While Pride festivities have historically been intended to create space for the LGBTQ community to gather and celebrate one another, that space has often become oppressive, exclusionary, and dominated by business interests and corporate sponsors.
As Pride has shifted and changed in the DC region, it has become more focused on corporate sponsorship than on community spaces — demonstrated clearly by the sponsorship of corporations that are actually harming our community, like Wells Fargo. Above and beyond any other U.S. company, Wells Fargo both heavily invests in and directly benefits from the private prison industry.
That investment and benefit is not in question — a 2012 report uncovered all of the various ways in which Wells Fargo participates in the prison prison industry. And more recent research from Enlace International shows that Wells Fargo hasn’t just minimally invested in this industry — the companyowns over one million shares of stock in private prison companies.
The fact that Wells Fargo is sponsoring Capital Pride is especially egregious given the disproportionate impact of incarceration and detention on LGBTQ people. LGBTQ people of color, especially trans folks of color, are incarcerated at sky-high rates — and the suffering that ensues is wrecking our community.
That means that a core sponsor of Capital Pride is directly profiting from the detention and incarceration of the LGBTQ community — and therefore Capital Pride is benefiting from the detention and incarceration of the LGBTQ community.
It’s time to get Prisons Out of Pride!