What is rainbow washing?
Many brands have publicly displayed support by changing their logos to rainbow themed ones during the month of June, but have failed to take any action beyond the same. This practice is called rainbow washing. Some examples include promising allyship to their queer employees and customers on social media, and printing merchandise with a rainbow logo (eg: T-shirts, shoes). This behavior, in most cases, is only a marketing strategy in the name of allyship towards the community.
Why is it harmful?
These organizations are ignorant of the systemic oppression faced by the queer community. The rainbow logo for such organizations only represents joy and celebration; but for the queer community, it is symbolic of their past and present struggles, and their hope for a better tomorrow. Most organizations are not queer friendly, and are unwilling to update their policies to be more queer-inclusive. Performative allyship of this kind is insensitive not only to the queer community, but also to other organizations that genuinely work towards queer liberation.
How can they do better?
->Organize mandatory queer sensitisation workshops.
->Design and enforce queer-inclusive policies where the members of the community are part of the policy-making decisions.
->Contribute proceeds to queer-owned businesses, NGOs, and others.
->Be unflinching allies to the community in the face of any and all adversity.