While Pride celebrations around the world continue to grow, the cracks are beginning to show in brands’ watered-down attempts at showing support for the LGBTQ+ community. For every rainbow slapped on a corporate logo, another human rights violation takes place, unnoticed and uncontested by big business.
However, some brands are transcending this veneer of support in favour of actually contributing something more meaningful to the cause. Between donations to LGBTQ+ civil rights organisations and its year-round campaigns that surface far beyond Pride month, vodka giant Smirnoff has earned a reputation as an authentic supporter of the community. Some companies that are only running limited initiatives, like razor brand Harry’s, are at least ensuring that profits are being redirected to charities and organisations fighting for LGBTQ+ causes.
However, so much of a brand’s integrity relies not just on grand, public gestures of generosity, but on affording members of underrepresented communities a space for their stories to be told – a key principle in the new partnership between Levi’s and Queer Britain, the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum.
In the week before Pride month begins in the UK, Levi’s and Queer Britain will launch the museum’s inaugural exhibition, Chosen Family, curated by both bodies. Chosen Family unites the work of four photographers, Alia Romagnoli, Bex Day, Kuba Ryniewicz and Robert Taylor, each portraying the different faces and stories of LGBTQ+ people – a testament to the diversity of experiences within the community.
Crucially, once the dust has settled following Pride, Levi’s has pledged its continued support as part of a partnership with Queer Britain over the next three years, where Levi’s will work with the museum along its journey to becoming a fully-fledged permanent venue.
Chosen Family is at Mercer Street Showrooms from June 25 – July 2; admission is free; queerbritain.org.uk