As COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen across the United States, some in-person Pride celebrations will take place across the country. Others, however, have been postponed until at least fall, and there remain people who are simply not yet ready to revel in large crowds.
With the newly launched Pride in a Box, no one has to miss out on the fun. The fabulous, glittery, rainbow-filled array of goodies brings Pride directly to your door and helps you celebrate in the safety and comfort of your home.
"You can't quarantine Pride," said Elise Lindborg, CEO of Brand|Pride, the LGBTQ branding solutions company behind Pride in a Box. "So we curated this really cool box."
Courtesy of Pride in a Box
Held together with rainbow elastic, the sleek black box is packed with coasters, a key chain, a flag, a bandana, balloons, and a printed dishtowel. Of course, it is adorned with rainbows, as well as the white, pink, and blue of the transgender Pride flag.
"Everyone is really surprised at the quality of the products," Lindborg said. "They're usable, things people can put up in their windows."
The website also assures customers that the shipping box is completely incognito and reveals nothing LGBTQ-specific. Anyone uncomfortable with neighbors or family knowing what they ordered has nothing to fear.
My goal for Pride in a Box is kind of like sending flowers. You can send flowers and it brings joy to somone. This is the same general idea.
While the products might not drum up the pomp and circumstance of a parade, Lindborg hopes they simply spread some much-needed joy.
"Send it to someone to bring joy to their life-let them know they are being thought of during Pride when they can't go to the Pride parade," she explained.
Typically, Brand|Pride works with large Fortune 500 companies to help ensure the Pride products they purchase come from LGBTQ-owned companies. Too often, Lindborg said, companies attempt to celebrate Pride, but the products they use to do it don't support the LGBTQ community.
"We call it rainbow washing," she said, "and we're letting people know we don't believe they can just slap a rainbow on something and call it good."
Courtesy of Pride in a Box
Ninety-five percent of the products included in Pride in a Box are sourced from LGBTQ suppliers. The box is available for individual consumers as well as for bulk orders from companies. Corporations like Amazon, Hello Fresh, and Cisco have already ordered them for their LGBTQ employee resource groups, Lindborg said.
She added that the most important part of the Pride in a Box mission is to continue helping LGBTQ people and allies amplify the community's enduring fight for equality.
"Some of our straight allies and friends are like, why are you still fighting for your rights?" she said.
But of course, there are so many reasons.
The LGBTQ community has certainly made significant progress, but LGBTQ rights, and especially transgender rights, remain under attack every day. In fact, more anti-LGBTQ bills have passed in 2021 than ever before, and this year, over 100 anti-transgender bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country.
Particularly brutal is the rash of bills targeting transgender youth, many of which seek to block their access to gender-affirming healthcare as well as prevent their participation in sports as their identified gender.
"We're not fully equal yet," Lindborg said. "I think the world's changing. I think some of the larger companies are realizing they need to walk the talk, and they do need to hire diverse people and accept people for who they are. Because that's where most of the creativity and uniqueness comes from."
After all, Pride is not just about parades, it's about rising up, taking a stand, and being visible for those who aren't yet ready to be visible themselves. Whether you're marching down the street, hanging a flag in your window, or merely working to embrace your true self, there is always a way to stand up for equality.
Even when life fully returns to normal, Lindborg has no plans to stop Pride in a Box. In fact, she hopes to expand it. June isn't the only time people need a dose of Pride in their lives, she emphasized. Pride should be celebrated 365 days a year. She imagines custom or themed boxes for days like National Coming Out Day, the Transgender Day of Visibility, and World AIDS Day.
Imagine, she said, sending a box to a friend to congratulate them on coming out, or to a family member to show them you are proud of who they are and are thinking of them.
In April, May, and June, Brand|Pride will also donate $2 of each Pride in a Box purchase to the LGBTQ-focused prison abolition organization, Black and Pink. Black and Pink provides full-spectrum services, including a Pen Pal program for those currently incarcerated, and housing and food for those who have been released, to LGBTQ people affected by incarceration.
"They are tenacious, they are nimble, and I know the money we give them at the end of June will go a long way with their efforts," Lindborg said.