The disabled community has a new pride flag just in time for Disability Pride Month, offering an updated design that a whole new generation of able-bodied people can point at and go, ”Wait, what’s that one again?” But as the calming new design that offers “not none, but certainly fewer seizures” hits social media, many are asking why it isn’t being used by multimillion dollar corporations to pander to disabled customers yet.
“I have the right to be pandered to and patronized just like any able-bodied person,” one disabled consumer told us. “I already pay more for accessibility in my daily life; I have the right to pay more for branded pride merch too.”
The monetization of LGBTQIA+ Pride and the lack thereof when it comes to Disabled Pride has those who belong to both communities feeling conflicted. “As a queer disabled person, only my queerness is monetized by corporations. Which is, like, so weird, ’cause my gayness doesn’t even compare to my disabledness. Corporate cynicism is kinda gross, but I gotta admit … it can be totally validating too.”
We asked disabled academic Dr. Kathy Payne why we’re not getting our fair share of capitalist exploitation during Disabled Pride Month.
“People are missing the point,” she told us. ”Companies don’t pander just to minority groups during pride month. They’re mainly pandering to the majority groups that want to feel like they’re supporting those minorities by buying pride-branded products. Which doesn’t help the cause at all, of course. It’s basically like donating to the LGB Alliance or voting for the Democrats. We’ll only get corporate pride month pandering when able-bodied people want to feel like they’re helping us without actually having to help us. We don’t even qualify for that level of inaction yet. Maybe in a more equitable future, one month a year we’ll get to pay five dollars more for a disability-themed Gingerbread Man with the legs already bitten off. That’s the dream.”