Corporations Bring Back the Pride Month Cringe

Corporations Bring Back the Pride Month Cringe

What started in the 1960s as a powerful anti-capitalist riot for LGBTQ liberation has since deteriorated into a month of gay burgers and rainbow bullets.

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Image for article titled Corporations Bring Back the Pride Month Cringe
Screenshot: BurgerKingAustria/Instagram, US Marines/Twitter

It’s Pride Month, meaning we are somehow already halfway through 2022. And what started in the 1960s as a powerful anti-capitalist, anti-carceral riot for LGBTQ liberation has since rapidly deteriorated into a month of corporations and government entities selling LGBTQ people their own identity via gay burritos, “lesbow” t-shirts, double-bottom whoppers, and literal rainbow-colored bullets. Welcome to rainbow capitalist hell.

“Rainbow capitalism” is pretty much what it sounds like: corporations shilling rainbow merchandise and branding—all while wildly under-paying and exploiting LGBTQ workers, and donating millions to rabidly anti-LGBTQ legislators who are banning gender-affirming health care, trans youth participation in sports, and the word “gay” from being uttered in classrooms.

Twenty-two percent of LGBTQ people live in poverty compared with 16 percent of cis straight people; 20 percent of LGBTQ people living alone have annual incomes of less than $12,000; and trans people are twice as likely to be living in poverty, while trans people of color are three times as likely. But, sure, American Airlines—change that Twitter profile picture to a rainbow while donating $50,000 to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign (R-KY) so he can vote against the Equality Act, against raising the federal minimum wage, and against making health care more affordable!

In the spirit of Pride Month’s celebration of authenticity and realness, please join Jezebel as we expose the worst and most cringe offenders of rainbow capitalism and drag them to hell. Because we all know what each of these corporations will be doing once Pride ends.

This slideshow will be updated as corporations continue to show their asses throughout the month.

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Tesla

Tesla

Within days of mocking queer people and their allies who post about Pride on social media, Tesla CEO and alleged sexual harasser Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla had scored “100/100 for 7th year in a row for LGBTQ equality.” A bold move for someone who’s repeatedly mocked gender pronouns and trans rights advocates with the creativity of a 12-year-old 4Chan user—that, on top of overseeing a factory accused of rampant sexual harassment and assault, firing workers for using family leave, and, as of last week, threatening to fire 10 percent of Tesla workers. Happy Pride from Tesla!!

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Burger King

Burger King

Austrians, treat yourself to some very gay whopper burgers this month courtesy of Burger King Austria! I’ll go ahead and let their double-bottom or double-top whoppers speak for themselves. But here in the US at least, it’s hard to see the company as a queer ally when just last year they were cited for $1.9 million in wage theft against their employees. Stealing from queer and trans workers sounds pretty homophobic to me!!

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Rainbow bullets from the US military

Rainbow bullets from the US military

In a post that is beyond parody, the U.S. Marines celebrated Pride by “honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members” with rainbow bullet casings. Because nothing says Pride like *checks notes* invading other countries to kill Black and brown people with rainbow bullets!

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Raytheon

Raytheon

Image for article titled Corporations Bring Back the Pride Month Cringe
Screenshot: Twitter

Speaking of yassifying the military-industrial complex and killing foreign people of color en masse, Raytheon released a statement on June 1 celebrating its LGBTQ workers and touting its recognition by the Human Rights Campaign as “one of the best places for LGBTQIA+ employees to work.” Well, there you have it: Raytheon’s bombs don’t discriminate—they kill and maim all people across sexualities and gender orientations. #LoveIsLove

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Walmart

Walmart

If there’s one thing Walmart has, it’s audacity: In the wake of its deeply embarrassing Juneteenth ice cream, the company is predictably shilling rainbow Pride products, which include tank tops that read “I MAY BE STRAIGHT BUT I DON’T HATE,” “LEZ IS MORE,” and “HOMOSEXUAL ALIEN.” This, of course, comes after the corporation was sued in 2015 for discrimination after denying benefits to a same-sex couple. It continues to chronically underpay its workers, and donate millions to Republican politicians who are currently passing anti-gay and anti-trans legislation that will almost certainly contribute to already tragically high rates of suicide and mental health struggles among LGBTQ people.

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Home Depot

Home Depot

Image for article titled Corporations Bring Back the Pride Month Cringe
Screenshot: Home Depot

By now you’ve probably seen the “as a gay teenager” memes spoofing corporate Pride sponsorships. The trend was notably inspired by Home Depot’s posturing, what with its Pride flags and Pride toolbox. Now, I’ve got nothing against rainbow tools, which are perfectly cute and fun—but I do have a lot against donating nearly $2 million to more than 100 anti-gay politicians!

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DoorDash

DoorDash

DoorDash is reportedly celebrating Pride by offering events to its employees that include “drag bingo, Pride trivia and a donation and letter writing campaign in support of trans people,” according to the New York Times. This, of course, is from a company accused of pocketing dasher tips, underpaying delivery drivers, and pioneering California’s Prop 22 to deny gig workers health care and labor rights.

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IKEA

IKEA

Fresh off its absolutely unhinged Pride couches, which included a bisexual sofa covered in purple, pink and blue hands that looked like it came from a scene in Midsommar, IKEA is now inviting customers to take selfies with a cross-stitch that reads “HOME PRIDE HOME.” The cross stitch features rainbow unicorns and a house surrounded by rainbow flowers. Now, IKEA hasn’t been exposed for any particularly egregious mistreatment of workers, and actually raised its hourly wage to $16 in 2021. But nonetheless, the Swedish furnisher just seemingly can’t stop with the cringe pandering to LGBTQ customers.

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Chipotle

Chipotle

Let’s throw it back, briefly, to 2015, a simpler time of skinny jeans, #ImWithHer, Humans of New York, the federal legalization of same-sex marriage, and of course, this forever legendary Chipotle post rendering all burritos henceforth gay as hell. This year, the company has yet to post any rainbow cringe content, but at roughly the same time as its 2015 gay burrito banner, it seems worth recalling the company was sued for and found guilty of rampant wage theft.

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