As the LGBTQ+ community grows in both size and visibility, LGBTQ+ people consider their sexuality to be more important to their identity than ever before. As a result, the segment expects more authentic representation in advertising and media.
Including LGBTQ+ representation in advertising and showing support for the LGBTQ+ community matters to these consumers. LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to buy from brands that show support for LGBTQ+ people (60%) and feature LGBTQ+ people in their advertising (45%). LGBTQ+ consumers want to be seen as everyday consumers, just like everyone else, which is why it’s important for brands to normalize LGBTQ+ representation across all of their advertising campaigns, not just those for Pride Month.
Brands can also show support by addressing LGBTQ+ pain points specific to your product or service area, which can then be turned into an advertising campaign. An example of a brand excecuting this is Mastercard in their “True Card” ad campaign. In the ad, Mastercard details how True Name credit and debit cards help members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and non-binary people, by allowing them to have financial products with their self-identified chosen first name.
LGBTQ+-focused advertising campaigns should also be accompanied by social and political action. LGBTQ+ Americans, especially those who are younger, believe companies have an obligation to help make political and social change. Almost half of young LGBTQ+ respondents agreed that brands and companies should focus on social and political issues even if they don’t directly relate to their products or services. Overall, most LGBTQ+ respondents prefer brands to get involved by educating consumers about LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination. However, young LGBTQ+ people would also like to see brands hire more LGBTQ+ individuals in leadership positions and donate to LGBTQ+ causes.
LGBTQ+ Americans are largely unimpressed with the current state of representation in movies and TV. Almost half of the segment says most LGBTQ+ stories in films and TV are inauthentic and stereotypical.
LGBTQ+ Americans want to see more LGBTQ+ performers and LGBTQ+ creatives involved in the creative direction of LGBTQ+ stories, not only because representation is important but because it’s needed to create authentic stories. LGBTQ+ people were most interested in seeing a more diverse range of LGBTQ+ people in entertainment media. This is especially important to those who are underrepresented today, like transgender and non-binary people. A quarter of LGBTQ+ Americans say they would like to see more stories of diverse groups of LGBTQ+ people, and this grows to 30% of transgender and non-binary people.
LGBTQ+ Americans Want Happy Stories
According to the data, almost half of the community feels that LGBTQ+ stories in entertainment focus too much on the hardships of the LGBTQ+ experience. Many LGBTQ+ people told us they want to see more content featuring LGBTQ+ people living happy lives that does not include homophobia.
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