Beyond Pinkwash: Pride Parades and Integrative civil Religion
Pride Parades that promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights represent a globally growing sociocultural force. The parades increasingly attract corporate sponsorship. For some, this is a sign of success as the backing of large employers signals mainstream public support. For others, this support signals increased commercialization which undermines the LGBTI movement’s political and emancipatory edge. In this project, we explore these tensions and seek to resolve them through an investigation of how Pride might form part of what American sociologist Robert Bellah called a ‘civil religion’, that is a bond of allegiance based on universal human rights and solidarity among strangers. Our project addresses the pressing issue of how political and corporate actors may tap into genuine sources of social legitimacy without damaging their authenticity.