It’s Pride Month once again – a season that, I can only imagine, inspires terror in corporate leaders across the land. For any sizeable company, these are treacherous waters: the Pride flag is becoming increasingly embarrassing and toxic, yet companies still have to publicly ‘celebrate’ Pride, like some kind of Festivus, or face a backlash from Stonewall, a downgrade in their ESG rating, angry articles in the Guardian and minor politicians lamenting things.
This puts company directors in a difficult spot. They have to do something to appear to support drag queen story hour for kids, but not so much as to hack off their ‘bigoted’ customers. Finding that line can be tricky. A year or two back, my bank decided to transform their app icon on my phone into a rainbow flag for the entire month, but possibly in response to a lot of ‘technical feedback’ they haven’t tried it since.
The delivery company DPD came out of the gates a little enthusiastically this year, having decided to bedeck their app with rainbows. Given the economic climate, this could be stunningly brave, but I wouldn’t have noticed it were it not for the fact that Quentin and Boudica’s parcel was two hours late. (Those are our obligatory journalistic pets, who – being respectable obligate carnivores – don’t eat supermarket catfood when they’re not committing ecocide in the garden.)
Anyway, I opened up the app to see where the delivery driver had got to, using their handy GPS map gizmo. The reason for the late arrival of our driver, Peter, became immediately apparent. Rather than the usual van icon, the app was showing that – during this month of celebration – he now bestrode a rainbow unicorn. Daintily, I suppose. And while I was glad to have that information, which additionally allowed me to infer that (in order to have tamed this mythological creature) he must in fact be a trans-male or at least a non-binary asexual whose preferred pronouns I could therefore narrow down a little, nevertheless it was slightly unsettling that my house – which is normally indicated quite conventionally – was now covered by a gigantic pride flag, replete with BLM colours.