Capitalism and Pride
Two weeks ago I attended the Pride Parade in Boston where I marched with Senator Ed Markey. I love marching with Ed because I know that he is a great supporter of the LGBTQ community. Yet compared to last year the parade and festival has gotten bigger and bigger. As I marched along the parade route I noticed signs people were holding saying, “Keep Capitalism Out of Pride”.
At the end of the parade as I waited for my two cousins who were marching with their church, I noticed most of the parade marchers were corporations. I saw, Sephora, Amazon, and Walmart. My question is, is this progress or is this just a way for corporations to use pride as an advertisement?
The answer I got came the next week when I marched in the Providence Pride Parade with my cousin Billy. Billy is one of the original marchers from 1976. This was a significant year for The 76rs because, Belle Pellegrino, one of the original marchers had died. She was an honorary marshal in this year’s parade with a car adorned with flowers as her family members marched beside the car.
Yet while watching the parade after marching I saw a giant float for a car company yelling we’re hiring. This disturbed me because not only was the corporation using the parade to advertise, they were not even being coy about it. Then came the Tiffany marchers with their signature blue bags over their shoulders.
It is great that companies want to show their support for the LGBTQ community yet some like FedEx are marching in the parade showing their support for the community while at the same time donating money to anti LGBTQ candidates.
When the riots broke out at Stonewall in 1969 and my cousin Billy Mencer and Belle Pellegrino marched for their rights in 1976 they marched for the right to live their lives while facing danger at the same time. Pride should be about continuing to fight for the rights of everyone, not to make a quick buck.