NY Dispatch Day 104: A legitimate critique of Pride month is that we are inundated with businesses chasing “pink dollars” for the month of June, embossing the Pride flag on their corporate logos and branded merch, but then they forget about us the rest of the year, the same way that the Democrats only court African Americans during election years. According to LGBT Capital in 2019 our global community had an estimated $3.7 trillion in spending power. Even if that is an estimate, when you calculate that we are 6-10% of the world’s population, and many of are DINKS (Double Income, No Kids), we are a very bankable group. They should be courting us. We need to put that purchasing power to work for our community and boycott businesses that actively work against it.
One one of the key lessons from decades of civil protests is that we can entrench our cause by spending money on businesses and services that support us throughout the year, who actively hire LGBTQ+ people and have support networks in their companies. I have not just actively boycotted Chik-fil-A, which has a long track record of donating to groups that actively thwart LGBTQ+ equality, I try to convince my colleagues not to eat there either. I have not just stopped going to Home Depot, whose founder continues to donate to 45’s reelection coffers, I have switched to Lowe’s, which contributed $25 million to minority-owned businesses. I have not just stopped going to any businesses that advertise on Fox “News”, I have written letters to their CEOs and asked them to stop funding a network that promotes racism and conspiracy theories.
I may not have the same visibility of Unilever, which recently pulled $42.2 million in advertising from Facebook for refusing to monitor and remove ads that promote hate, but if we collectively spend our money with the businesses that support us and defund the ones that do not, we can force change. Do a background check on before your next purchase: progressiveshopper.com.
I am reminded of Arlo Guthrie’s war protest anthem, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”
Walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in, say, “Shrink, you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant”, and walk out
You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him
And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and They won’t take either of them
And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? They may think it’s an Organization!
And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day
Walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? Friends they may think it’s a Movement, and that’s what it is THE Alices’s Restaurant anti-massacre movement! And all you gotta do to join is to Sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar…
Today I am grateful for RuPaul. I’m going to date myself and say I remember him as a striking giantess in heels on stage at The Underground and Wigstock in NYC circa 1989 asking everyone to, “Say, Love!” RuPaul has become the world’s most recognizable drag queen and his Emmy winning show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, in it’s 12th season, has opened the world to creative expression, outrageous outfits, and introduced the underground theatre of drag to the world. Ru is a multimedia artist, actor, singer and LGBTQ+ influencer.