
So next time you wanna buy those cute rainbow light fixtures, remember there’s a more ethical option. Like this next company.
The Real – Ikea
Ikea has been an outspoken ally since its early 1994 ad featuring a gay couple shopping for furniture.
The ad was the first of its kind and way ahead of the curve in terms of pro-LGBTQIA+ commercials. Peep it here:
Ikea continues to be an ally with its launch of a rainbow-striped edition of the Kvanting shopping bag. 100% of the profits will be going to support the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and its programs for children, youth and families.
“At IKEA, our culture is centered on the value of togetherness. We believe equality is a fundamental human right and that all homes are created equal.”
The Fake –Target and Best Buy
Sorry, but your faves are problematic. Target and Best Buy were under scrutiny in 2010 due to their recent donations to MN Forward, a new tax-exempt committee running ads backing Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, a staunch opponent of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.
Best Buy released a video in 2012 for their “It Gets Better” campaign featuring LGBTQIA+ employees sharing their stories. Best Buy released a statement about the campaign,
“The goal of the video is to show teens or other young people who may have been bullied or stereotyped based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, how incredibly valuable their lives are. Ideally, this message will help assure them that the future holds so much more for them.”
Best Buy and Target have called for a rigorous and specific review by an independent board member for the company’s contributions policy. And According to Glassdoor, The company signed the Equality Act and is a platinum partner with The Human Rights Campaign. Is that enough?
It’s up to you to determine but in the meantime maybe get your electronics from a pro-LGBTQIA+ company. Like…
The Real –Apple
You can’t rainbow wash a company whose literal first logo was rainbow. But you can still rest assured that Apple has been an ally since the beginning. Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook is an openly gay man and advocate for LGBT rights.
He even wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, urging Congress to approve a bill designed to “protect workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The Fake –Cracker Barrel
So we all know Chick-fil-A is anti-gay, but let us introduce you to its’ southern anti-LGBTQ sister, Cracker Barrel. So its too ironic to say that a southern fast food chain is homophobic and racist, but unfortunately, it’s true. According to the Huffington Post, in 1991, 11 employees were fired for not presenting “normal heterosexual values.”
In 2004, the U.S. Justice Department “found that the chain restaurant had segregated customers, seated and served white customers before black customers, and allowed for white servers to refuse to wait on black customers.”
But they walked in Nashville’s Pride parade talkin’ about “We value what EVERYONE brings to the table” with ‘EVERYONE’ in rainbow letters.
How about we get our desserts elsewhere?
The Real – Ben & Jerry’s
Two men making ice cream for decades without a homophobic slur in sight and with slogans like “love comes in all flavors”. But that’s not all Ben & Jerry’s does for the LGBTQIA+ community.
The ice cream company has always been an advocate for the queer rights around the world, by supporting legislation to protect individuals from discrimination and fighting for marriage equality and beyond everywhere. Peep their history of pro-LGBTQIA+ support here.
Some More Fakes…
Bed Bath & Beyond
Sorry, this retailer only scored a 20 out of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. The HRC Index determines the score based on:
– Non-discrimination policies
– Employment benefits
– Supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility, including public commitment to LGBTQ equality
– Responsible citizenship
Exxon tried it with this tweet of support,
ExxonMobil employees around the world participate in Pride events this time of year. ExxonMobil’s employee PRIDE network has chapters in the U.S. and six other countries including Canada, Brazil, U.K., Hungary, and the Czech Republic. #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/oXtkLjh1eO
— ExxonMobil (@exxonmobil) June 25, 2018
But actually, according to HuffPo the big oil corporation, Exxon “has been fighting for years against non-discrimination protection and equal benefits coverage for their employees.”
And according to the Dallas Voice, Exxon took away protections for same-sex couples and gay and lesbian employees after acquiring Mobile in 1999. They also scored a below 0 score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index in 2012.
One of the Realest –Getty Images
Getty Images is probably what you think of as the largest image licensing corporation online. And as part of 200 million assets of images, there’s a growing number of LGBTQIA+ images.
The visual media company also makes sure to encourage and promote LGBTQIA+ support by acquiring more crucial historical photos and overall positive representations of the community. Peep our latest exclusive article on Getty Images new data on LGBTQIA+ images.
In silicon valley and with the growth of newer companies and corporations, like Facebook, Google, Uber, and Paypal we’re gaining more LGBTQIA support every day.
So look for the real supporters and teach the fake ones that you won’t be fooled by a couple of rainbow stickers.