I was surprised that Brian Randall declared (“No corporate sponsors? Remember, LGBTQ movement is about inclusion,” April 5) that “every Pride celebration on Earth seeks one thing and one thing only: inclusion.” Actually, no. Many of us are after liberation and transformation as well.

That Randall doesn’t know this is alarming and makes me share his concerns about the younger generation failing to learn the right lessons from their elders. Clearly my generation failed to impart to his the wisdom behind the 1980s Queer Nation chant: “We’re here, we’re queer and we’re not going shopping.”

Corporations often profit from misery and engage in practices no liberation movement I want to be identified with should support. One of last year’s corporate sponsors of Pride, for example, also is one of the largest underwriters of the Dakota Access pipeline. But I realize that, if we’re going to have a week of terrific programming leading up to not only a march but also a festival in the park, Pride needs money. So, despite my ambivalence, I think I’m actually OK with taking corporate money.

It’s good some corporations want to align themselves with LGBT equality. But that doesn’t mean we need to throw them a parade. Their donations are reparations – an investment in building a better, more just world and not just a marketing opportunity.

In any case, I welcome this conversation and thank Brian Randall for insisting we have it. But mostly I want to thank the people on the Pride committee who were crazy enough to volunteer to put on a week of programming and throw a huge party and protest for the rest of us. Thank you for doing all that work and taking all the flak. I got your back.


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