Pink capitalism, also know as Rainbow Capitalism, Homocapitalism, Gay capitalism, and formerly Progressive Capitalism, is the act of corporations feigning support for LGBTQIA individuals while simultaneously extracting as much wealth from them as possible.
Some individuals would argue that completely unregulated capitalism will result in total acceptance of marginalised groups due to the theory that profit coming from the economic relationships with these groups will outweigh the desire to preserve the culture of oppression towards them. The reason this doesn’t work is that capitalism, by definition, is about accruing as much wealth as possible with no regard for the social or political implications behind it. Key examples of this paradox include but are not limited to;
- A corporation utilising LGBTQIA imagery or culture as an aesthetic by which to sell more products while simultaneously upholding the financial and social oppression of its queer and trans employees.
- Refusal to allow trans employees to use their correct names on system databases while claiming to be non-discriminatory by allowing pronouns on name badges.
- Providing inadequate insurance policies that do not cover necessary trans healthcare.
- Providing insurance policies that require the employee to be in a heterosexual marriage in order for their spouse to be covered.
- Discriminating against queer and trans employees during the hiring process in order to avoid paying for the aforementioned things.
- Discriminating against queer and trans employees during the hiring process because GNC presentation is considered unprofessional.
- Alcohol companies such as Smirnoff and Absolut preying on the fact that LGBTQIA individuals are more likely to develop addictions due to the unavailability of alcohol free LGBT social spaces.
- City councils forcibly co-opting pride marches in order to drown out the original message, and charging extortionate amounts of money for LGBT individuals to attend the protests that we created in response to police violence.
Pink capitalism often goes hand-in-hand with pinkwashing, which is described as using the action of queer rights to distract from violence and oppression. Pinkwashing is used to describe marketing and political strategies aimed at products, countries, individuals, or entities through an appeal of queer-friendliness for the sake of appearing modern, progressive, and tolerant. One example of this is corporations changing their logos to rainbow colors during Pride Month.