Earlier this week, Cheerios received very nasty, racist responses to its new commercial featuring an interracial family. It’s 2013, and racist prejudice still reveals its ugly presence every once in a while to remind us that it still exists. The shift toward tolerance for same-gender couples is years behind majority tolerance of interracial couples. So, I suspect it takes a great deal more bravery for companies to support LGBT rights and marriage equality, let alone feature LGBT people and same-gender couples in their advertising.
But, the pro-LGBT companies are coming forward, explicitly resisting homophobes’ efforts to re-erase LGBT people. The newest pro-LGBT advertisement is an Expedia commercial that features a father attending the wedding of his daughter and her (female) partner. See it below.
This one differs from other advertisements which either feature still photos of same-gender couples, or even a quick, passing (semi-subtle) reference to same-gender marriage. It is almost like a mini-movie, with tension, character development, and a happy ending. What I appreciate is that it takes on the father’s perspective, and that he struggled with how to navigate his daughter’s “new” life and relationship. This is an honest portrayal of how many parents come around to accepting their LGBT children. (I suspect that few come out to parents who have been LGBT-friendly all of their lives.)
Expedia has been an explicitly LGBT-friendly company for years. But, until this commercial, that friendliness was only expressed to and known among LGBT communities. They, like many companies, advertise to LGBT consumers, but save themselves the homophobic backlash by ensuring that only LGBT people know that. Now, they have made the bold step (though after others) to tell heterosexual, cisgender America that they are LGBT-friendly.