The rise of pink money

The rise of pink money

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You might have heard about pink money.  Sometimes it is referred to as the “pink pound” or the “pink dollar” and refers to the purchasing power of the LGBTQIA+ community.


Naturally, we like to spend money on products and services that help us celebrate who we are.  Or with those businesses that support our values and provide a safe space for members of our community.


I want to explore this issue of pink money, to investigate how it is used and how the market has changed to reflect our purchasing needs.


What is pink money?

Pink money is basically money spent by members of the LGBTQIA+ that relate generally to gender or sexuality.  This could be money we spend with businesses that target us directly or other products or services that are marketed to a wide audience but happen to be popular with subsections of the community.


A study showed that more than 90% of the gay community actively choose to spend their money at places that openly value them and market to them, rather than at businesses that have been shown to have anti-gay policies.


It makes sense.  Why would we put money in the pockets of business that work against us?  But this means that pink money has power.

The power of pink money

With an estimated value of $1.3trillion in the USA and £6billion in the UK, we have a huge amount of purchasing power and this means that we can influence the world that we live in.


As a result, there has been a rise in companies trying to prove that they value us.  Particularly around the time of Pride, suddenly everyone has a rainbow icon on Twitter and Instagram.  But it is important to look beyond the superficial marketing tactics and understand their policies.  Look at how they treat queer employees or customers.


Pink money also has a role in politics too.  Parties often look for the support of LGBT members to endorse their inclusivity credentials.  A donation from a member of the community gives them a boost.


Watch out for “pinkwashing”

As I have said already, many corporations want your money and are going to big efforts to get it.  They want to be seen to support the LGBTQIA+ community with the hope that you will spend your hard-earned cash with them.


Some companies are genuine allies.  They support their colleagues, employees and customers and campaign for our rights.  For others, it is just a way to get you to part with your money.


Pinkwashing is the term that we use for this, or sometimes pride marketing.  It is those companies that go big for one month and then spend the rest of the year ignoring us.

Use your money wisely

You have a choice about what to do with your money.  Spend it in queer-owned and run businesses or in businesses with a track record of actively supporting and fighting for our community.


When we spend our money in these places, they grow and thrive, and we get to see more of what they do in our communities.


Do you make these decisions when spending your money?

Do you actively shop where you know they support your rights?  How about businesses that don’t?  Let me know in the comments below.

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Natalie

    I’ve never heard of pink money before. Thanks for educating me!

  2. What an interesting read, I have seen pink washing effect my friends first hand in a retail situations. They both lost their jobs in a supposed deemed “friendly” environments removed directly by corporate, then covered up. Which is a shame since they were so talented….the companies loss. I say let your money talk.

  3. Ina

    I had no idea what that was. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Surabhi

    Great information especially for a non finance person like me

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