Stephen Daisley Stephen Daisley

When will companies end their embarrassing Pride hypocrisy?

Just sell us your wares

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June is Pride Month, the annual exercise in rainbow-washing, and if you listen very carefully you may even hear gay rights mentioned. You might be familiar with Pride Month from past years. On 31 May, the bank is offering you a fixed rate with a four per cent APRC; on 1 June, it wants you to know that, on the off chance you’re non-binary, your mortgage-lender thinks that’s valid.

The most obvious way for a corporation to signal its commitment to inclusivity is to emblazon its corporate branding with the Pride flag, but this is increasingly fraught with difficulty. Because, you see, the Pride flag is no longer inclusive. It’s a gay symbol, after all, and gay men and lesbians rank just below white people and non-graduates in The Current Ideology’s hierarchy of villainy.

Some brands get around this by using the Progress Pride flag instead and, speaking of banks, HSBC has gone down this route. Alas, progress is a fast-moving thing and while the Progress flag boasts additional stripes in blue, pink and white (trans pride) and brown and black (‘people of colour’), it isn’t as progressive as the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride flag, which adds a purple ring on a yellow background. Of course, this in itself is a symbol of oppression because it fails to incorporate the flags for polysexuals (those attracted to many genders) and polygenders (those who are many genders). If HSBC can’t get simple stuff like this right, how am I supposed to trust them with my reward current account?

LGBTQ flag: good. Palestinian flag: good. LGBTQ Palestinian flag: I wouldn’t try it in Gaza.

These vexillological questions are particularly vexing at present because Pride Month coincides with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This poses a problem for the conscientious progressive because it is very important to spend the next few days complaining about a surfeit of Union Jacks and how their ubiquity is literally the Nuremberg Rallies all over again.

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