You won’t want to skip these beauties.
If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, like me, then you may have noticed a disturbing trend in anti-LGBTQ+ adverts running before videos of your favorite queer YouTuber in recent weeks. This would be disappointing enough at any time of year, but it’s especially upsetting during Pride Month.
YouTube claims this is due to a glitch in the system, which they are trying to fix, but it begs the question why the tech company is accepting adverts from gay conversion “therapists” when their ad policy bans commercials that incite hatred or promote discrimination.
How can YouTube make it up to us?
We may never know how many queer people have seen these hateful ads or the emotional damage it has caused, especially to younger or otherwise more vulnerable members of our community, but it will take more than an apology to make it right.
I recommend taking down all anti-LGBTQ+ ads immediately and making a donation to a charity like the Trevor Project or Human Rights Campaign at the very least, but supporting queer content creators and not demonetizing their videos would also be a great path to take. But I also have another suggestion for YouTube, which I think we can all get behind. They should air queer-centric ads before the anti-LGBTQ+ videos that still easily searchable on their site.
Think about it. Before anyone went to watch a video of some homophobe explaining why they don’t think gay people should get healthcare or a transphobe dead-naming trans celebrities, they’d have to watch a video of a lesbian couple get married or a transgirl hosting a sleepover.
Why? Well, as I’ve cited before, increased media representation of queer people existing without summing the apocalypse actually helps straight people to become more accepting of us. I know it shouldn’t take a beer ad to gain acceptance, but this appears to be where we are, so I’m willing to do anything to push us along the path to equality. Also, it’s likely to piss off a bigot.
What queer ads should YouTube consider?
Well, despite a severe lack of queer representation in adverts, there are plenty to choose from and I’ve compiled a list of the best eight commercials featuring LGBTQ+ women (because we’re a female-centric site) that I think YouTube should consider running.
1. Magnum – The Ceremony
This beautiful ad is debuting in Australia this year to celebrate the equal marriage victory, but will soon be shown all over the world.
2. Equinox – LGBTQAlphabet
We’ve all heard the jokes about the alphabet soup that is the LGBTQ+ acronym, so Equinox partnered with New York City’s LGBT Community Center to put an identity to every letter of the alphabet.
3. Lexus: #lexusinsideout
Honorees of Out magazine’s “Out 100” event, which celebrates people who have advanced the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, tell their coming out stories. Featured in this commercial are political strategist Aisha Moodie-Mills, chef Niki Nakayama, and the actor that played Damien in Mean Girls, Daniel Franzese.
4. Absolut – #loveislove
Absolut has a long history of showcasing LGBTQ+ people in their ads, but this one really goes above and beyond. The vodka brand helped to set up a surprise wedding proposal for a lesbian couple on the beach where they had their first date, even flying in their friends, family, and favorite band for the event.
5. Wells Fargo – Learning Sign Language
It doesn’t get cuter than this. A lesbian couple are learning sign language to communicate with their soon-to-be adopted daughter.
6. GoNOLA – Reverse Parade
This is the commercial for everyone who fears that LGBTQ+ equality is going backwards.
Shot during the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, everything is going well until suddenly the marchers begin walking backwards, removing wedding rings and makeup as they go. Then the music starts back up again and the marchers begin moving forward again. It’s an important message about celebrating progress, not allowing progress to revert, and starting to march forward again, even after we’ve been pushed back.
7. Kimpton Hotels – Let’s Never Stop Dancing
In this ad, created especially for Pride Month, Kimpton Hotels enlisted transgender dancer Leiomy Maldonado to show off her dancing expertise. This enjoyable high-energy commercial shows that we should never hide who we are.
8. Clean and Clear – Jazz Jennings #seetherealme
In this commercial, Jazz Jennings, a trans teen and reality TV star, shares her story about coming out and fitting in, whilst also hosting a sleepover with her girlfriends.
Well that’s about it for my list of the best ads featuring LGBTQ+ women, but now I’m interested to hear your thoughts. What did you think of the ads? Which would you add to this list? What do you think about the YouTube fiasco?