Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are You Gay-Friendly? His and Hers, Hers and Hers or His and His...

While looking through some listings on the Purple Unions site (which I love btw), I found a stunning Bed and Breakfast in Maryland (not too far from me).  The rooms are regally appointed, perfect for a honeymoon.  It was love at first site AND since they were listed on the Purple Unions site double friendly!

Not so fast...

As I was reading through the site, I noticed the reference to his and hers vanities.  Which I realize is a common term when referring to a double vanity.  But, shouldn't a gay-friendly business know that all their guests (or at least the people they are targeting) will not be straight couples?  I am assuming that when you advertise on a site promoting gay-friendly vendors you are actually gay-friendly and seeking to tap into the gay market. It's not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.

Makes me wonder, which businesses are truly gay-friendly?  Certainly, it's a faux-pas to apply hetero-normative anything to the gay market, especially when there are other gay-friendly terms that can be used.  Which means that assuming you have a straight webmaster, the word didn't get to them that you are looking to tap into the gay market.  Nor, did the owner or any of the staff "catch" the "his and hers vanity" or any other reference that specifically refers to straight couples.

You may be saying; Tammy, whats the big deal?

Well, I think it kinda is a big deal.  There are several issues at play here such as:

  1. It's Misleading!  Everyone who claims they are gay-friendly are really not.  It's easy to pay for an ad on a gay site and put a rainbow sticker on it. But if your don't train your staff, if your business marketing (brochures, websites, etc...) don't convey it, what's the point?
  2. Make The Investment!  If a business is seeking to attract the LGBT community, then they have to put their money where their mouth is. Staff needs to be trained and the brand needs to reflect who the business says they are and what they are about.  Bernadette Smith who owns 14 stories and who has been planning gay weddings since before it was cool offers training specifically for this.  Now, I haven't sat through the training; however, Bernadette has a positive reputation and you can't get that by not being good.  If businesses want to be gay-friendly, they simply must make the investment.  If they can't train their staff in-house, then they should find someone who can.  It's that simple.
  3. You Never Know What You're Gonna Get!  Forrest said it best!  The bed and breakfast in question here is without a doubt stunning, damn near perfect.  I know they will take my money but are they truly gay inclusive? I don't know.  Maybe, maybe not.  When it comes to my wedding, I don't want any question marks or any surprises. I would love to consider this facility to play apart in my festivities but really I'm back to square one.  I don't know what I am going to get when I show up.  Sure the place is beautiful, but will staff greet me and my partner with open arms or will be merely be tolerated?

 So what now?

Well, I am lucky I am in the business I am.  It's time for me to get to the bottom of this and see what's really go on.  Maybe they don't know the err of their ways...we shall see!

How about you? Have you ever crossed a business off your list for not being truly gay-friendly?


  1. i have definitely crossed a business off my list for not being gay friendly. at times, it hurt because they place was too perfect but i would rather spend my lesbian dollars where they are welcomed!

  2. i know what you mean! i showed my gf the bed and breakfast and she loved it. her first question "are they gay-friendly". i the blog! lol.

    we should be aware of where our dollars go...that's how we force change.