Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Same-sex spending

As the big – this makes me very nervous and very excited – Prop. 8 case is about to come before the Supreme Court, same-sex couples across the county wait and hope as their ability to legally marry awaits the judgment of nine men and women in funny looking robes. President Obama has had his administration file a legal brief against Prop. 8 last week, officially asking the court to overturn California’s voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage. Also last week, a slew of prominent conservative leaders filed a similar brief opposing Prop. 8 and advocating for same-sex marriage with the courts, among them failed California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and failed Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (both, it should be added, opposed marriage equality while running for their respective offices but have since had a change of vote). The Great Panted One herself Ellen posted her own brief, of the less legal kind, to the court as well. Someone tweet that to them, would you?

As important as the Supreme Court case will be (and it is ridiculously, nail bitingly important), in many ways it feels like no matter what happens we’re already winning. Granted, not the legal way that gives us that precious piece of paper and the inalienable rights it imparts. But in the court of public opinion we’ve come so far it’s almost quaint to think where we’ve been 20, 10, even five years ago. And one of the most interesting barometers of this is mainstream advertising’s willingness to use same-sex couples to make a buck. Nothing cuts to the bottom line faster and more brutally than what people will use to make us try to buy. I remember back more than a decade ago when I used to scour the Commercial Closet (remember them? I do) looking for any kind of representation of us, even the shitty kind.

These days inclusiveness finds its way into the hard pitch to make us part ways with our hard-earned money. Just like J.C. Penney included both female and male same-sex families in its Mother’s and Father’s Day circulars last year, other major corporations are following suit. And while there’s a long history of companies pitching specifically to gay audiences at gay events (count the beer advertisers at your next pride event this summer), sending the message to the masses like J.C. Penney and others are doing means even more. It means it’s no longer hush-hush to support the radical notion that gay people are valid and vital parts of our community and also tend to purchase things. So imagine my pleasure when while watching Food Network (oh, please, you know it and HGTV are my forever TV weaknesses) I came across this delightful ad for the Kindle. Progress, sold to you one adorable hunky dude couple using a portable electronic reader at a time. We’re here, we’re queer, we buy shit. Get used to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved that commercial. It was fantastic. Of course, there was a moment of "Did they just ...?" But it was immediately followed by unmitigated joy. Acceptance is awesome.