How We Avoid Rainbow Capitalism

Josh Grijalva, VP, Multicultural PR , 05.23.23

05.23.23 Josh Grijalva, VP, Multicultural PR

Rainbow capitalism is the superficial display of support for LGBTQ+ rights and issues taken by companies, particularly during Pride Month, with no substantial action to further those causes. While many companies may genuinely want to show support for the LGBTQ+ community, empty initiatives like logo swaps undermine real progress by creating the illusion of support without actually addressing systemic issues that prevent marginalized communities from achieving equality.

At AGM, we help our clients avoid falling into the trap of rainbow capitalism and ensure that their efforts are backed by impactful action. We do this by encouraging brands to:

  • Prioritize substantive action over symbolism. We recommend focusing on tangible action that creates real change, such as implementing policies that protect LGBTQ+ employees, supporting LGBTQ+ organizations financially, or investing in community programs that advance LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Be transparent and accountable. Honesty is essential. We encourage our clients to be transparent about their progress regarding LGBTQ+-focused initiatives by setting and sharing measurable goals, giving regular progress updates, and creating a forum for stakeholder feedback.
  • Show support year-round. To truly support the LGBTQ+ community, we recommend engaging not just during Pride month, but all year long. Partnering with LGBTQ+ organizations, sponsoring events that promote LGBTQ+ rights, or creating inclusive advertising campaigns throughout the year demonstrate real initiative. There are many opportunities to highlight the community: Bi Visibility Day in September, LGBTQ+ History Month in October, Trans Awareness Week in November, and World AIDS Day in December to name a few.
  • Acknowledge the intersectionality of LGBTQ+ issues. Finally, it's important for brands to understand that LGBTQ+ issues intersect with other forms of systemic oppression, such as racism, sexism, and ableism. This means recognizing that some LGBTQ+ individuals face multiple forms of discrimination and working to address these issues as well.

Having evergreen support, a resource guide, tangible initiatives, and LGBTQ+ employee happiness is key to an inclusive workplace that will help combat rainbow capitalism. Want to learn more about our approach to inclusivity and multicultural audiences? Get in touch.

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