LGBTQ+ Activists Want Better From Companies Who Promote Equality During Pride Month

After Target announced that it would be removing products from their Pride collections and moving the displays in other stores throughout the South, LGBTQ+ activist groups have been calling out large companies and corporations to establish campaigns without caving to anti-LGBTQ+ groups. 

California state senator Scott Wiener, a member of the LGBTQ legislative caucus, stated “we need a strategy on how to deal with corporations that are experiencing enormous pressure to throw LGBTQ people under the bus.” 

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“We need to send a clear message to corporate America that if you’re our ally – if you are truly our ally – you need to be our ally, not just when it’s easy but also when it’s hard.”

Target stated their decision to remove displays were made to ensure their employees safety after multiple protestors knocked over Pride displays and confronted workers in stores. However, activists are stating this isn’t the time to back down from hatred, as the nation is in the midst of multiple battles with the community and its rights. 

This year alone in America, there have been nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures, and at least 18 states have enacted laws that restrict and/or ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth. 

“We are forced to think differently about how we handle security at our events and whether or not we can post our staff’s names and emails on our website,” said Janson Wu, executive director of LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

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Bud Light has made headlines as well recently after their partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who posted a picture of a Bud Light can with her face on it, which led to a lot of hateful transphobic backlash. 

Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, stated it “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” signaling no clear support of Mulvaney or the LGBTQ+ community. Several gay bars in Chicago specifically responded by refusing to sell Anheuser-Busch products since they went back on their pride campaign. 

“Since Anheuser-Busch does not support us, we will not support it,” said the company.

The largest gay bar in the Midwest, Sidetrack, also made a statement regarding Anheuser-Busch “wrongfully validating the position that it is acceptable to acquiesce to the demands of those who do not support the trans community and wish to erase LGBTQ+ visibility.”

“Now’s not the time to back down. I think both business and us as citizens need to look within ourselves into new strategies. The old models aren’t necessarily working,” said Brian K. Bond, executive director of PFLAG, an organization advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families.


School Book Bans Are Rising at an Unprecedented Rate

According to a report by PEN America, 50 conservative advocacy groups moved to ban more than 1648 books in 32 states within the last school year. The report speaks to a growing push for censorship in public schools nationwide.


Far-Right 4channers Launch Attack on the Trevor Project’s Suicide Hotline

The far-right website 4chan launched a coordinated attack against The Trevor Project—a nonprofit organization focusing on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.

A post on the website called for users to inundate The Trevor Project’s hotlines with false phone calls for help and inaccurate location information. In a collective effort to use up as many of the organization’s resources as possible, users aimed to prevent at-risk LGBTQ youth from receiving assistance in their most critical moments.

The Trevor Project’s website lists grim statistics on suicide rates among LGBTQ youth. Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-24. At least one young person in the LGBTQ community attempts suicide every 45 seconds.

“The Trevor Project’s 2022 Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.”

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 4chan began as a messaging board in 2003 and quickly became known for its population of internet “trolls.” In recent years, the “alt-right” movement has taken over the website. The original post to mobilize was made on its most active board, “/pol/,” which stands for politically incorrect. In 2022 “/pol/” was the most active board on the website, serving as a primary platform for far-right extremists.

Real-world violence has been linked to the board. Racist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ commentary riddles its front page. In April, the gunman who shot four people in Washington D.C. posted a video of the shooting on 4chan. The perpetrator of the mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket in May released a 180-page manifesto with language lifted directly from the website’s boards.

Users of the board referred to The Trevor Project as an organization of “groomers,” a term frequently used by the far right to equate the LGBTQ community and their advocacy with pedophilia.

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Due to the influx of calls, the nonprofit had to place a banner atop its website that listed there would be delayed wait times as they struggled to maintain the demand for assistance.

In a statement to The Daily Dot, the nonprofit spoke on the morality of this coordinated attack.

“The act of attacking a crisis services line intended to prevent suicide among young people is egregious. Our crisis counselors work around the clock to be there for LGBTQ youth who feel like they have nowhere to turn, and it’s harrowing that anybody would attempt to compromise our lifeline or encourage suicide.”

The Trevor Project intends to continue its advocacy work despite the attacks, vowing to protect its counselors and people seeking its service. It is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis organization for LGBTQ youth.

Football Player

Colin Kaepernick Calls Out NFL’s Black Lives Matter ‘Propaganda’ On Opening Weekend

Athletes across the US have been protesting against racial inequality for the past month, but many are starting to wonder how genuine these organizations are in their message.

On Air TV

Floella Benjamin Reflects On Her Career In Advocacy On Children’s TV

Floella Benjamin is a children’s TV presenter who’s used her career to advocate for children of all ages and backgrounds. Benjamin originally was a presenter on ‘Play School’ – a children’s program in the UK – before she began her own production company.


Individual Lifestyle Change’s Will Lead To Systematic Climate Action

Climate change has been an ongoing issue, and recently, there’s been heavy debate over how systematic change for improvement compares to individual lifestyle modifications. To generalize, real major systematic change has to occur if our planet has any chance of recovering from the extensive damage that has already been done to it. However, individual lifestyle adjustments don’t go unrecognized, and do actually make a difference when it comes to improving the Earth’s health. 

“It is really important that scientists, or other messengers who communicate with the public, model those behaviors that reduce carbon emissions to drive their point home. Our new research showed that the carbon footprints of those communicating the science not only affects their credibility, but also affects audience support for the public policies for which the communicators advocated,” Professor Elke Weber, associate director for education at Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment said in an interview.

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Basically, the general public is more likely to support systematic change in policies if those advocating for it are themselves making major changes in their own lifestyles. Especially the individuals in the public eye who are supporting this systematic change, such as Greta Thunberg who often discusses the ways she makes personal life adjustments to reduce her own carbon footprint. When someone like Thunberg is showing her following what she’s doing personally to improve the environment, the individuals who support her message are more likely to do the same, and thus speak up more and demand for more large scale adjustments to made from the government. Thunberg truly is the best example of this; during many of her speeches she advocates a message that demands individual change, while also preaching how if we want a real difference to be made, we need those in power to do something more than anything. 

The reason this comparison is so important is because many individuals know that in order for the planet to truly recover, systematic change is the only real answer, so they just assume that their own personal lifestyle choices don’t matter either way. This couldn’t be any more false, every person who actively is trying to reduce their carbon footprint makes a real impact. While that impact may only go as far as your community, it still matters. Imagine if everyone in your small town cut out single-use plastic products, or rode public transportation every other day instead of driving, the real world results of that don’t go unnoticed!

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“Advocates for energy conservation and for policies that reduce carbon emissions must expect ad hominem arguments based on their own energy use. Such arguments are probably best countered personally, by leading the way and demonstrating how to act in concordance with one’s own beliefs and recommendations, and by being an exemplar others can follow, rather than relying primarily on communicating scientific facts about global warming and its risks,” reports Forbes Magazine. 

Systematically, many changes need to occur. We need direct and clear policies that actively work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy, ban toxic and wasteful materials such as single-use plastic, regulate human population increases, and makes public transportation more reliable, safe and accessible to all. These are major steps that need to be taken and they only scratch the surface of the global change that needs to occur in order for the planet to truly survive. However, if individuals are witnessing famous advocates integrating these own policies into their own lives, they’re most likely to do so as well. Forbes reports that out of a survey of 3,600 people, all of them would support at least one of the systematic changes listed above, so imagine the impact if that group just decided to establish those changes into their own lifestyles; the planet would surely thank them.