Let’s start by wishing you all a Happy Pride Month! We’ve come a long way from rainbow-framed Facebook profile pictures to mark Pride, the months-long celebration of LGBTQ history and culture. But I’ve also noticed a backlash against supporting Pride from certain (loud) corners of the internet. This has got me thinking about whether there’s a better way for social media companies and influencers to show they support LGBTQ individuals—without looking like they’re rainbow washing.
The backlash was embodied Tuesday in a tweet from, naturally, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, which showed a man warning of a swirling cyclone of rainbow-washed corporate avatars. Of course, Musk and Tesla have in the past been more than happy to express solidarity with rainbow symbols, as you can see here and here. And Musk’s Twitter activity lately has seemed less about the substance of the tweet than the likelihood that he’ll hit a nerve.