#LGBT: Beware Of “#Queer Exploitation,” Says @VioletChachki; #Pride #DragRace

PressASAP_VioletChachki-1103020557665267712.jpg“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 7 winner, Violet Chachki, posted a series of tweets reminding the Queer community to be mindful of companies who exploit queers, especially during Pride season.

Attention queers! It’s almost pride season. Don’t let companies trying to cash in on the pink dollar by exploiting you! Queers are not props and deserve to be compensated for our time and stories appropriately! (pt.1)

This apparently needs to be said again and louder- if im you’re a multi billion dollar company and you want to appeal to the LGBTGIA+ community the best place to start is to pay the talent you’re hiring for the campaign, what they are worth! (pt.2) — Violet Chachki

There’s more to this than just a matter of compensation. Companies routinely exploit the LGBT community (and minorities) to expand their reach. These are companies who normally doesn’t support the community, then enlist queer folks in their campaigns or projects when the community is trending. It’s a good thing for a company to adopt a policy of inclusivity, but it’s another when it’s insincere and only intended to boost their bottom-line, until the next “IT” trend comes along.

Queer exploitation is not confined to any single industry. This is even more obvious in show business, like when they intentionally recast a character as gay to appeal to the LGBT community and to look “hip,” even when it doesn’t make any sense to the original story. Or enlisting queer folk in campaigns that is intended for cis audience, attempting to pass the talent as “straight.” Individuals do this too, like having a “coming out” press conference (sometimes multiple times, as if gender is a choice) to get noticed. Or to an extent, individuals using their gender like a professional title, or playing victim in a fabricated incident for sympathy and attention.

These things weren’t rampant less than a decade ago. I would say around the time Caitlyn Jenner made headlines way back in 2015, is when all went crazy — LGBT became a hot commodity many businesses wanted to cash in. The LGBT milestones made years before, specifically marriage equality breakthrough in the US, paved the way for all this to happen. Yes, visibility is a great thing. It leads to broader acceptance. And it does move the conversation forward. But patronizing and exploitation only benefits the a company, they are setbacks for the community.

Multi billion dollar company during pride season: we want to tap into the gay market but how? If only there was some kind of figure heads of the community with large followings that need work- because they’ve always been outcasts of society that we could exploit- I mean hire. — Violet Chachki

As members of the community, it is our responsibility to safeguard all the progress made by not falling victim of opportunists, reject exploitation, and by being authentic.

 

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