I wrote a piece for T3 about Pride Month and the way some tech firms’ support for the LGBT+ community doesn’t go beyond putting a rainbow on their social media logo.
Earlier this year, a damning study by GLAAD confirmed what marginalised people already know: every single major social networking platform is “categorically unsafe” for LGBT+ people. But hey! They’ve put a rainbow on their logo!
If tech firms really mean it, we need them to do more than post platitudes. We need them to make their platforms safe for marginalised people by actually enforcing their policies against harassment and hate speech. We need them to stop financially supporting anti-LGBT+ politicians in order to get tax breaks. We need them to donate to LGBT+ organisations and advocacy groups who can make a practical difference in the lives of the people who’ve been affected negatively.
But most of all, they need to hire and promote LGBT+ people – particularly people who are also marginalised by race, class, disability or gender. Good decision-making will only come from people who really understand the problems, and who understand the positive and negative impacts of their decisions.
But if you think the tech world is bad, they’ve got nothing on the Tories. Today the Government Equalities Office and the Conservative party have posted their scheduled Pride tweets despite being demonstrably anti-LGBT+. It’s particularly galling to see the GEO claiming credit for equal marriage in Northern Ireland, something the Conservatives and their DUP allies fought tooth and nail.
As I wrote in my piece:
it’s a hollow, selfish gesture: the aim isn’t to help LGBT+ people, but to burnish the corporate image. Telling the world that you agree LGBT+ people exist means nothing when LGBT+ people’s rights, healthcare and safety are under unprecedented attack worldwide.
And it means even less when you’re the ones doing the attacking.