Pride is one of the most commercially-backed events of the year, generating enough exclusive content to rival the Super Bowl. The month of June has become a major marketing season, with what feels like every brand coming out to issue some statement of support––or at least a rainbow filter logo. This fusing of LGBTQ+ visibility and advertising is one of the most analyzed topics within the queer commnity today. From what began as political protests against police harassment, seeing floats at Pride sponsored by banks, telephone providers, and insurance companies is surreal.
Branded support of LGBTQ+ communities could signal progress for who can successfully participate in our economy, but access is not evenly distributed between each letter. More than a quarter of trans people have lost a job due to bias, and almost half of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have reported discrimination in the workplace. Based on this incongruity between corporate support for and corporate treatment of queer people, we’re investigating ways of making work-place practices more queer friendly.
One of the fastest growing avenues for queer people in the work place has been in front of the camera. Whether on runways or in campaigns, on TV shows, YouTube, or their own Instagram pages, representation of LGBTQ+ people in branded content has skyrocketed. While not to be confused with political progress, increased demand for queer visibility has allowed influencers to embrace their personal identities within their professional lives. Inherent within this dynamic, however, is the question of respectability.