Wednesday, February 23, 2011

That's Gay - Sissy Commercials has a great special called “That’s Gay” hosted by Brian Safi who is always spot on with his commentary. One of the best episodes I’ve seen is Safi highlighting commercials put out by big name brands (Old Spice, Snickers, Miller Lite and others) that use macho masculinity and compulsory heterosexuality to sell their products to their target audience.

True, some marketers may make ads targeted specifically at gay men, and put them in gay magazines. However, most advertisements that have some sort of homophobic undertones are in the mainstream media.

As Safi points out, marketers are missing something vital: they are insulting and alienating consumers that have more disposable income for their products. As gay couples, specifically gay male couples, historically have not had children to care for (and to budget for), they have had more disposable income. So why would companies want to insult such a demographic? Perhaps they are making a social statement. Perhaps they feel 7%- 10% of the overall population is not large enough to be concerned about. Whatever the reason, the homophobia is off-putting to gender-conscious consumers.

I know I blacklist brands (and their parent companies!) that use advertisements full of homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. More than that, I consciously support brands that actively work against those said prejudices by buying their products and telling my friends.


  1. This was a great post Tracy. I'd be interested to know some inclusive brands that you'd recommend ... for when I have enough money to go shopping again :D

  2. Safi is wrong. Gay males have lower average incomes than straight males, according to the consensus of research, and have children (in rough terms) about one-quarter as often as straight couples.

  3. I am guessing that Safi, and other individuals conclude that gay male couples make more than straight couples based off of the statistic that for ever $1 a white man makes, a white woman makes $.77.

    Based off of that, basic math would conclude that gay male couples would earn $1+$1 = $2. And straight couples would make $1 + $.77 = $1.77. While lesbian couples would make $.77 + $.77 = $1.54. Yes, that is only going off of national averages of income based on sex (and race, for that matter), and not sexual orientation. However, there isn't concrete studies/data on how much individual lesbians make compared to individual straight women, or lesbian couples make compared to gay male couples or to straight couples.

    And I am unsure where you found your statistic that gay male couples have children 1/4 as often as straight couples, but that sounds very high and improbable.