Metro Weekly

TripAdvisor shuts down ‘Straight Pride’ organizers in spectacularly gay fashion

A legal threat filled with gay anthems ordered 'Straight Pride' to stop mentioning the company on their website

TripAdvisor is not impressed that organizers of a ‘Straight Pride‘ event are using its name on their website.

The event, currently planned for Aug. 31 and with links to right-wing trolls, will take place in Boston and follow the same route as the city’s official LGBTQ Pride parade.

But Straight Pride’s website has gotten it into some murky legal waters, after organizers included a number of major companies as “prospective corporate sponsors.”

Netflix sent an email to Super Happy Fun America, organizers of the parade, declaring: “You should know that we’re unafraid of bullies. Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”

Lyft, which recently updated its app to allow for gender neutral pronouns, denounced Super Happy Fun America’s “regrettable website.”

But it’s TripAdvisor that has really turned the LGBTQ dial up to 11, with a legal threat that is as smart as it is loaded with gay anthems.

Incorporating song titles from Cher, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and even the Village People, TripAdvisor associate general counsel Bradford Young’s cease-and-desist notice is possibly our new favorite thing.

“I’m Coming Out and saying this clearly: you are infringing upon TripAdvisor’s intellectual property rights,” Young wrote. “To be precise, your use of the TripAdvisor trademark and our Beautiful logo infringes TripAdvisor’s trademark and trade name rights.

“TripAdvisor’s trademarks are protected in many countries around the world and Over The Rainbow, including in the United States under Registration Nos. 2727627, 3171193, 4612678 and 4454774,” he continued. “We have become a well-known brand for our reviews of hotels, restaurants, experiences and even the occasional YMCA, but we weren’t Born This Way–we obtained that recognition through significant advertising and promotion since as early as 2000.”

He added: “You Need To Calm Down — you are not sponsored by, associated or affiliated with TripAdvisor in any way, and thus, your use of our marks could confuse the public as to an affiliation with TripAdvisor. These inaccurate statements, which I trust do not show your True Colors, infringe on TripAdvisor’s rights under the Lanham Act, and impinge upon our Freedom! to decide with what organizations we want to associate our brand.

“Have A Little Respect and remove those statements,” Young continued. “TripAdvisor and I Will Survive without being associated with your event.”

But he didn’t stop there (not least because he’d yet to reference Madonna).

“There is nothing Vogue or acceptable about making false claims about others merely to support your own cause,” Young wrote. “If I Could Turn Back Time, I would tell you not to use our name in the first place.

“But now that you have, TripAdvisor demands that you remove all uses of our name, mark and logo from your website (and anywhere else you might use it) within 24 hours and not use them again. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) disappointment that you thought this might be an acceptable way to do business.”

Bravo, TripAdvisor. Bravo.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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