GLBTQs: Stop supporting heteronormative companies

Many companies/corporations claim to be pro-GLBTQ, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at their (television) advertising. They advertise using “straight” white couples. GLBTQs should stop supporting companies who do not support us in their (television) advertising.

Hola. ¿Qué tal? As I’ve written before, we’ve been told by some GLBTQs that “Gay is now mainstream.” I and others have dismissed/rejected this delusional thinking because you wouldn’t know that “Gay is now mainstream” by looking at corporate network television canals/channels. Having the words “gay,” “lesbian” or the rarely spoken word “transgender” on the occasional corporate network newscast is not my definition of “mainstream.” Heteronormative programming is mainstream by looking at the corporate networks. If “gay were now mainstream” I wouldn’t continue to see “straight” (white) couples paraded across my television screen constantly for 24-hours a day in heteronormative programming and commercials. And anyone who falsely thinks that “gay is now mainstream” might want to check out this article: Kentucky county official defies court order on gay marriage. I think you’ll find other examples of this if you put “defying court order, gay marriage” in your search engine.

I don’t sit and watch anything on television other than “Yo Soy Betty, la Fea” (the original desde/from Canal RCN, Colombia) when that’s broadcast. My television is on daily and I monitor programming and commercials for their content. I don’t buy anything I see on television. Unfortunately, I’m seeing more gun violence and violence in general in programming. I’m usually on two of the español language networks. I rarely watch the español-language corporate network that most US-inglés/US-English-only speakers have no clue how to pronounce correctly. I’m talking about Univisión.
[RANT: While I’m on the topic of the español-language networks let me say this about Univisión: Note to illiterate idiots: Univisión is not pronounced YOU-NAH-VISION! *rolling eyes and shaking head in disgust* Sigh. Over the years, I’ve heard that network’s name constantly mangled/butchered/mispronounced by ignorant people on the US-English language corporate networks, and I heard it again last week (which is why I felt the need to do this rant about it) by some talking head at the ABC network who have that failed joint venture with Univisión — they’ve lost millions of dollars because of that loco venture that I said was a bad idea from the start — and they (at ABC) don’t even know how to pronounce the network’s name correctly. If one does not know how to pronounce Univisión correctly I strongly suggest one turn on one’s local Univisión affiliate and listen very closely to how the on-air people pronounce it. Univisión is an español word for an español-language network. It is not an English word, people. Just like the word “gracias” is español. Does one pronounce that gray-sigh-ass? For fuck’s sake, is it so difficult for one to learn some (basic) español and other international languages and especially the talking heads at the US-English language corporate networks? I get the strong impression that they prefer to sound like the typical USan and remain ignorant and enjoy sounding willfully-ignorant of other languages. I’m not the only person very annoyed by this. Mis amigos/my friends can’t stand it either and they encouraged me to repeat my rant (I’ve written about this previously). It’s good to be multilingual, and readers can comment in the comment section below in any international language they choose. I’m sure none of my regular readers make that “nails-on-the-chalk-board” mistake of mispronouncing Univisión. I’m fortunate to have very bright/intelligent people here as regular readers. END OF RANT]

Now, GLBTQs: Stop supporting heteronormative companies. For example: How many Bay Area GLBTQs buy their mattress from an Italian-named Bay Area company that shows a young “straight” white couple wearing pajamas on the bed with him holding her? Their ad gives the distinct impression they only want white, young “straight” couples buying that company’s mattresses because they never show GLBTQ couples in bed or anywhere else. If I needed a mattress, I wouldn’t buy a mattress from that company until their ad shows two Queer boys in bed cuddling. One might ask: Well what about two lesbians in bed cuddling? No, that’s not sufficient because as it is now two lesbians together are considered “safer” to show to a bigoted audience than two Queer boys together/making out/besos. One should not be catering to bigotry. So it has to be two Queer boys in bed and not dos lesbianas/two lesbians. Usually, when it’s not noticias/the news division of a network reporting on a gay news story and the corporate networks happen to show same-gender kissing they usually show dos lesbianas/two lesbians kissing because, again, they consider that “safer.” They think their bigoted, anti-gay audience will erupt in anger if they show two Queer boys and besos. Yes, it’s always good to cater to bigotry isn’t it? [sarcasm intended]. Related: The Fucked-Up US Public: Gay Legal Rights are good; but Gay Kissing is Bad. (Sigh.) When I monitor Telemundo’s network morning programme (I like Chef James by the way), each morning they have this segment where they show from the waist down many “straight” couples walking on the sidewalks. The couples are holdings hands and they’re always “straight.” No GLBTQ couples are ever shown. Are there no Queer people in your world Telemundo — other than some of your show hosts — except in the token month of junio/June of each year? When I see ads on the corporate networks, they show a (tall) white guy or a white Latino and a short white female or a white Latina and the guy has his arms around his submissive and passive little chica. That’s heteronormative programming and I’m sick of seeing it. I’m sick of seeing “straight” couples in general (and all over television), and they’re usually young and white, but not always. There’s a heteronormative eye surgery commercial which shows the typical “straight” couple — his arms are cupping her as she sits in front of him (why does the female always have to be in front of the guy in these poses? Is that for him to protect delicate obedient little her? Ugh.) — and in this case they’re white and probably in their 60s. Then there’s a heteronormative car commercial I saw as I was writing this article. I wasn’t sure whether it was an ad for a car or for “straight” sex to tell you the truth. A young “straight” white Latino couple is the focus of this commercial, more so than the car. The camera zooms down to show a close-up of their clutched hands. (WTF does hand-holding have to do with buying a fucking car?) The viewer sees them look at each other with fawning and limpid eyes and then at the end of the commercial they’re standing on the drivers side of the car side-by-side. Ah. Isn’t that wonderful. So if I were interested in buying a car, I wouldn’t buy that car and the ad seems to be more about promoting “straight” sexuality than about selling a car.

There was a time — during San Francisco’s now-fading Gay Mecca days — where I didn’t pay any attention to “straight” couples at all because I rarely saw them. I only saw Queer boys and some las lesbianas during the Gay Mecca days. UNTIL. San Francisco began it’s techie gentrification and that predatory and parasitic industry began raping the city and the city began changing drastically. Today, I see in-your-face “straight” behaviour wherever I go in and around the now-gentrified Castro and Upper Market of San Francisco — Upper Market is nearly all “straight” today — and young and mostly white “straights” have been flying in here like a bunch of breeding mosquitoes attracted to stagnant agua/water. Mi amigo asked me the other day: Is there no one living in the Marina anymore? (A traditionally “straight” area of San Francisco). I’d like to know that myself. I haven’t been down there in years. Did they all move over here to Castro/Upper Market to suck face in a gay bar or outside of a gay bar? And what about North Beach? Or Union Street? Are there any “straights” still living there? Or did they too all move over here? You would think so by the looks of the place.

I already do what I’m suggesting other GLBTQs do. I’m of the opinion that whenever possible GLBTQs should stop financially supporting any companies/corporations that shove “straight” (white) couples in our faces to sell their products. GLBTQs should stop supporting companies who do not support us in their (television) advertising, and who just take us for granted and instead choose to promote “straight,” heteronormative sexuality in their advertising. I and other Queers are fucking sick of it! Chau.—el barrio rosa

5 comments on “GLBTQs: Stop supporting heteronormative companies

  1. E in Sunnyvale

    While I agree totally, it’s basically like trying to avoid products made in China – effectively impossible (at least at this stage in the game).

  2. Alejandro

    Hooooooooooola y gracias. I can relate to your rant about Univisión. I **cringe** every time I hear that.

    Have to say I have this feeling that GLBTQs will not stop supporting heteronormative companies and I bet you already know that. Like you’ve said, as long as a corp. or a politician speaks the word gay positively every now and then and has their corp. ad in a gay parade, GLBTQs will continue on with their unconditional support of them. What you’re suggesting is part of another era where GLBTQs were engaged in serious and vigilant activism. That activism is gone. It left this city as the thousands of Old City residents have been kicked out by evictions. Man, this city has really changed. 🙁

    1. rosa_barrio Post author

      Hola Alejandro. I don’t suspect anybody will do anything differently than they are now. For example, over the years I’ve known some GLBTQs to shop at corporate box stores known for their anti-gay policies and behaviour. They didn’t care about that at all. When I pointed this out to them they said to me, “Oh I don’t care about that. This corporation is free to do what they want and I’ll continue to shop there.” When I pointed out that by shopping there and supporting the store with their la plata/money they were essentially condoning/supporting the anti-gay policies. They then attacked me for pointing this out. I realised at that point I was wasting my time with them. If they don’t care and don’t understand this, there’s nothing I can do about it. Also, for anyone to do as I’ve suggested would involve people having to drastically change their behaviour and consume less/mostly just buy essentials, and that’s not likely to happen with most people. I look at the people around me and they can’t even brew their own coffee. I guess they don’t know how to boil water. They have to go to a corporate chain store and buy their coffee pre-made for them several times a day. That gets very expensive. Gracias to everyone for your comments. Chau.

      1. Alejandro

        Hoooooooola. I’ve known gay people just like you described. They stand for nothing. I know a lesbian like that now. She’s talked about how tech has ruined the city and how she now hates this city. Then what did I hear from her? She’s going to a techie party with a wealthy girl she’s been dating. She’s so shallow. All that’s important to her is how “good looking” someone is.

  3. D8

    Agree. I got into a bit of a heated discussion with a coworker recently who repeated that gay is now mainstream line. I confronted him about it. I asked him when was the first time or the last time you saw a gay couple in an advertizement on tv? He sat there stuttering. The look on his face was blank. Like I told him – We don’t even see the ‘safe’ lesbian couples in ads so don’t come at me with that gay is now mainstream crock. Lesbians are given 2-seconds on camera during a news story about marriage equality for their quick kiss before the camera moves away quickly not to offend the audience. Thanks for writing about this. It’s one of my peeves too.

Fin. The End.