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Beyond Pride: Our Role in LGBTQ+ Storytelling

Beyond Pride: Our Role in LGBTQ+ Storytelling

Beyond Pride: Our Role in LGBTQ+ Storytelling

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"Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts."

"Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts."

—Barbara Gittings, American Activist

Barbara Gittings, an American activist fighting on behalf of the LGBTQ+ population who  picketed the U.S. government to stop it from barring LGBTQ+ applicants from employment, once said: “Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” 

Brands as well as marketing and media companies are uniquely positioned to tell the untold stories and promote acceptance of queer people among the non-LGBTQ+ population.

Yet, in 2017, 61% of responding LGBTQ+ consumers believed their lifestyle was not sufficiently represented in advertising. And now, when it comes to Pride Month, brands often miss the mark on authenticity as consumers perceive those efforts as a marketing tactic.

In short, the LGBTQ+ community asks for accurate representation and heightened visibility beyond Pride Month. 

Below is a compilation of resources for marketing and creative leaders to further their journey of unlearning biases and in turn learn to keep a brand inclusive and intentional through empathetic storytelling.

Barbara Gittings, an American activist fighting on behalf of the LGBTQ+ population who  picketed the U.S. government to stop it from barring LGBTQ+ applicants from employment, once said: “Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” 

Brands as well as marketing and media companies are uniquely positioned to tell the untold stories and promote acceptance of queer people among the non-LGBTQ+ population.

Yet, in 2017, 61% of responding LGBTQ+ consumers believed their lifestyle was not sufficiently represented in advertising. And now, when it comes to Pride Month, brands often miss the mark on authenticity as consumers perceive those efforts as a marketing tactic.

In short, the LGBTQ+ community asks for accurate representation and heightened visibility beyond Pride Month.

Below is a compilation of resources for marketing and creative leaders to further their journey of unlearning biases and in turn learn to keep a brand inclusive and intentional through empathetic storytelling.

Barbara Gittings, an American activist fighting on behalf of the LGBTQ+ population who  picketed the U.S. government to stop it from barring LGBTQ+ applicants from employment, once said: “Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” 

Brands as well as marketing and media companies are uniquely positioned to tell the untold stories and promote acceptance of queer people among the non-LGBTQ+ population.

Yet, in 2017, 61% of responding LGBTQ+ consumers believed their lifestyle was not sufficiently represented in advertising. And now, when it comes to Pride Month, brands often miss the mark on authenticity as consumers perceive those efforts as a marketing tactic.

In short, the LGBTQ+ community asks for accurate representation and heightened visibility beyond Pride Month. 

Below is a compilation of resources for marketing and creative leaders to further their journey of unlearning biases and in turn learn to keep a brand inclusive and intentional through empathetic storytelling.

Barbara Gittings, an American activist fighting on behalf of the LGBTQ+ population who  picketed the U.S. government to stop it from barring LGBTQ+ applicants from employment, once said: “Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” 

Brands as well as marketing and media companies are uniquely positioned to tell the untold stories and promote acceptance of queer people among the non-LGBTQ+ population.

Yet, in 2017, 61% of responding LGBTQ+ consumers believed their lifestyle was not sufficiently represented in advertising. And now, when it comes to Pride Month, brands often miss the mark on authenticity as consumers perceive those efforts as a marketing tactic.

In short, the LGBTQ+ community asks for accurate representation and heightened visibility beyond Pride Month. 

Below is a compilation of resources for marketing and creative leaders to further their journey of unlearning biases and in turn learn to keep a brand inclusive and intentional through empathetic storytelling.

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1. Marketing Collateral

People crave realistic portrayals and seek to relate with the individuals presented in marketing. Hence, when creating your marketing resources hub, it is principle to make guidelines and include tools that will help show the gender spectrum and feature queer people in a non-stereotypical way. 

The following are resources that can steer you in the direction for more inclusive representation in your brand stories.

Stock Images

  • The LGBTQ Image Guidebook, created by Getty Images and GLAAD, covers how brands can use LGBTQ+ images to appropriately reflect diversity within their communities.
  • The Gender Spectrum Collection by VICE features a gender-identity inclusive selection of images in an attempt to break out the conventional framework of stock photos by choosing to focus on representing queer individuals by qualities such as careers, relationships, and passions.

Inclusive Language

Words hold a lot of power. As the definition of inclusion continues to evolve with time, so should our use and understanding of inclusive vocabulary. Here are some resources to elevate bias from your marketing copy and other communications.

Best Practices

  • Google’s All In toolkit, built in partnership with U.S. organizations, features audience insights and is designed to help eliminate demographic stereotypes in business and make inclusive strategic and creative choices. 
  • The Human Rights Campaign Foundation collected actionable advice in their LGBTQ+ Marketing and Advertising: Best Practices article.
  • Twitter asked LGBTQ+ creators to share advice to brands on connecting during Pride Month.

Additional Resources

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2. Talent Pool

When putting your team together, it is important to understand that “diversity is bodies; inclusion is culture” (Deray McKesson). However, we all know that the team is a cornerstone to DEI culture.

Current Team

  • Glassdoor recently showcased its findings on the low satisfaction levels of LGBTQ+ employees in comparison to their colleagues, alongside a guide for employers to create a more inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Team leaders need to invest time into learning about gender and reimagining it within the context of their own companies. To not do so would mean dismissing a critical issue in the conversation of social justice as well as risking irrelevancy for future customers and employees.

Hiring and Recruiting

Talent Pool

When putting your team together, it is important to understand that “diversity is bodies; inclusion is culture” (Deray McKesson). However, we all know that the team is a cornerstone to DEI culture.

Current Team

  • Glassdoor recently showcased its findings on the low satisfaction levels of LGBTQ+ employees in comparison to their colleagues, alongside a guide for employers to create a more inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Team leaders need to invest time into learning about gender and reimagining it within the context of their own companies. To not do so would mean dismissing a critical issue in the conversation of social justice as well as risking irrelevancy for future customers and employees.

Hiring and Recruiting

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3. Self-Awareness

Practicing self-awareness is the first step to embracing any kind of diversity. The more we are able to recognize the roots of our unconscious biases, the easier it is to be receptive to other people’s perspectives.

Then, listen to the experiences of individuals around you who identify as LGBTQ+ in order to develop a closer, more personal understanding of queer culture.

Besides direct conversation, there are plenty of other tools available to encourage participation and learning of the LGBTQ+ community.

Resources For Creative Professionals

  • Do The WeRQ Town Halls, which are still in the making, will be communal spaces in which members get the opportunity to interact with key figures in the marketing industry to discuss topics surrounding LGBTQ+ representation.
  • Multicultural, Diversity + Marketing Resources brings you the latest news, expert directories, jobs and events to help you plan and carry out multicultural marketing programs to reach consumers from various backgrounds.

Resources To Understand Gender

By debunking the myth that understanding the gender spectrum is a complex process, companies must learn the fundamentals of gender and adapt their approach in order to continue to attract future talent and clients. 

Reimagine Gender works toward helping communities thrive by “educating people about evolving understandings of gender and providing them with resources and tools to actively reimagine gender in their world." Here are a few to start:

Resources To Understand Queer Culture

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Quick Facts & Stats

82%

82%

82%

82%

of survey respondents said that for them seeing LGBTQ+ people in ads demonstrates a value for all types of diversity.

of P&G and GLAAD survey respondents said that for them seeing LGBTQ+ people in ads demonstrates a value for all types of diversity.

of P&G and GLAAD survey respondents said that for them seeing LGBTQ+ people in ads demonstrates a value for all types of diversity.

of P&G and GLAAD survey respondents said that for them seeing LGBTQ+ people in ads demonstrates a value for all types of diversity.


5.6%

5.6%

5.6%

of Americans identify as LGBTQ+, and one in six adults in Gen Z consider themselves LGBTQ+.

of Americans identify as LGBTQ+, up from 4.5% in 2017, and one in six adults in Gen Z consider themselves LGBTQ+.

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