This year, I purchased my first pair of shoes from Nike's yearly "Be True" collection. I have not been a fan of the past collections because they were all too overwhelming for me.xt
This particular model caught my eye because it didn't scream "I’M GAY" with a flush of rainbow colors. I’m not one to wear the rainbow in any fashion but the small flag on the side was subtle enough to keep me interested.
However, the other small detail of the shoe that caught my eye and attention, was the application of the pink triangle.
The triangle was a symbol used by the Nazis during World War 2 to identify gay Jews in concentration camps by applying an upside down pink triangle badge to their jacket. Since then, AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, ACT UP, re-claimed the triangle in 1987 as their logo.
When I saw the triangle, I thought maybe Nike teamed up with ACT UP for this design. However, I was let down to learn that Nike did not collaborate on the shoe, much less ask for permission to use the logo. While Nike does donate through community outreach programs, it still struck me as more about profit than pride. As a lesbian consumer of Nike products, in my opinion, they are misrepresenting the progression and adding to the fight for equality by not respecting the community and its leaders.
This doesn’t come as a shocker, as I’ve recently noticed a trend of companies rushing to jump in the wallets of the LGBTQIA community, but not rushing to jump in the fight for equality. I love Nike but as a member of the community, PRIDE is more than a cool shoe color-way. It’s more than a product. It is a reminder of how far we have come. Let’s not move backwards!