With each passing year, it seems that LGBT Pride gains more and more acceptance. Which is the whole point, of course. This being the United States, acceptance often translates into corporate marketing. Just think: If every brand and store offered a rainbow-themed product every Pride, then pretty soon the rainbow flags of June would be as ubiquitous as the shamrocks of March and the Santas of December. Which is fine too.
But not all Pride products are equal. I especially like those that help raise funds for HIV/AIDS and related health initiatives. Which is why I want to give a big gay shout-out to some items that landed on my desk this Pride month.
First are Rouse condoms. Each style of Rouse condom is branded with an image of a different sexual spirit animal. For example, the ribbed condoms are the Tiger, the jumbo ones are the Elephant and the long-love condoms (with a desensitizing cream so the wearer doesn’t wear out fast) are the Rabbit. For Pride, each box gets a new color so that when the unique boxes are placed side by side, they create a giant rainbow. The Cheetah (condoms with raised dots to “get your partner there faster”) is red, the Monkey (contoured) is orange, the Lion (plain condom) is purple and the Bear (the ultra-thin bare condom) is yellow.
According to Rouse, over 70% of profits will support men’s health initiatives distributed through the Th!nk Different Foundation. At a time when most HIV prevention talk is about PrEP ( pre-exposure prophylaxis) and its daily tablets of Truvada, it’s refreshing to be reminded that condoms remain an important option for sexual health.
Rouse condoms sell for $9.99 per dozen. Order at RouseCondoms.com. As the boxes say: Giving feels so good!
Secondly, to honor World Pride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, designer John Varvatos created a three-piece capsule collection, the sales of which will benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research to the tune of 30% of proceeds. (For more about amfAR’s recent projects, click #amfAR.)
The Pride collection includes two T-shirts, each $78, and a tank top for $68. Order them at JohnVarvatos.com/World_Pride_Shop.
See you at the march—or afterward (wink, wink). And don’t you dare say you have nothing to wear!