There’s this nice video message in the elevators at work, about the Pride Parade. And it’s making me uneasy.
I took a picture of the message and it’s a fine thing; gives me a warm glow. Especially since there’s going to be a big Amazon contingent in Vancouver’s parade, which is a powerful, uplifting occasion.
I have some history here: back in the Seventies, I was on the college’s student-paper staff and we sponsored and hyped up the first ever Gay Dance. Pretty radical at the time; you can’t imagine the freakout among the Engineering jocks and Aggies. Three decades later, I have the coolest-ever rainbow-flag sticker over the glowy apple on my Mac. Homophobia in all its flavors seems mostly on the run. [Disclosure: I’m a white cishet male playing at the lowest difficulty setting.]
Now, the “TELUS” in that Pride blurb is a huge Canadian telecom. Did I mention I was uneasy? To start with, I’m profoundly unused to finding myself aligned with a telephone company.
The obvious next step would be corporates funding shelter for the army of homeless on Vancouver’s streets, including the street right outside Telus’ building, where there’s someone sleeping on cardboard on pavement every morning. Then taking positive action on the hundred thousand working people living in poverty in Vancouver, sending kids to school hungry. And speaking of poor kids, can we expect to see corporate leadership on addressing the problems behind the fact that half of them are aboriginal?
It shouldn’t be a problem that homeless people and hungry aboriginal kids don’t have a parade to march in, one you can send your employees off to and get a diversity badge for the price of a few banners; and the employees don’t even have to take a day off work!
Pride? I’m 100% supportive, and homophobia’s still there to be combated. But I’m actually not holding my breath waiting for corporate leadership on that other stuff.