To commemorate Gay Pride month this past summer, Howard Pulchin, an executive at the giant public relations and lobbying firm APCO, published a somber essay on the company’s website. Pride “feels awfully different” this year, he wrote, alluding to a rising tide of anti-gay sentiment. News had broken of anti-gay pogroms in Chechnya. In Washington, President Donald Trump’s administration was rolling back protections for transgender students. “It feels more urgent and a bit less celebratory,” Pulchin wrote. APCO Chief Executive Brad Staples weighed in, too: “The corporate world is taking a stand,” he wrote. “The next generation of young global citizens will ask a simple but difficult question: ‘Why did it take so long?’” To accompany these essays, APCO created a video and hashtag, #WhyPrideMatters, celebrating its queer employees. Less than a month later, APCO took on a $1.2 million annual contract to work with Egypt’s notorious spy services, the General Intelligence Directorate, to promote the Egyptian government’s interests in D.C.
December 6 / The Intercept