June is Pride Month all around the world, and an occasion for LGBTQ+ people to celebrate the inclusivity, positivity and diversity of the community. Celebrations include all sorts of parties, conferences and, of course, the pride parade.
Pride month also serves as a reminder that, though strives have been made towards a more inclusive world, injustices towards members of the LGBTQ+ community are still being committed in Canada and abroad.
Many companies also show their support for pride month in various ways. Many will change their logo to reflect the pride flag or vocalize their support for the queer community.
Tim Hortons did just that this month, changing their Facebook logo to a rainbow maple leaf. Their Facebook cover photo has also changed to a line of rainbow-coloured Timbits holding up pride flags and instruments.
Most people are celebrating the new Pride Month logo as a demonstration of solidarity and inclusivity.
Though the reactions to the logo change have been mostly positive, it has also drawn criticism from many, who vocalized their displeasure with the brand in the comments of the Facebook photo. What many of the commenters are bringing attention to is the problem of "rainbow capitalism" (also often called "pink capitalism").
Of course, there are also commenters voicing gross homophobic views, but we don't want to give them any attention.
Rainbow capitalism describes the explosion of brands who now voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community, much like Tim Hortons, but without taking any concrete action that would help the community.
As you can see, the responses have been quite savage. Though many are thrilled the popular Canadian company would express such visible support for their queer employees and customers, some have labelled the change of logo as an attempt to attract more customers.
In fact, the phenomenon of brands capitalizing on the increased social acceptance towards the gay community is well documented.
Critics claim that brands lull consumers into a false feeling of achieving something when they buy pride-branded merchandise, but in reality they do little to further the goals of the LGBTQ+ community.
For example, many clothing brands sell pride-branded clothes but donate little or no money to organizations that support the gay community. Not to mention the fact that their factories are often in countries with apalling records towards LGBTQ+ rights.
The fact that major brands are showing support for the gay community is helpful in making LGBTQ+ rights more accepted and commonplace. But important conversations persist about the ethics of corporate celebrations of pride.
We reached out to Tim Hortons for a statement. Their response is below:
Tim Hortons is proud to support everyone, including guests, corporate employees, franchisees and team members, by celebrating Pride and love this month. Pride speaks to the root of Tim Hortons values of inclusivity, generosity and community spirit. We will be actively participating in Pride events in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal this summer, and will be marching in the pride parades in those cities with hundreds of employees, franchisees and team members.
Read the original Narcity article here.
Learn more about rainbow capitalism here.