3 Reasons to Engage the LGBTQ+ Community Year Round – Not Just Pride Month

Pride Month is an opportunity for businesses and organizations across the country to show off their true colors.  Every June, we start to see a relentless wave of rainbows, from Pride-themed clothing and food to ad campaigns and everything in between. While it’s a step in the right direction for these corporations to start outwardly embracing diversity and inclusivity, it needs to go deeper than just a rainbow logo.

Consumers are paying more attention than ever to the brands they buy from, making sure these businesses are prioritizing equality, inclusion, and diversity all year long, and not just profiting off of the LGBTQ+ community to appear more diverse and progressive than they actually are. True LGBTQ+ allyship extends to all aspects of business. 

“Corporate accountability does not begin and end with employee benefits and hiring practices – it extends to how a corporation spends its dollars, philanthropic and political. It extends to how a corporation takes public stands and lobbies against anti-LGBTQ legislation, and how it supports and lobbies for pro-LGBTQ legislation, because this legislation impacts LGBTQ employees and consumers” – GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis

We’ve already seen how several businesses have come under fire for touting equality when they have a deep, rooted history of donating and supporting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. *Cough cough* AT&T, General Motors – just to name a couple.  However, for progressive brands that are interested in respectfully and authentically showing support for the LGBTQ+ community, there’s incredible, untapped potential when you go beyond just Pride Month. Let’s break it down!

The LGBTQ+ community has incredible spending power

Did you know that the LGBTQ+ community has a spending power of over a trillion dollars (and growing)? Not only that, but even after a crippling pandemic, 32% say they’re better off financially compared to the year prior. This community holds incredible spending power and they’re looking for supportive vendors like you. 

Queer consumers are more likely than members of other groups to seek out brands and companies that actively show support and representation for their community. In fact, in a recent survey by Community Marketing & Insights (CMI), 71% said they are more likely to purchase from a company that advertises to the LGBTQ+ community.

What else is the LGBTQ+ community spending their finances on?

  • 82% regularly pay for streaming subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu
  • ​​73% purchase alcoholic beverages on a regular basis 
  • 53% subscribed to paid music and radio platforms
  • 50% plan to buy plane tickets for their upcoming vacation
  • 38%  consume cannabis for recreational or medical reasons
  • 31% said they plan to purchase $500+ of new clothing
  • 29% are in the market for $500+ of home furniture
  • 27% are searching for $500+ of electronics for home or personal use

Now that you have some insight into what this community is investing in, how will you target this group to benefit not only your business and employees but also your brand at large?

Your brand can benefit

As the general support for LGBTQ+ rights continues to grow, so does the corporate incentive for brands and companies to position themselves as allies. We’ve already seen how consistent, successful messaging can boost an organization’s brand visibility and trust within the community – Apple, Subaru, Disney / ABC, and Target are a few of the companies and brands that have gone above and beyond to show genuine, authentic support of the LGBTQ+ community through their outreach and pro-LGBTQ policies and practices.

In fact, 76% think more positively about companies that sponsor LGBTQ+ community organizations and events, not to mention the 69% who immediately think more positively about companies that advertise in LGBTQ+ media outlets. 

Unfortunately, some brands miss the mark entirely. Oftentimes inadvertently, these companies can exclude, misrepresent or stereotype LGBTQ+ people in an effort to reach that audience. That’s why it’s crucial to reach this fiercely loyal, and high discretionary income market, with the confidence of having a certified partner by your side.

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You could be the catalyst for change

Companies and brands alike hold a position of power in our society. With endless resources and millions of consumers, it’s more important than ever for these corporations to use their position to create lasting change for the LGBTQ+ community.

But how can these companies support the LGBTQ+ community for the long-term? In the CMI survey, 87% say brands need to openly support LGBTQ+ equality legislation, while 82% believe this support needs to trickle down into the company’s own internal processes to make sure they themselves have a diverse, inclusive team. 

Advocating and displaying authentic engagement toward this community can go a long way, and there are plenty of ways to get in on the ground floor of the LGBTQ+ movement. A few opportunities that are available all year round include: Making regular donations to LGBTQ+ organizations, advocating for LGBTQ+ causes, supporting employees and customers who are part of this community, sponsoring pro-LGBTQ+ events and partnering with other like-minded businesses and brands.

GLAAD’s  Recommendations for Corporate Allies includes best practices for brands’ work during and outside of June, LGBTQ+ Pride Month. These recommendations include:

  • Don’t market to the moment, join the movement
  • Feature more LGBTQ+ talent and community members
  • Extend support to the political fight 
  • Use your company resources and audience to speak out against local and national anti-LGBTQ+ legislation
  • Plan LGBTQ-inclusive campaigns and support for the community year-round
“If a brand doesn’t have a 365-day-a-year plan for LGBTQ inclusion, they really need to prioritize that over prioritizing a one-off Pride campaign” – GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro

Inclusive marketing could open brands and corporations up to nearly $1 trillion in purchasing power.  For those who are up for the challenge, there can be incredible benefits. When your company values and mission align with the LGBTQ+ community, it’s just good business. 

Descanso is Palm Springs newest gay resort

The luxury property is the first to go gay in the city in more than a decade

By DAVID TAFFET | Dallas Voice | dallasvoice.com

Courtesy National LGBT Media Association 

Descanso is the first resort for gay men to open in Palm Springs in more than 10 years, and “The response has been beyond expectations,” said general manager Kent Taylor. Weekends are already booked through June, although some weeknights are still available during Pride month.

Taylor said the trend among the areas gay resorts in recent years has been to go straight, and his property was one of the first to do so. Formerly called East Canyon, it lasted as a straight resort for about four years.

Now, however, the property has been completely renovated and has re-opened with amenities “to create a special men’s experience,” Taylor said. Currently the resort features 14 rooms, but two more will come online once they’ve been refurbished to Descanso standards.

Rooms feature king-size beds. There is a heated salt water pool with spa. For relief from the heat, an outdoor misting system moderates the temperature. Breakfast and “stay and splash poolside lunch” are included with the room rates. A cantina offers complimentary snacks and beverages. For dinner, plenty of restaurants are within walking distance.

Many guests arrive by car, and those vehicles can remain parked throughout their stay in the off-street overnight parking the resort provides. 

For those who prefer to mix their pool time with sightseeing, there’s plenty to see and do in Palm Springs, and the resort lies just two blocks from the beginning of the city’s commercial area.

First on the list for anyone from the flatlands of Texas has to be the aerial tramway. Get a fantastic view of the Coachella Valley from 8,500 feet high in the sky. When you reach the top, you can enjoy the trails and hiking as well as a restaurant, bar and cafeteria.

For zoo lovers, Taylor said, the 1,200-acre Living Desert is ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. Visiting in summer when the temperature in Palm Springs often soars over 100 during the day? Visit the Living Desert for a night walk for a nocturnal zoo experience.

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern architecture and its variety of stores that feature furniture from that period. To tour the neighborhoods, Taylor said the best way is by bike, which Descanso offers complimentary to its guests.

Palm Springs is known as a celebrity hangout and hideaway. Stars have lived in this desert resort and others have been frequent visitors since the 1920s. Sonny Bono served as the city’s mayor.  To honor them, The Palm Springs Walk of Stars features blocks of sidewalk stars including one for Dallas favorite Del Shores (Sordid Lives) at 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive.

Joshua Tree National Park is an hour drive from Palm Springs. This portion of the Mojave Desert ecosystem features the spiky Joshua trees, boulders and a surprising variety of wildlife in this desert habitat.

If you’re looking for museums, Palm Springs has one of the country’s top air and space museums as well as an art museum that’s quite good.  

Palm Springs recently saw the 20220 version of its biggest gay event, The White Party, the granddaddy of circuit parties. Palm Springs’ Pride weekend is held during cooler weather; this year it’s scheduled for Nov. 3-6. Leather Pride Weekend is Oct. 27-30, and Western Exposure’s Dadfest celebrates daddies on July 4. Descanso recommends the all-day pool party as the best way to enjoy the event.

Next year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival takes place Jan. 4-15. It is one of the largest in North America, attracting 135,000 people.

Many Descanso guests just remain on property during their stay, enjoying the resort experience and walking or Ubering to nearby restaurants for dinner, Taylor said. On its website, staff’s picks of favorite restaurants include something for everyone.

Fisherman’s Market, located downtown, is recommended as “Definitely a great place for fish and chips, grilled seafood.” In the desert.

Al Dente and Il Corso are staff picks for Italian food. Jake’s is an American bistro. Johannes is a “local favorite” for modern European cuisine from an Austrian-born chef.

The Sandwich Spot offers “fun concept sandwiches. Not your standard sub shop.”

A number of Mexican offerings include La Bonita’s, Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill, home to Palm Springs original drag brunch, and La Tablita in neighboring Cathedral City, which is listed as “absolutely a local favorite.”