Last year I visited New York with my mom and her partner. It was their first time in NYC, and it also happened to be Pride weekend.
As we stopped by the parade to watch some cars, I noticed how galvanized my mom was by the energy surrounding us. Seeing her happy filled me with joy as I realized that now—17 years after I came out to my family—we were in another country, celebrating our past fears. The contrast between present and past emotions almost made me cry. Rainbows were all around us and, to be a supportive mom, she wanted to buy something (anything) with a rainbow on.
I stopped her.
The rainbow flag and the Pride march were not born to become a quick cash grab in a seasonal corner at Target.
Are we chocolate on Valentine’s Day? Is our proof of success a $50 nylon band for an Apple Watch? Who wins from those things? Apple, Target. The LGBTQ community? Not so much. Sure, a rainbow band for your $400 watch is cute. But if you see a better way to invest that money for the LGBTQ community, do it.
I’m convinced that we should not to turn the Stonewall Riot into a rainbow bottle of shampoo at Target.
Listen to your political enemies, especially the smart ones, and then figure out a way to make them laugh. If you can make an idiot laugh, they’ll at least pause and listen before they do something stupid … to you.
— John Waters