In Pleasure Month our crew has raised the query of whether or not we ought to be turning our brand rainbow in open assist of satisfaction month as the talk continues amongst manufacturers and campaigners relating to rainbow washing. But, my co-founder Meg and I turned to one another in slight bemusement – how might we, a wholly LGBTQ+ owned company, presumably rainbow wash our personal firm?
We’ve all the time seen Pleasure as a possibility to (actually) nail our colors to the flag. So why the priority?
Nicely, exhibiting assist for our neighborhood isn’t a one month a yr factor. It’s about making certain we, and types, are strolling the stroll, not simply speaking the speak. It could possibly’t be a easy act of outward assist; it needs to be backed up with motion and advocacy. We’ve observed too many manufacturers utilizing rainbows throughout their merchandise and comms, hoping for the halo impact of seeming inclusive, while exhibiting little or no proof of supporting LGBTQ+ individuals in tangible methods. It’s known as performative activism and it has a harmful impact throughout the neighborhood, and to the model. With the rise of social media, truth checking and accountability, it doesn’t take lengthy for patrons to see the place your true values lie.
I’ve appeared on the panorama and requested myself. what does true LGBTQ+ advocacy appears to be like like for manufacturers and their businesses? And the way can we put our powers to good use?
Firstly, illustration. What LGBTQ+ tales, lives and casts are in your communications? And the way can we normalise these? We applaud ANY work that helps the true struggles LGBTQ+ proceed to face, these can reduce by and alter hearts and minds when confronted with the struggles we face. Sensitively portraying the moments we uniquely expertise as LGBTQ+ individuals – popping out moments, overcoming prejudice, bravely dwelling as our true selves – like Starbucks UK’s Each identify’s a narrative marketing campaign and extra not too long ago for India.
However we applaud even additional when a model selected to incorporate LGBTQ+ individuals of their comms simply dwelling common lives in tales that could possibly be lived by anybody. Like Vauxhall UK’s ‘Retains calm and carries on’ TV spot
that encompasses a couple heading to hospital for the upcoming beginning of their youngster – they simply so occur to be LGBTQ+.
We will attain thousands and thousands of individuals by artistic. Normalising LGBTQ+ lives and experiences is among the best issues we will do as an business for our neighborhood. To make the lives of the subsequent technology that little bit simpler.
Secondly, assist for LGBTQ+ members of your crew and the broader neighborhood. What do your DE&I insurance policies appear like? Who’re you hiring, and do you will have LGBTQ+ individuals in roles that oversee your artistic output? How are you giving again? In case you are benefitting from the buying energy of our neighborhood, are you giving again by supporting charities and initiatives? The connection can’t be all take from manufacturers.
A unbelievable instance of this being finished authentically is Savage x Fenty (beneath.) Not solely do they characteristic fashions of assorted gender identities and non-binary and trans celebrities, however Rhianna’s personal basis, the Clara Lionel Basis, offers again to LGBTQ+ organisations, together with GLAAD and For The Gworls.
As a crew we now have made actual plans on how we will higher assist LGBT+ individuals by our firm. We WILL be turning our brand rainbow for Pleasure month, not solely as a result of we consider in exhibiting assist for our neighborhood and celebrating the whole lot that Pleasure means to us, however will probably be as a result of we actually advocate for LGBTQ+ individuals in our work, in our neighborhood and in our firm all yr spherical and we hope manufacturers may even look inward and outwards for Pleasure.
Diana Ellis-Hill is co-founder & director of artistic studio Be The Fox.