Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To Shop or Not to Shop?

By Sabrina Samone

The HRC, recently released its annual listings of businesses LGBTQIA persons should patronize or not. The HRC Business Guide. Obviously, it is a personal choice, but for those that care to support those that support you and refuse to support those that would bully, ostracize or discriminate against you; this is a perfect holiday list.

This is not a new concept, but has been proven for decades by several minority groups to "demand", that businesses hear their request for inclusion and or representation and fair treatment of its employees that may fall into one of the many groups. In the seventies, Harvey Milk, a pioneer gay politician along with others, requested that the LGBT community make their money their power. If a business or company would stand against who you are or how you love; to  believe that your mighty dollar does have power.

LGBT Buying Power in the United States

  • The total buying power of adult LGBT individuals is projected to be $790 billion.
  • 87% of LGBT adults and 75% of non-LGBT adults would consider a brand that has equal benefits for LGBT employees. In addition, 47% of LGBT adults are more likely to purchase a company’s products or services when an advertisement has been tailored to an LGBT audience.
  • 23% of LGBT adults have switched products or services in the past year because a different company was supportive of the LGBT community.  
    • Even if a brand is costlier or less convenient, 71% of lesbian and gay people would remain loyal to that brand should they be supportive of and friendly to LGBT issues.
According to catalyst.org

Over the years many companies have listened and created anti-discrimination policies within their company, made their hiring process more fair and more in line with the Fair Employment Act. An example is Target; one of few if not the only big box retail centers that have one of the most welcoming hiring policies for Transgender people. Eventually others are beginning to follow and recognize that some of their employees nationwide are or will be Transgender.

According to the HRC's Business Guide;
More than ever, consumers are sending a message to businesses that they are watching. They are watching to see if the businesses they patronize understand and honor issues important to them, giving buying power to issues ranging from LGBT inclusiveness to environmental protection. Corporate social responsibility has become an imperative for a successful business. With Buying for Workplace Equality, we hope to harness that power by providing you with the most accurate review of a business's workplace policies toward LGBT employees.
Whether you are buying a cup of coffee or renovating your home, by supporting businesses that support workplace equality you send a powerful message that LGBT inclusion is good for the bottom line. We hope that you will use this guide as one component when determining if a business's social practices make it worthy of your dollars.

This list also has a free app to download so that if  or when you find yourself out this Holiday Season and in the buying mood you can put your dollar where your mouth is. If you feel a little gesture like this want make a difference, then nothing ever will. It's been proven throughout all groups, that when certain demographics support a business; more of that community is hired and represented by that company. Example, McDonalds, that during the 50's were known to be for segregation, but today a McDonalds commercial shows a different story. Over the years during the women's movement, many stood up against the cosmetic companies and boycotted those that made cosmetics that were harmful; over the years more of those companies that did not listen have become dinosaurs.

The truth is, Trans-women are major purchasers of make-up, heels, lingerie as any other woman if not more. Those companies should be welcoming to our women and willing to hire, if not, your dollar could make the difference. Now a days there are annual updates to the Fortune 500 companies that have pro-LGBT policies; the numbers grow every year. True, we have more businesses that support us than stand against us, but they still exist; Chick-fi-a, Papa John's; just to name a couple. Why take your hard earned dollar where you've had to struggle to have a job and become apart of the American Dream only to go give it to someone that will never give you a chance.

Remember; the power is in the dollar

Some of mine that I support
At&t Uverse (for cable subscription)

Some I choose not to Support
Direct TV
Papa John's
Chick fi-a

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