How do you Pride?
Supporting LGBTQ+ communities through conscious consumerism and thoughtful shopping is an important tool for furthering their cause. For the vast majority of purchases, there is an option that is more LGBTQ progressive than many of its alternatives. For instance, there are quite a few companies and businesses with pro-LGBTQ worker and community policies. The Human Rights Campaign compiles and annually updates a list of large companies with ratings on how they approach LGBTQ considerations, like work environment, equity advocacy, and how well their health insurance policies address LGBTQ specific needs. There are also a variety of LGBTQ business associations, most notably the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and local LGBT chambers of commerce. They generally provide directories of member businesses, including members that are actively taking leadership roles within their respective associations.
1) General Retail - Target
Target has long been a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights. Target was one of the first major retail companies to welcome all customers to use the bathrooms and dressing rooms in accordance with the gender they identify with. Target has reduced its usage of gender specific signage in order to lessen the perpetuation of gender norms and stereotypes. Target is also a Corporate Partner of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a Platinum Corporate Partner of the Human Rights Campaign, and received a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index for its policies and advocacies around LGBTQ equity.
2) Travel – Kimpton Hotels
Kimpton Hotels has been deeply involved with supporting both LGBTQ+ individuals and communities for a number of years. Kimpton Hotels is the National Hotel Partner for the Trevor Project, which provides crisis prevention and suicide prevention assistance to LGBTQ youth. Kimpton Hotels has also received a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index every year since 2004.
3) Financial – Capital One
Capital One, a banking services company, has been a strong advocate of LGBTQ equality. It provides financial and institutional support to both community-level and national-level LGBTQ organizations, including San Francisco’s LGBT Center, the Trevor Project, and the Human Rights Campaign. It received a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index. Capital One is also a Corporate Partner of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to large brands and companies, there are many LGBTQ-owned and operated businesses in a large variety of industries. Some even provide products and services that specifically cater to the preferences and needs of the LGBTQ community.
4) Food - Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce
Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce is a hot sauce developed by LGBTQ small business owner, Shaquanda Coco Mulatta, an alter ego of Andre Springer. The creator of the sauce describes it as having a well-rounded intense heat with robust flavors.
5) Clothing - Origami Customs
Origami Customs provides swimwear, lingerie, and other types of clothing for people of all genders. The company focuses on providing customized fits and sizing that allows anybody to wear clothing that feels appropriate to them. Origami Customs also donates a significant amount of their clothing to LGBTQ who can’t afford them.
In the current divisive political environment, it is more important than ever to support and let companies know that you are supporting their LGBTQ advocacy and pro-LGBTQ policies. The risk these companies are taking to take a stand is significant. They open themselves to the potential of boycotting from large and powerful groups that do not condone LGBTQ rights.