An Open Letter To Boise Corporations Who Are Terrible at Doing Even Basic Performative Corporate Activism.
I am deeply disappointed by the decision of your corporation** to withdraw its support of this year's Boise Pride Festival, citing misinformation surrounding some of its events and programming.
Whether it was your intent or not, withdrawing your support from the festival nevertheless shares a clear message with LGBTQIA+ children, youth, and adults that the voices of bullies will win - even if their words are untrue. You have shared a clear message with LGBTQIA+ children, youth, and adults that although they are targeted by hatred and violent rhetoric 365 days a year, a powerful organization such as yours** can't even find the courage to stand alongside them for a single weekend. You have shared a clear message with your LGBTQIA+ employees and customers that you value corporate protection far more than you value their lives and dignity.
Did you know that approximately 45% of LGBTQIA+ youth have seriously considered or attempted suicide in the past year? Actions such as those taken by your company** this week make difficult life circumstances all the more traumatic and lonely youth feel even more alone than they already are. Making the decision to withdraw sponsorship after the specific activities in question were suspended adds further insult to injury.
Given that this week is National Suicide Prevention Week, and that LGBTQIA+ children, youth, and adults are at considerably higher risk of suicidal ideation than their cisgender, heterosexual peers, I assume you will commit to making a sizable -- and well publicized -- donation to an organization such as The Trevor Project to make up for the hurt your decisions have caused LGTBQIA+ young people today.
As an organization** with a significant presence in the Boise community, you have the power to make a positive impact in the world. Will you choose to use that power in ways that speak to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion? Or will you continue to let the voices of bullies drown out any hope of acceptance and belonging?
Rev. TJ Remaley
** Corporations that have received their very own personalized version of this open letter include the following. It's not much. But it's what I can offer with the bandwidth I have.
I'm a husband, father, news junkie, theatre lover, enneagram enthusiast, bi advocate, amateur foodie, wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
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