Advice For Running Your Own LGBTQ Friendly Brand

Gaydar Blog

Gaydar Blog
02 August 2023

One question that businesses are asking more and more is “how can we better integrate with and support communities that deserve it?” This had led many firms to focus on diverse hiring practices, to uplift certain communities, and thinking about how their messaging affects people before they deliver it.

Of course, this has led to the criticism of “conscious capitalism” being nothing more than a means by which to appeal to people in order to boost sales, rather than an active and invested interest in actually making a difference. It’s easy to place a Pride flag on a product, for instance, it’s quite another for brands to take that community seriously. For instance, we see the same with a particular famous childhood toy and animation brand, where only recently has gay romance been depicted.

If you’re planning to run a brand of any kind, one that has support for the community baked-in to its structure and intent, that’s wonderful! It’s important that we band together around well-meaning intent and give these initiatives every chance of success. Yet there may be a few considerations you wish to make:

Don’t Tokenise

It’s important to realise that the LGBTQ community is comprised of regular people. While we look wonderful and have learned the power of our voices, we are not to be tokenised. Most people who opt to celebrate the community can sometimes go a little far in division and separation, especially if it’s clear that the intent behind it is inexperienced. Talk to people in the community, speak of your initiatives, and really get to grips with the social intent behind what it is you’re hoping to achieve. This will help inform your branding and allow for a more seamless, natural, and worthwhile result. You can ensure that support will follow.

Support The Community Year-Round

While it might seem so on the surface, LGBTQ people tend to live outside of Pride month, too. We don’t hibernate in small little holes under the ground, although that does sound quite comfortable. While you don’t have to add a queer-spin to everything you do and say, it can be worthwhile to focus on actions that make sense year round rather than at the one time of year that suits you. For instance, it might be that a wonderful LGBTQ event is taking place near you, and sponsorship could be a great way to support not just this community, but your local area in general – supporting the economy and showcasing your brand.

Commit To Inclusion

While no clear-headed person will tell you how to define your hiring practices (such as having perfect percentages of equally-distributed people within your ranks), it’s best to make sure that when it comes to hiring, you’re as equal opportunity as it gets. It’s true that some firms still have issues with those who present themselves in a certain way, or may humiliate some people via heteronormative standards without realising they did so. The best thing to do is to train your staff into equality principles, to make sure that HR complaints are taken seriously, and that the hiring process is as fair as possible (and an increasing number of firms are taking out the names, races and genders from each application before sending them to the hiring review panel, allowing for only the qualifications to do the talking). This is entirely up to you as a brand, of course, but a commitment to inclusion has shown to only improve your brand’s performance, never lessen it.

Just Operate As A Great Business

The queer community is a supporting, loving and secure one, who, despite what some sections of the media may say, don’t need to be affirmed 24/7 around the clock. The best thing you can do is just operate as a great business with a keen eye on diversity and a willingness to support movements that matter. For the overwhelming majority of LGBTQ people, this will be enough, and we will celebrate your success.

Comments (2)

  1. Avatar Jack Douglas says:

    A pleasure to read, and thoroughly researched like only someone who’s had the album on repeat since it came out could write! Great review Mark


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