How is this not a gay anthem yet? (Updated)

I’ve had my first Frozen experience. I still haven’t seen the movie, but during my family’s recent reunion at Walt Disney World, we all saw the Frozen sing-a-long show at Hollywood Studios. There, I got to hear the song “Let It Go.”

How is this song not an LGBT anthem? It’s about a woman who’s been keeping a secret her entire life, until one day her secret becomes public and she decides she’s going to live openly, without guilt and shame. She sings “you can’t hold me back anymore,” and “I don’t care what they’re going to say.” This song is clearly a metaphor for coming out.

I’m disappointed I haven’t heard this song at a pride parade or gay bar yet.

Update: I just Googled “Let It Go gay anthem” and found this story in the Guardian that comes to the same conclusion I did:

Outside the film, Let It Go is also a coming-out anthem for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people: “Conceal don’t feel, don’t let them know/ Well now they know!” The lines “It’s funny how some distance/ Makes everything seem small/ And the fears that once controlled me/ Can’t get to me at all” could almost be from an It Gets Better video.

LGBT-friendly businesses are now too big to boycott

Oh, there’s nothing I love more than a right-wing boycott. Every time the American Taliban says people shouldn’t shop somewhere, I put my money on the boycotted company.

Remember the Southern Baptist Convention’s boycott of the Walt Disney Company over claims that the media and theme park giant was too friendly to gays and lesbians? Domestic partner benefits and Gay Days (footnote 1) — the horror! The SBC withdrew the boycott in 2005, claiming that Disney had heard and heeded its message. But that’s not what happened. Disney is consistently lauded as one of the best places in America for LGBT people to work, and the company continues to include LGBT characters in its programming (footnote 2).

I think the days of the right-wing boycott might be over, because there are simply too many companies to boycott. If the right wing decided to boycott companies that provide equal benefits to LGBT employees, they couldn’t even send out a press release, unless they could figure out a way to do it without using Microsoft, Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Adobe products. All three companies scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index. And forget about typing up a press release and photocopying it, as Xerox also scores 100.

And I hope the potential boycotters like to use nothing but cash, because American financial institutions are some of the most LGBT-friendly companies out there. Nearly 50 financial institutions scored 100 on the Corporate Equality Index, including nearly every major bank (Citi, Bank of America, and so on), nearly every major player on Wall Street (Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, for example), and all four of the major credit card companies: American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

Actually, that take-the-cash-out-of-the-bank-and-stuff-it-in-the-mattress plan might not work. NCR, manufacturer of ATMs, scores 100.

Potential boycotters can’t even sell their stock in companies they disapprove of, or buy more stock in companies that share their bigoted views. That’s because all stock trades in the US are processed through the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. — which, as you may have guessed by now, also scores a perfect 100.

In fact, potential boycotters should be wetting their pants, because many companies aren’t just committed to making their workplaces open and equitable — they’re actually taking a political stance in favor of marriage equality. Just yesterday, consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble said it’s in favor of marriage equality. Boycott them and you can’t buy hundreds of products — including many brands of diapers, detergent, toothpaste, and shampoo. P&G joins Apple, Starbucks, Pfizer, Google, Intel, and a growing number of companies that have publicly announced their support for marriage equality — some even going as far as to file amicus briefs in marriage equality lawsuits.

Today’s boycotts are toothless and nearly invisible. Ever heard of Dump Starbucks, founded by the National Organization for Marriage (footnote 3)? Of course you haven’t. No one has. And Starbucks certainly isn’t seeing any affect from this boycott — since the company announced its support of marriage equality in early 2012, its stock price has doubled.

All this makes me smile. Maybe a little too much. But you have to admit there’s a lot of justice in the fact that even the most vile hate groups like the American Family Association (footnote 4) are forced to rely on products and services made by companies that promote the values of fairness and equality for LGBT people.

Oh, and remember that boycott against Disney? Guess which company scored a perfect 100 on the Corporate Equality Index — again? That’s right: Disney.

1. Gay Days is not a Disney-sponsored event — but you can’t ignore how much rainbow-themed Disney merchandise is suddenly available around the first weekend in June.
2. And especially steamy, explicit gay programming in its new show, “How to Get Away with Murder.” As a straight man in the 1940s might say, va-va-va-voom.
3. Or, as it should be called, the National Organization for Opposite-Sex Marriage Only, or the National Organization Against Marriage Equality.
4. Certified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Off topic: Hooray for my hometown

Florida lags behind the times when it comes to LGBT protections. As you might know, it’s perfectly legal for an employer to fire you simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (footnote 1).

However, several cities have stepped up to the plate to provide the protections that the state does not. And, in a recently released report, my hometown of Tampa, Fla., is one of the cities leading the way, scoring 97 on the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. Just across the bay, St. Petersburg scored a perfect 100. The average for cities in Florida is 65 (footnote 2).

These two cities are moving very quickly to reduce discrimination and promote a pro-equality agenda. One year ago, Tampa scored 89 and St. Petersburg got only 66.

The scores are important because they’re a clear signal to everyone that these cities are welcoming places for LGBT people to live and work. Businesses can’t afford to lose talented workers because of discrimination at any level of government. While I don’t think these scores are going to change the tone in Tallahassee (footnote 3), they represent real points of progress.

1. And, after last week’s disappointing election, it’s foolish to think that the state legislature is going to change this any time soon.
2. Read the Tampa Bay Times’ article here.
3. See footnote 1.

The relationship between LGBT people and GDP

A new study suggests that acceptance and strong protections for LGBT people promote economic growth in developing countries. The study, conducted by the U.S. Agency for International Development and UCLA’s School of Law, looked at 29 countries with varying records of treating LGBT people. The study concludes that countries that have decriminalized same-sex acts and enacted anti-discrimination laws have a per capita GDP of $1,763 more than countries that still discriminate.

A good reminder that LGBT equality isn’t just good for business — it’s good for the economy too.

Newsflash: LGBT people like gift cards

When my husband and I got married, we received plenty of gift cards — but none with a rainbow flag, or depicting two grooms together. That was several years ago. Today, retailers have caught on to the fact that LGBT people are getting married and starting families. In response, they’re offering new LGBT-friendly e-gift cards, like the ones shown here from Target and Amazon.

gift card

Target e-gift card

I think this is a good first step for retailers, but they need to do more to prove their commitment to LGBT customers. I think there should be physical LGBT-friendly gift cards sold in stores (footnote 1). The e-gift cards are good, but they’re hidden to people who aren’t looking for them. Physical cards would show the shopping public that (a) the retailer is LGBT friendly and (b) LGBT people enjoy receiving gifts.

1. Well, not in Amazon’s case. They don’t have brick-and-mortar stores.