Ok, so we are in the mist of the pride festivities once more and this is meant to be a great time for everyone LGBT+ and it should be. But each year, we are constantly reminded that pride festivals are just money making machines that stopped caring about the real meanings behind what was created.
Recently someone did a chart and blog post about their pride parade and found that over 50% of all the floats were businesses. Now I’m not saying that businesses shouldn’t be able to take part. Far from that. I’m saying that if businesses are paying to be at the party, why should queers? Why should spaces on parades be taken up with banks and politicians when smaller groups get nothing in return.
The average price these days to go to a pride event is about £20. That’s just a ticket to get in. Pride float costs are about £100 so there is often no chance of smaller groups and poorer people to attend. Then include travel, food (because some pride events won’t let you bring your own food and drink) which is way over priced, and possibly getting a souvenir. That’s also not including if you want a stall there also. Which can range from free to about £100+. Basically the only groups who can afford to go are middle class white gays and businesses.
Whilst some Pride events share a small proportion of their profits to LGBT charities and small groups, many do not and they are profiting from us. They are taking money from the community and not putting it back in.
So what can we do to help. Firstly don’t go to a pride event that profits from queers and doesn’t give back. Its bad practice. Secondly why don’t you create your own pride events as groups and individuals. Pride was always about the community to begin with. Do little meet ups, maybe picnics. The recent queer picnic in London was aimed for trans and people of colour and was a huge hit. Thirdly, don’t give money to corporations that have no equality policy in place. They shouldn’t even be at prides if they don’t actually support queers.
Finally if you do decide to go to prides, because let’s face it they are fun. Remember why they are around. Just because we got same sex marriage, doesn’t mean we got equality. Transphobia is still rife, even in the LG community, the spouse veto still exists in the UK, POC and queers are still getting murdered and homelessness is still fucking big. Try and find stalls and floats that support the people in need and see if you can help them, instead of your local bank.