What Would You Do If a Bank Gave You $60 Million to Throw a Pride Party?

Over the contracts, Pride has evolved from a celebration of queer liberation to something all-too-predictable: a four-week period in June in which banks, burrito companies, and even the FBI awkwardly tweet out rainbow memes in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community. Yes, we’re talking queer-identifying Bratz dolls and the 84-track compilation Now This Is What I Call Pride.

It’s not always necessarily bad, of course. Some of the content that has come out during this time actually rules, like Joel Kim Booster’s fire island, for example, or the new Muna album, which genuinely slaps all year round. This Pride, we are asking friends of GQ what they would do if their favorite corporate bank gave them 60 million dollars to celebrate their LGBTQIA+ community. Pride is, of course, should always be a continued rebellion and a fight for radical change, but it could also perhaps be a glorious excuse to spend someone else’s money.

Hannah Einbinder, actor

I would truly search gofundme for every single gender-affirming surgery/after-care page and max it out. Can you imagine? That would be my dream! If there was any money left over, I would also do a pride collab with doc martins. The brown high-top boots need to come in a platform, also both navy blue and forest green platforms. DOC, I GOT IDEAS, CALL ME!

Melissa KingJudge & Top Chef All-Stars Winner

If a corporate bank gave me $60 million to create an epic PRIDE campaign, I’d first start by donating several million to various LGBTQ+ organizations focused on youth and homelessness, as well as food shelters. Then I would build a multi-day pride festival on the beach or in a forest that would feel as if a food festival and an outdoor music festival had a baby. The festival will feature a variety of queer talents, icons and allies with performances by Lady Gaga, Madonna, Janelle Monae, Lil Nas, Hayley Kiyoko and more. It would support LGBTQ+ chefs and restaurants through culinary demos, seminars, and food truck activations. The festival would have a marketplace highlighting LGBTQ+ business owners, from leather workers to chest binder makers to hairstylists offering free cuts on-site so you can embrace your most authentic self. There would be commissioned art installations designed by queer artists spread throughout the festival like a mini burning man. The queer artworks would have a life beyond the festival and be on display at public parks, museums, and business establishments. Along with concerts, there’d be various stages with ballroom battles hosted by Billy Porter, drag contests hosted by Ru Paul, and curated fashion shows by top designers throughout the festival experience. There would be a tent of hosted workshops with available therapy & mental health resources. All performances would be live steamed broadcasted with call to action of donating to LGBTQ+ charities. The corporate bank will need to give us a few more million, so we can create the same experience in a different country each month to continue celebrating LGBTQ businesses and talents around the world all year round.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo