Column: the Mainstreaming of Pride

Pagan Perspectives

June saw events around the world commemorating the LGBT+ Pride celebration. (LGBT+ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, “plus” other nonheteronormative gender and sexual identities.) While on the surface these seem to be happy affairs, awash in rainbow colors and set to the thumping beat of dance music, their history is one marked by oppression and bloodshed. Commemorating the June 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked the birth of the LGBT+ equality movement, modern-day Pride celebrations have for years struggled against an onslaught of hatred and persecution in the United States and around the world. But as society continues to make its snail’s-pace march toward genuine equality, one unexpected – if problematic – ally has emerged: capitalism. What began solely as a human rights movement has now also become a viable market.