Plant slime: Essential to the LGBTQ cause. Possibly.
In this year's Pride episode, I get a bit defensive of the flag, a bit hungry for glitter, and a bit greasy from an orgy in Marks & Spencer's. Probably.
Happy Pride, everyone! Remember to ask the companies so keen to take your money over Pride Season what they're doing for your community during the rest of the year.
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Did you know you can get an LGBT sandwich now? Yeah, this is a thing, apparently. A supermarket chain here in the UK has created an LGBT sandwich. It’s a BLT, but with G added.
And the G isn’t, surprisingly, Glitter. Although I now want there to be a bacon sandwich with edible glitter baked into the bread. Someone please make sparkly bread a thing. I want my carbs to be FABULOUS.
Nor does the G in this situation refer to GHB, which is essentially liquid ecstasy, often used at sex parties. As fucking brilliant as it would be to see everyone getting off their tits on a sandwich. Remember kids - if someone offers you a sandwich, only have half. Otherwise you might find yourself on the bottom of a sweaty sexpile on your lunch break, and no-one wants to go back to the office after a lunchtime orgy by the checkouts at Marks & Spencers. It would be very difficult to focus on your spreadsheets or whatever while wondering if that was melted butter you could feel dribbling down your leg, or something entirely different. Spreadable.
Aaahahaa. I made myself laugh.
Anyway. Gay sandwiches. Sort of. I bet whatever marketing department thought this up was very pleased with themselves. “What is it that LGBT people want?” Equal treatment in all things, freedom to live and love without fear, more positive representations of queer life in mainstream media. “Right, right. HOw about, and stick with me on this one... A sandwich? BUT! Stick with me here, right, it’s got salad and a bit of bacon, right, but then we slap some avocado in there, and bung a rainbow on the wrapper?” <BEAT> Fucking genius. Have some more cocaine.
I’m being a little hard on them, to be honest. I mean, I don’t think adding plant slime to a sandwich as the best possible way to help LGBT causes, BUT they are giving money to charity, which is moving in the right direction. I’m actually not down on this at all. It’s relatively low-effort, but it’s a way of doing soemthing nice for the LGBT community. It shouldn’t be the only thing they do, but it’s certainly better than not doing anything.
I mean, is it going to fix everything? No. Course not. It’s a fucking sandwich. Is it an offense to LGBTQ people? No. I think it’s kinda cute, to be honest. Is it actively helping an LGBT charity make things a little bit better? Yes. Right, then.
I think my point here is, it’s better than nothing, and it’s better to have them inside pissing out than outside pissing in.
And it is certainly considerably better than just slapping a “woo gays” rainbow version of a logo on their stuff and leaving it at that. Which, sadly, is what a lot of brands seem to think is appropriate to do during Pride Month.
I’ve talked before about the need for Pride marches in the episode called Pride, funnily enough. (By the way, they are NOT parades - a march is a protest, a parade is a celebration. We can have a parade when every single LGBTQ person on this planet is free, unharmed and treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else. Until then, we’re marching.)
And I stand by what I said - Pride is important.
But. And it is a big hairy butt.
But it should always be about the LGBTQ community, and I’m seeing less and less of that every year. Twenty, hell, even ten years ago, a mainstream company having a presence at Pride was a great thing - it said “We’re not afraid to support our LGBTQ customers - we see you (and your money) as equal to the money of our straight customers!” and that was a great, even brave, thing for companies to do. At the time.
It is no longer enough for a company to slap a rainbow on the side of their product for a month and call it quits. You don’t get to wave our flag if you are not doing something that actively benefits the LGBTQ community.
It’s not enough to not longer object to our existence. Nowadays companies need to be actively helping the community if they want to use our flag.
Because that flag is important. Not because it’s a flag. But because of what it represents. It means safety. Family. Belonging. Somewhere I don’t have to watch myself and the way I talk or act, or keep an eye out for idiots who’re going to make my life harder in a million little ways for no other reason than because they can. When I see that flag on a building, or in a bar, it means that this is a place where I’m among my own kind, who know the kind of shit we all have to deal with, because they too are dealing with it. Or it should do. Far too often, especially around Pride Month, it means “Quick stick a pride flag on the wall so gay people will spend their money here”.
Even the words ‘pride month’ don’t sit right with me. The more I think about it, the more it smacks of some kind of marketing committee sort of a thing. Every month is Pride month when you’re LGBTQ. Every day we celebrate, by holding hands with a lover, by kissing in public, by talking about our husbands and wives without shame or fear. That’s what Pride is. It’s not the march, it’s not the rainbow flags or the glitter, one day a year. It’s every day. It’s living and loving and dealing with all the straight people shit like Straight Pride without just shouting “Fuck it!” and reaching for a pitchfork. Because believe me when I say sometimes it is tempting.
And if you’re not involved in that effort all year round, then you don’t deserve to get to play on the one fun day of the year. None of it goes away. The world doesn’t magically get better for everyone on July 1st every year, but it’s not Pride Month anymore, so all the rainbows suddenly disappear.
Maybe it’s time we started asking, as we see those companies with big Pride presences, what they do for the community that they are suddenly so keen to be a part of. “Oh, we treat all our employees equally.” isn’t enough, because all they’re saying there is “We don’t hate gays enough to break the law.” and “We’ll do exactly as much as the law says we have to” isn’t reassuring. “Is your sandwich tasty?” “Tasty? Well! It meets the minimum legal requirements to be classified as food!” Not exactly enticing.
Maybe it’s time we started making sure the businesses supporting Pride are also supporting the community the rest of the year, too. Partnering with nonprofits and charities, not just in Pride month, but all year round. Making sure that they’re contributing to lasting change for their LGBTQ customers, not just throwing rainbows around until we hand over cash.
And if they’re not doing anything, then maybe we stop spending money there. Although I know this is the hard bit, because I know several gays who continue to eat at Chick-Fil-A in the US, despite it being owned by some extremely anti-LGBT bastards. Or Nando’s in the UK, who have a big presence at Pride, and even have a rainbow version of their logo up permanently outside their Soho restaurant, yet contribute nothing to the betterment of the LGBTQ community as a whole.
And if you just went “Oh, that’s me, I eat there, lol” then fucking stop it, yer muppet! You’re only encouraging them. Have a glittery avocado sandwich instead.
Yeah, not that appealing, is it? Can someone please make gay pizza or something for next year? Imagine the delivery app: “Order complete. A 10-inch spicy sausage is on its way to you now.”
Chance would be a fine thing.