New Moon
New Moon
New Moon
New Moon

The Queer Experience: Pride Month


30 JUNE 2022

As Pride 2022 comes to a close, we’re left reeling to say the least. With anti-trans bills popping up in states like Ohio, the overturning of Roe v Wade, and other legislation, the future of Pride and queer lives seems a bit uncertain. But still, there is so much to celebrate, and what is queerness, if not imagining a brighter future? Millions have flocked to the streets across the US to march in Pride parades and protests for LGBTQ+ rights and brands are showing up for the LGBTQ+ community in a number of ways. From e.l.f. Cosmetics’ partnership with It Gets Better for their “Big Mood” Mascara to Tinder taking a stance against archaic LGBTQ+ blood bans to Ben & Jerry’s billboard campaign in collaboration with the National Center for Transgender Equality, it’s clear brands are shifting from rainbow-washing to meaningful actions.


Pride is a celebration but it’s also an acknowledgement of a myriad of human experiences. At New Moon, we pride ourselves on our value of radical humanity — that means not just centering diverse stories in our work, but centering diverse voices in the workplace and speaking to a diversity of lived experiences. With our team consisting of so many LGBTQ+ voices, we asked them to spill the tea on the current state of (corporate) Pride, what they wish brands knew, and the future of queer celebration. Read on for their hot takes!

How do you feel represented or misrepresented by Pride Month as a queer person?


“Pride is marketed as rainbows and glitter, bright colors, and flamboyant celebrations, but not everyone falls into that category of queer…I know plenty of queer folks that don’t identify with the bright, cheery aesthetic that’s come to dominate Pride Month and which brands are so quick to adorn when capitalizing on the movement. Not every queer is the same, not every queer wants to twerk in the streets, not every queer wants to embrace the rainbow….Donning this monolithic approach can be off-putting and off-base for large swaths of the community that feel ostracized for not being ‘gay’ enough to celebrate Pride.” –DeAnna Adonnino

What’s your hottest take on Pride Month, and how brands market to you as a queer person?


“Pride Month is largely marketed towards the cis, hetero, predominantly white community, and not actually towards the queer community itself. Every ‘yas queen’ and rainbow filter is a call to the larger, more profitable majority group that wants to be seen as understanding, accepting, and even “part” of the community. What they may not know or understand is the cultural ramifications and dissonance that occur when brands adopt phrases, flags, and otherwise try to capitalize on the cultures that they are misrepresenting.


It’s easy to market to a group of people that don’t understand the nuance, and therefore don’t note the appropriation and misplaced references. Instead, they see familiar symbols of Pride Month and feel inclined to make some public declaration through financial decisions or public statements so they can see themselves, and be seen, as allies. Brands use this desire to be supportive and ‘part of the movement’ to appeal to this crowd through a façade of queer-focused support.” – DeAnna Adonnino



“State lawmakers have proposed a record 238 bills that would limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans this year, with about half of them targeting transgender people specifically. This is a drastic increase from just 41 such bills in 2018. There’s an acute dissonance that’s felt when observing brands doing Pride-themed merch and collabs whilst a wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation is being introduced and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric seems to be rising. There’s an urgency to this social and political situation that makes business-as-usual brand actions feel particularly inadequate.” – Jonathan Jayasinghe 


What do you wish you saw more from brands during and beyond Pride Month?


“Brands need real, authentic, engagement with the community– to look beyond the contemporary icons, and explore the community to highlight more “real” people. Instead of circling around the same big names that continue to get the spotlight, there’s a need for more faces of the queer community to be seen. Right now, a small selection of queer celebs and influencers are continuously held on a pedestal and touted for their cultural significance, but there are plenty of smaller voices that work/live/play around us every day that deserve that light as well.” – DeAnna Adonnino


“What I’d like to see more from brands that wish to demonstrate their support for the LGBTQ community is deeper engagement at local levels, engaging with individual parts of the community in intersectional and culturally specific ways, and the courage to amplify the voices of the most marginalized people in the community.” – Jonathan Jayasinghe


“What I’d like to see is Pride moving away from its cozy, non-challenging vibe of ‘love is love’. Queerness isn’t always cozy. It’s chaotic — that’s why Pride is both a riot and a party. Let’s bring that energy back. Let’s channel bell hooks’ definition of queer: ‘queer as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and has to invite and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.’ Queer as in imagining new futures, not just fitting into the present. Collaborating with emerging and specific LGBTQ+ voices and perspectives can help brands cultivate new, vibrant futures.” – brenda martínez

What events, activations or campaigns do you believe spoke to the queer experience?


“The only one that felt like it had the right intentions was the Aesop Queer Library. And perhaps it’s because the emphasis was on ‘queer’ – rather than ‘gay’ which I feel tends to dominate Pride culture..I think Pride has otherwise gotten lost in the same corporate hijacking as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Rather than using the time for reflection, love, thankfulness, goodwill towards all, giving back, etc, it’s just an endless sea of textbook-case performative marketing…I think only the Aesop Queer Lit Book Shop had the same energy as the iconic Macy’s “Miracle on 34th Street” campaign…Aesop not only gave to the community, supporting young queer writers, they also encouraged self-education in a really thoughtful, non-preachy way.”

“I adore Bratz’ approach to Pride. This year, building on the brand’s own lore, they released a fashion doll box set of their preeminent queer couple, Roxxi and Nevra, alongside a capsule collaboration with designer JimmyPaul. I’ve long thought Bratz was both literally and metaphorically for the dolls, but this really cemented it. The specificity of Nevra being bisexual and Roxxi being lesbian is evident through subtle color cues in their clothing (representing each flag), and you love to see it. Considering how the corporate version of Pride tends to favor white gay men over everyone else, the careful consideration of other queer identities is very much welcomed, especially when so many lesbian/wlw bars in the US are at risk of closure. Personally, I would love to see Bratz collab with The Lesbian Bar Project next year. Give Roxxi and Nevra a space to gather with the dolls!” – brenda martínez

Reflecting on this year’s Pride campaigns and activations, it seems that brands are desperate to demonstrate their support for the LGBTQ+ community. But as another Pride Month rolls through, most brands have yet to figure out that Pride Month is not just a branded holiday, but a testimony of the adversity and tragedies queer people faced and still face in the pursuit of equal rights and treatment. 


With June coming to a swift and hot close, we hope that the following months bring better news and more considered campaigns that engage and honor the LGBTQ+ community’s history through real stories and conversations. Whether it be fostering an inclusive work environment for all queer folks, partnering with LGBTQ+ non-profits and advocacy groups, or promoting queer people into leadership, brands have plenty of actionable steps to take towards true allyship besides an annual rainbow logo swap. Our team at New Moon is made up of some of the brightest queer minds, and we’re proud to center their unique perspectives along the spectrum of LGBTQ+ community at the foundation of our work.


If you have questions about how to best show up for the queer community during Pride and year-round, drop us a line!




Micki <3