The Wickes float at Brighton Pride. (Twitter/ FlouncyMcGee)
Hardware store Wickes has been praised by the queer community for its powerful float at Brighton Pride.
A Wickes float joined the Brighton Pride parade on Saturday (6 August), featuring two huge signs – one which read, “No LGB without the T, we stand by our trans siblings now and forever”, and another which demanded: “Ban conversion therapy for all!”
The straightforward message of trans inclusion was a far cry from the half-hearted rainbow washing seen from many companies during Pride season.
One Pride-goer tweeted: “I will say, if corporates are going to be at Pride, it’s good to see actual bold messaging rather than ‘love is nice’.”
I will say, if corporates are going to be at pride, it’s good to see actual bold messaging rather than “love is nice 😊” pic.twitter.com/9cUYI4P0wq
— Jorgen Von Strangle (@FlouncyMcGee) August 6, 2022
I agree, the wishy washy “Happy Pride” most companies put out, whilst doing nothing else, gets boring. This is a much bolder, much better way of showing you care, and being unapologetic about it.
Doing better than the Labour Party on LGBTQ+ rights too. https://t.co/KPXqj5rScm
— Arch 🔶️🏳️🌈🇺🇦 (@rchieyes) August 7, 2022
It’s awful we’re still living in a time where supporting trans folk and opposing conversion therapy would be considered ‘bold’ and not just the norm, but nonetheless this is encouraging
— matt horwood (@matthewhorwood) August 6, 2022
Wickes supplied the first brick thrown at Stonewall https://t.co/u2zyeX2uxq
— hannah aren’t (@tubbsOreally) August 6, 2022
Matt Horwood, chair of London Friend, added: “It’s awful we’re still living in a time where supporting trans folk and opposing conversion therapy would be considered ‘bold’ and not just the norm, but nonetheless this is encouraging.
“‘Love Wins’ won’t cut it anymore I’m afraid!”
The float, which also featured paint cans emblazoned with various Pride flags and colour names like “Absolutely Ace” and “Electric Enby”, inspired many LGBTQ+ folk to begin home improvement projects just to show Wickes some love.
“Gonna remodel my entire house at Wickes now,” said one person.
Another added: “I don’t even need to do any DIY but I’m going to go to Wickes to buy a ton of DIY stuff anyway.”
My Pride flag is now a Wickes colour chart https://t.co/ZPv8PFtwNm
— joe (@balf4our) August 6, 2022
will no longer be shopping b&q, wickes is the only hardware store for me now https://t.co/QnJWXb7O0c
— Beth Bennett (@itsbethb) August 7, 2022
Wickes knows who is buying their power tools https://t.co/LjqLxNJibl
— all we have is each other (@setalyas) August 7, 2022
In its own tweet celebrating Pride, Wickes said: “Proud to take part in Brighton Pride this weekend to celebrate their 30th year, and even prouder of our LGBTQ+ Network who work hard every day to make sure everyone can feel at home at Wickes.”
Proud to take part in @PrideBrighton this weekend to celebrate their 30th year, and even prouder of our LGBTQ+ Network who work hard every day to make sure everyone can feel at home at Wickes #BrightonPride #LetsDoItWithPride #LGBTWithTheT pic.twitter.com/Yl4jP69gKC
— WICKES (@Wickes) August 6, 2022
Wickes has been creating floats for Pride celebrations since 2014, and for several years has run its Let’s do it with Pride colleague network, which it says is “dedicated to celebrating and providing support with the aim to create a positive environment which allows colleagues to reach their full potential, together with attracting more diverse colleagues and customers”.
The company has been a Stonewall Diversity Champion since 2018, and in 2019, it launched a transitioning at work policy as well as the Wickes LGBT+ Allies programme, “where the role of the ally is to stand up on behalf of LGBT+ people when they see and hear inappropriate behaviour as well as being an advocate for the LGBT+ community by understanding the issues”.