LOOK at What Happened During Leftist Pride Month

Everything was saturated with rainbows during Pride month. It was in your face so you just held your breath and waited til it was over. It’s become unremarkable. Of course there were parades, political announcements and flags everywhere, but that “pride” might be gone. Maybe conservatives have finally been heard. Media talked to many experts and said executives didn’t want to rock the boat.


Pride means something different

Vox spoke with Drexel University Marketing Professor Daniel Korschun. “They’ve been rattled. There’s been a definite scaling back in both big and small ways.” Joanna Schwartz is a professor at Georgia College, she agrees. “I had expected some brand caution, but this year seems [to be] a near full-scale retreat.”

For the people who’s livelihoods are tied to this month, the “bad” was off the charts. Tim Bennett is a co-founder of Tribury, a firm that specializes in LGBTQ audiences. Business has been lousy.

Potential clients aren’t looking for pride collaborations. “In speaking with my peers. Most of us are experiencing the same pullback or wait-and-see approach.” Brand sponsorship is off too.

Pride has plummeted

Rob Smith sells gender neutral clothing. His business has fallen off 25%. A quarter of the stores that carried his brand aren’t doing that anymore.

Alysse Dalessandro is a LGBTQ content creator. She had 35 clients she worked with in 2022. She’s now down to five.

The Trevor Project is an extreme trans-affirming youth nonprofit. They confided in Marketing Brew that they’ve seen “a decline in corporate giving in the last couple of years.”

Pride might now be normal

At least one tried to spin it. Barbara Kahn of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School said, “It’s a natural progression. If transgender and queer people are regarded as part of the norm, there’s no point in making a big statement.”

But if business is blackmailed into doing this, that’s not natural. Any hint of moderating that message would be taken as betrayal.

Stephen Soukup has tracked corporate activism for decades. He’s seen businesses trying

“very hard to please one specific [activist] group, the Human Rights Campaign, which is an LGBTQ interest group. And every year, the Human Rights Campaign puts out its Corporate Equality Index — and every year, corporations are expected to do different types of things … in order to receive a 100 percent rating.”

Pride is forced

If the HRC doesn’t like the level of support seen, it gets ugly. Podcast host Joseph Backholm said they’re

“going to try to destroy your reputation and make it hard for you to do business … So the companies feel an obligation. I see this as a kind of extortion, where unless you do the things the [activists] want you to do, they are going to affirmatively try to harm you. Because in the marketplace, of course, your reputation is a big part of what your brand is.”

The problem is the American public backlash is greater than what the HRC could ever do. If Americans don’t like what you’re selling, you can be boycotted into bankruptcy.

Bud Light’s Dylan Mulvaney and Target’s “tuck friendly” swimwear examples are the most glaring. It was so long and so explosive companies were forced to back pedal.

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