How Much For That Queerness In The Window?
Happy Pride! Cash or card!” A vendor's voice rang out from under a pop-up canopy tent. Before the first beaded necklace was thrown from the first Stonewall 50 float at Washington D.C.’s Capitol Pride celebration, the merch arrived. On the second Saturday in June, it was all rainbow everything from the kind of vendors you see hawking bootleg tees and glow necklaces in the parking lot of a concert. Rickety scaffolds hung with rainbow, trans, bi, and bear flags, with bandanas, buttons, and more. The vendors arrived secure in the same knowledge that a growing number of brands and corporations have: Though the parade traces its roots back to both celebration and riot, modern LGBTQ+ Pride is also a lucrative merchandising opportunity. The streets were full of people; the tent was swarmed. Business is good.