The 21st Show

When Companies Profit From Pride Month; Health Data Breaches; What Podcasts We’re Listening To

A crowd holds rainbow flags as they watch the 48th Annual Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25, 2017 in Chicago.

A crowd holds rainbow flags as they watch the 48th Annual Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25, 2017 in Chicago. AP Photo/G-Jun Yam

June is Pride Month, and you may have seen hundreds of big box stores selling rainbow merchandise. But when did pride become profitable, and where do brands actually stand on LGBTQ issues? Plus, thousands of Illinois patients have been affected by data breaches in the last year. We’ll talk about what hospitals are doing about it and how you can protect your information. And we’re continuing our weeklong series featuring podcasts you can listen to this summer.

When it comes to what to wear to celebrate Pride Month, there’s no shortage of options. A trip to the mall can end in all sorts of rainbow accessories from t-shirts to shoes to makeup. Whether you’re a fan of H&M, Nordstrom or Target, the rainbow signage points you to the Pride section.

Non-clothing brands are getting in on the action this month too. Companies like Chipotle, Verizon and American Airlines are all featuring LGBT ads and products throughout June.

But how did Pride get so profitable? And beyond the merchandise, what are big companies actually doing to support LGBT individuals?

Tracy Baim is the publisher of the Chicago Reader. She’s also the owner and co-founder of Windy City Times, Chicago’s 34 year-old LGBT newspaper. Brian Johnson is the CEO of Equality Illinois, an LGBT advocacy group based in Chicago.


Whether we’re swiping a credit card at a store, streaming music online or logging onto social media, we know there’s a chance our information could get into the wrong hands.  

Unfortunately, news of data breaches has become fairly common. But when that data relates to some of the most private aspects of our lives, like our health, it can be especially alarming.

Earlier this month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced an investigation into a data breach at American Medical Collection Agency, which contracted with lab testing facilities like LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics. It’s possible that breach exposed the personal health and financial information of more than 19 million Americans.

We wanted to talk about this breach, but also what patients and medical facilities can do to protect our medical information. We were joined by Rick Spatafore, a healthcare security advisor with Sentinel, which works with many Illinois hospitals; and Lisa Schencker, a Chicago Tribune business reporter who covers health. She’s reported on several data breaches that have occurred at hospitals in the Chicago area.


There are more than 750 thousand podcasts out there, offering a staggering 30 million episodes! So it can be hard to figure out what you should listen to, especially if you’ve got some travel planned and you’re looking for something new.

The good news is that there are shows about all kinds of topics - whether you’re looking for something light and fun, or perhaps something for your kids to listen to.

Podcasts are also a great way to tell stories and have conversations that we don’t hear enough of in our day to day lives. We continued our weeklong podcast series featuring some of the shows we’ve been listening to.

Cathy Erway is the host of Self-Evident: Asian America’s Stories. She’s also a James Beard award winning writer and she joined us on the line from New York.

Aymann Ismail is another host who’s having important and engaging conversations. His podcast, Man Up, focuses on masculinity and what it means to be a man.

Story source: WILL