In past years, pride month campaigns have been a double-edged sword. Queer people feel like they’re being pandered to by companies that don’t actually care about them. Homophobic people hate that companies outwardly support the LGBTQ community and feel like it attacks their deeply held beliefs. For the past five years, people have argued on both sides about corporate pride campaigns while companies rake in millions of pink dollars.
2023 looks like it might be a little different. Recently, anti-trans groups and individuals boycotted Bud Lite for featuring a trans woman, influencer Dylan Mulvaney, in an Instagram ad for their product. She didn’t even post on the official Bud Lite account. This was a simple sponsored post that any influencer would do, yet it caused a media storm the likes of which no pride ad has ever seen. This ad was everywhere; on the news, on social media, and everyone circulating it expressed the exact sentiment of boycotting Bud Lite. Instead of doubling down and standing up for Dylan, Bud Lite put out a wishy-washy statement that didn’t say much of anything but was clearly trying to win back the support of the anti-trans mob. Bud Lite has been sponsoring pride events for years. It begs the question, if a company that claims to have supported the LGBT community since the 80s will backtrack after anti-LGBT backlash, will other companies follow suit and decide not to celebrate pride this year? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, we can transport back to 2019 when our only problems were companies making their logos rainbow with some funny pride memes.