It’s Pride Month, which means many brands are unrolling a colorful new look – changing their logos and websites, launching rainbow-colored gear, even flaunting colorful marketing campaigns on social media and in-store. Some use this opportunity to raise funds for LGBTQIA+ causes or feature LGBTQIA+ talent in advertising campaigns. This is referred to as rainbow-washing, or “the practice of adding rainbow colors and/or imagery to advertising, apparel, accessories, landmarks, etc. to indicate progressive support for LGBTQ equality (and earn consumer credibility) — but with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result” (Medium).
Trans people, particularly trans people of color, also face disproportionate violence by the police. Trans people are 3.7x more likely to experience police violence – and 7x more likely to experience physical violence when interacting with police – than cisgender victims and survivors (Vox). Over the past year, the tragic stories of Roxanne Moore, Tony McDade, and Layleen Polanco only emphasize the need for reimagining public safety. However, calls for justice were often overlooked in the broader push for Black lives. In reality, the exacerbated violence that trans people experience should be central to how we rally for our collective liberation.