It’s Brighton Pride this weekend. They’ve even managed to lure Britney down to the South Coast for what should be a, well, truly epic event. And it’s going to be mega sunny into the bargain.
It is, however, a tiny bit tarnished as an event in another one of those situations where a big corporate (this time British Airways) nuzzles up against the LGBT community and in doing so shells out for the privilege.
But in this case is at the same time complicit on the removal of people from the UK via a lucrative contract with the Home Office.
Is it likely to quell the stampede during ‘Toxic’? Or the glo-sticks to be any less bright during ‘One More Time’? The answer’s no.
Because this issue lurks beneath the glossy, flag-waving and banner raising surface for Brighton Pride. But it is there.
Brighton Pride themselves are unlikely not to have agonised over having BA as headline sponsor. Drill down and they will know that statistically BA will be complicit in repatriating/ kicking out a substantial number of people from the LGBT community and in the process sending them back to potentially repressive and intolerant regimes.
Virgin, interestingly, folded recently over this issue and has ended its contractual agreement with the HO to ‘fly involuntary deportees’.
As the LGBT community as a desirable commercial focus for corporates increases
issues like these are likely to increase too. Events like Pride allow the corporates a certain amount of ‘feelgood’ factor and to paint themselves as outward and progressive in their thinking.
The idealistic aims of Pride in this case are occasionally muddied by these commercial links and relationships. Specifically this one in particular feels like a mohair suit on a 33 degrees plus day. Scratchy. Irritating. Whether it leaves a deeper mark on the Pride psyche remains to be seen. Toxic? It just might be……