Looking past the stereotypes is only now just happening in the mainstream, yet South African corporates are still unwilling to engage this community. Embrace the few who reach out to us.
The LGBTQ+ community is one of the most diverse and vibrant communities in the world, but it’s often reduced to a few stereotypes in the media. It’s time to break these misconceptions and celebrate the diversity within the community.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that the LGBTQ+ community is not just made up of white, cisgender gay men. The community includes individuals from all races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Additionally, the community includes individuals who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and more. Each individual has their own unique story and experiences, and it’s important to uplift and celebrate all of these voices.
Another common stereotype is that all LGBTQ+ individuals are politically liberal and support the same causes. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The community is just as politically diverse as any other community, with individuals holding a range of beliefs and values.
It’s also important to recognize that not all LGBTQ+ individuals live a stereotypical “gay lifestyle.” While some may enjoy participating in events like Pride parades and visiting gay bars, others may lead more traditional lifestyles and may not fit the typical mould portrayed in the media.
It’s time for society to recognize and celebrate the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. By breaking down stereotypes and promoting understanding, we can create a more inclusive and accepting world for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In South Africa, corporates mainly steer clear of the community, whereas they are actively courted in the Western world. Luxury watch brands, cars, jewellery, banks, clothing, fragrances, skincare products and services, fitness supplements and homeware advertisements abound in foreign LGBTQ+ media. South African corporates (and their advertising agencies’ often openly homophobic views on advertising in gay media – be that in print or online) are often to blame for their lack of visibility. Is it a case of: They don’t want your money? We see a bit of lip service and some pinkwashing every year at Pride (and as we know, only small minority of the community attend this event). But that’s the sum of it.
It has to be borne in mind that when dealing with the more affluent sectors of this community, you are dealing with brand-loyal consumers who mostly are unencumbered by children or other responsibilities and are therefore much more able to travel, dine out and spend their higher-than-average disposable incomes.
At Gay Pages, we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the LGBTQ+ community. Join us in breaking down stereotypes and celebrating the diversity of this incredible community.