Don’t Rain On My Corporate Pride Parade

This image, posted on the Detroit DSA Facebook page, disrespects our corporate partners. Having structural criticisms of capitalism is fine, but they shouldn’t co-opt the LGBT rights movement and act like it’s okay to be flipping off individuals, like Glamazon and Domino’s, who make Pride possible.

Dear Rosa,

Detroit DSA was at Pride this year (which I personally planned) with signs that said things like QUEERS AGAINST CAPITALISM and NO RAINBOW CAPITALISM. They were incredibly disrespectful to the billionaires and benevolent corporations who sponsor the Pride parade every year, corporations that have led the way on issues of non-discrimination.

I even heard someone in DSA say “Fuck Dan Gilbert” when the Quicken Loans float went by. These folks donated $$$$ to make Pride happen. Why flip them off? Does DSA think these events, parties & parades all occur for free??

Detroit DSA was granted the opportunity to have a booth at Pride, yet they were shitting on the other sponsors. When the fuck have they tried to get government funding for Pride? Never. Hypocrites!

Worst of all, they brought a cut-out of Bernie Sanders into the Pride festival. How do I unpack all the ways this is offensive to LGBT persons? There is an openly-gay candidate running for President: Mayor Pete, who also happens to be the most beautiful man on earth. Yet they brought a shrine to Bernie Sanders to sign people on to their socialist agenda.

The Bernie shrine. Unbelievably disrespectful.

Rosa, tell them that they need to stop co-opting our struggle. I don’t care if a few of their members are LGBT — they’re out there pushing a heterosexual candidate when a gay progressive is running, and acting like they’re on the vanguard when they’re actually putting our movement down and mocking our efforts at building broad-based corporate support for our causes.

I did my best to reason with them on Facebook.

Will you back me up here? If they don’t like it, they should buzz off and create their own Pride with their own money. They shouldn’t go out disrespecting the hard work event organizers put into making Motor City Pride happen, while they’re benefiting from said event and using that event to promote a straight presidential candidate over an LGBT one.



[Above letter based on the comments of an actual troll on Facebook.]



It sounds like you’re VERY, VERY upset. As in, I’m-returning-my-Starbucks-drink-bc-the-barista-made-the-foam-too-foamy upset.

I have always wondered why dull boys like you insist on trying to own the LGBTQ+ movement and making Pride as boring as humanly possible. To make it in your own image? Because you can’t dance?

Anyway, I can tell you think DSA is a bunch of straight people who are “co-opting” “your” community and “your” Pride event. HA! Ha ha! Half of DSA — or, as I fondly call it, DSGAY — is queer. (The other half is also gay but hasn’t figured it out yet.) Many of them were drawn to socialism because they have suffered under capitalism on account of their sexuality or gender identity, and they think collective action is the only way to achieve a better world. (It’s also a good place to find a girlfriend.) So, really, Pride is every bit as much “theirs” as it is “yours,” no matter how much corporate cash you raise. But, I know, it can be difficult when you can’t just boss people around because you have more money than them.

Both of Detroit DSA’s co-chairs are out lesbians. That’s because DSA members are committed to lifting up the voices of queer women and nonbinary people. (They are also scared of butches, but that was a secondary motivation.) Please name another democratic organization in Michigan (or anywhere) whose 600+ dues-paying members elected two lesbians to lead them.


Sorry, FF, but DSA can express itself at Pride however the F*CK it wants, just like their radical queer forebears have done — the ones who actually started the gay liberation movement and don’t need corporate sponsors to keep it going.

Do you think Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson put their lives on the line at Stonewall so that people like you could speak for the gays? (LOL that thought actually cracked me up.)

Do you think all those drag queens rioted against armed police so that people like you could throw a corporate pride parade every year and Nazis could receive a police escort while chanting “FUCK YOU FAGGOTS” and “WHITE POWER”?

You probably cannot see this (because you are a narcissist), but not all queer people are opportunistic, boring, white men like your preferred presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. If they were, someone probably would have taken the time to organize a Mayor Pete table.


Millions of queer people all over this world are disgusted by the insipid corporate abomination that Pride has become. And hundreds of them stopped by DSA’s table at Pride to learn about socialism because DSA’s vision of queer liberation — comprehensive healthcare for all, housing justice, a Green New Deal, no more war — is a lot more appealing than watching the Quicken Loans float go by, followed by the TD Bank float, followed by the Chase float, followed by the Ford Motors float, followed by the Meridien float, followed by the Huntington Bank float, followed by some cops.

And yes, hundreds of queers lined up to take dirty pictures with the Bernie Sanders cut-out because some people actually still have a sense of humor. You should try it out some time!

And news flash: Corporations do not sponsor Pride to make life better for the gay community, nor has their faux generosity helped in any way. Corporations don’t care about anyone, let alone poor people of color or fags or dykes or trans people. They do it to sell more of their shitty products, to make money off of the suffering of queer people, and to further control our society and our lives.

And — because of people like you — they now also own Pride. Congrats!

But, by all means, report DSA to the manager of gay people or whatever it is you want to. Let me know what they say.


HAPPY PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!


The Detroit Socialist

The newspaper of the Detroit chapter Democratic Socialists of America.

Detroit Democratic Socialists of America

Written by

The Greater Detroit chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, join us:

The Detroit Socialist

The newspaper of the Detroit chapter Democratic Socialists of America.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade