Send and Receive

Image by Aukid via YayImages. Royalty Free and Extended License as of 3 July 2024.

June was LGBTQ+ Pride Month. This is and isn’t about that in particular, but about all the signals around it.

Virtue Signaling

In more “conservative” (but perhaps more accurate, reactionary) circles, virtue signaling is a pejoritive phrase regarding what people in such circles see as “liberal” or “progressive” iconography or wording that supports non-conservative/reactionary ideologies/practices.

The same people see similar behavior that upholds their perspective as just the correct thing. It too is virtue signalling.

A Changing Dynamic

Regardless of how a person feels about the division in the US, there is some good in it. There is probably more bad, but I want to focus on a limited scope of good.

The change was observed by a family member who is more attuned to and sensitized toward LGTBQ+ concerns. They noted that fewer organizations changed their logos to a rainbow-esque version for LGTBQ+ Pride Month this year.

I cynically replied that perhaps that tells us that these corporations no longer see a benefit to changing their logo.


Perhaps, just perhaps, brands are being more authentic with at least their brand signaling.

On the other hand, perhaps those for and against LGTBQ+ (regardless of the underlying issues in and concerns of the LGTBQ+ community) Pride Month, ought to recognize a reality.

No matter which “side” a person is on, a corporation is on its own side. The reason a corporation changed its logo or amended its policy or added/removed DEI has less to do with people and more about the money.

Signaling for Money

When companies changed their logos for Pride Month in years past, I admit that I never thought it was about actually supporting LGTBQ+. I always thought that it was a disengenuous ploy to appear to be on a side.

For a time (though I think that has changed), many of those in the LGTBQ+ community had a greater amount of disposible income. It made perfect sense that a corporation would signal support (especially with something so simple as adding some colors to their iconography), as it would likely accrue money.

As LGTBQ+ gained general acceptance, the bang-for-the-buck of the changes began to diminish.

The New Signals

What prompted this post is that I came across a PR release from a company which stated that it was removing Pride Month from its observances, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) from its governance.

This prompted outrage from certain circles and glee from other circles.

All I could think was, do we care about what the corporation does, or about what it signals?

That company understood that it had a higher proportion of people who were against Pride Month and DEI than it did for.

Ask Yourself

Regardless of how one perceives Pride Month, DEI, CRT (Critical Race Theory), or any other thing that might be perceived as a virtue (or anti-virtue), you have to ask yourself some questions.

If the company promotes something like this, how does it live it out? Does it really affect anything? If so, how?

I know of an organization that implemented DEI. While I wouldn’t have vocally supported some of the initiatives that were part of it, I could understand it. I do believe a diversity of voices can help an organization be better.

However, that organization, despite its seemingly progressive bent, could barely move the needle, and that was with a seeminly dominant view that DEI was a core value for the people and org.

The org spent a lot of time and effort on DEI. It is now effectively dead.

The Next Announcement

There will be a company that will announce their removal of LGTBQ+ Pride Month Celebrations. There will be a company that will announce their start of LGTBQ+ Pride Month Celebrations.

Be the person that doesn’t celebrate it (either one). Not because of your views on the matter, but because then you are complicit in their marketing.

No matter how simple or complex your views are on these issues, most companies, no matter their conveyed values, are all about the money.

Don’t forget that.