I had a conversation the other day with someone about Pride symbols and what they mean to our community. I said those of us in the community, especially the trans/non-Binary community are always looking for them. It means it's most likely a safe non-hassle environment.
With the recent childlike temper tantrum full of male toxicity from Kid Rock over some cans of their product that were sent to a transgender influencer. Some cans with her likeness on it as a gift to her. Dylan Mulvaney wasn’t going to become the next Bud light spokesperson, rest easy Spuds MackEnzie. They just showed the LGBTQ community that they were seen.
When Target moves Pride merchandise to the back of the store and Starbucks this year at many locations removes Pride decorations among other retailers. It just sends a message to the LGBTQ+ community that you are not seen and please go back into the closet.
So, when I see a rainbow symbol or flag for my community. I am more likely to visit the business. Not be on heightened alert which I often feel when going into a place that has some traditional type symbols. Because I don’t know what or how I’ll be greeted.
Do I get that side eye glance because my voice wasn’t on point and sounded a bit more masculine from years of ordering a Bacon Egg and Cheese, Salt, Pepper, ketchup. And when I get to my car there is one piece of bacon and no SPK, guess what? I now know my business or rather a trans woman isn’t welcome there. Or getting called an “IT” from patrons having coffee at the back tables. My few meager dollars might not matter to you, but word of mouth not being accepting or a sign showing acceptance is a multiplier of lost dollars.
But this is what seeing a symbol means to us. That the business establishment will stand up for us if another patron or employee throws verbal insults. They have no control over their patrons, and how some employees feel about us. But we do know that the proprietor will have our back. If you’ve never had to give second thought entering a business and how'll you be treated, consider yourself lucky.
I can understand the hesitancy a business might have. And this more than anything is the least known and misunderstood thing about the Pride Flag or LGBTQ+ rainbow symbol that might be displayed during June.
It means EVERYONE is welcome, not just the LGBTQ+ community. But everyone, for we turn no one away, we only turn away hate.