As June arrives, the question this year is not which companies will give their logos a rainbow refresh to commemorate LGBT Pride Month, but how much they’ll try to outdo each other in the process. The inevitability of corporate virtue signaling in June has become a joke even in LGBT circles, viewed more as hollow pandering than genuine celebration.
Still, CEOs know they have to pander – or risk earning the ire of progressive authoritarian watchdogs.
I say “authoritarian” because that’s what much of the left has become – and nowhere is their tyranny more visible than in the orthodoxy demanded during Pride Month. Once reserved for the last Sunday in June (the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion that started the contemporary gay rights movement), one day is no longer sufficient to appease the LGBT overlords – Pride only counts if it’s observed from June 1 – 30. And if you think the demands stop at giving your company a rainbow logo for 30 days, think again.
The “Wear The Ribbon” energy of the LGBT lobby is a far cry from its origins. Advocacy that began by calling for Americans to “live and let live” is now demanding public validation that stretches from the board room to the living room. This mindset betrays everything that Pride should be about.
What started as a celebration of differences and a plea to let individuals be their authentic selves now demands conformity. The oppressed have become the oppressors. In the grandest of ironies, LGBT bullies have pushed people into the closet, silencing the voices of those who don’t agree with the entire panoply of LGBT dogma.
In 2023 that dogma includes teaching kindergarteners “what it can mean to be transgender, non-binary, or gender expansive;” referring to people using pronouns like “xe/xem” and “fae/faer”; and being completely okay with children attending salacious drag shows.
Refuse to toe the line, and self-silencing will be the least of your worries. Oppose compelled speech? Lose your job. Question the fairness of biological males competing in women’s sports? Become the target of physical violence. Decline to participate in a same-sex wedding? Get hauled before the Supreme Court of the United States.
For U.S. corporations, “allyship” is almost exclusively determined by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and their “Corporate Equality Index.” In order to get a perfect 100% score, companies need to do far more than ensure LGBT employees are welcome, respected, and treated like everyone else in the workplace – the criteria to be met include the “integration of intersectionality” into corporate training; covering the cost of cosmetic surgery for transgender employees; donating to LGBT charities; and marketing or advertising to LGBT consumers.
Given that context, one wonders: Were the recent controversies that erupted around Bud Light and Target caused by a genuine desire for the brands to engage in social issues? Or the consequence of having a proverbial gun held to their heads by the Human Rights Campaign?
The public backlash brands are now facing for “going woke” is the inevitable result of idealogues pushing a progressive (and aggressive) cultural agenda, and major corporations helping them implement it in ever-encroaching ways.
Escaping this abyss will require three things.
First, businesses need to ditch the Corporate Equality Index. Companies regularly decline to participate in workplace surveys — even when proposed by their own stockholders — citing time, manpower, cost, and existing company policies that make such inquiries irrelevant. They should take the same stance on the Corporate Equality Index. It’s a paper tiger, but it will only fold if companies abandon it.
Next, everyday Americans appalled by the collusion between Gay, Inc. and Big Business need to make their opposition known in c-executive suites and corporate boardrooms coast to coast. The New Tolerance Campaign has launched a petition that allows people to do exactly that. The voices of reasonable LGBT Americans who wish to disassociate themselves from recent extremes will be especially important here.
Finally, those words need to be paired with action. In the past week, Target stock plummeted 12%, and Bud Light has become so toxic that stores can’t even give it away. Grassroots action works – it made examples of those two brands and showed that it’s not the elites who hold the power; it’s the people.
A cultural shift from mandated celebration to mutual respect is needed – and something most Americans would welcome observing 365 days a year.