By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com July 22 2014 7:32 AM ET
JCPenney was the trendsetter. Hard to believe, yes, but it really was the first to do it, in 2012. It put gay dads in ads. Not a full-blown commercial, but the company received plenty of heat about it. Since then, a few more companies have taken that one step further.
Coca-Cola aired this “blink and you miss it” commercial during the Super Bowl this year:
Then Honey Maid made this absolutely beautiful, heartwarming tearjerker in March — going even further and dedicating an entire long commercial to gay dads and using the tag “This Is Wholesome”:
And most recently (in June), Hotwire.com did a commercial showing two dads trying to get a deal on vacation and then finding out about Hotwire’s services. It’s adorable and portrays a gay family in a very nonchalant way:
So when was the last time you went shopping at JCPenney and then stopped by the grocery store to pick up some Honey Maid graham crackers and wash them down with a Coke? Or at the very least, did you talk about this commercial with your friends? Did you share them on your Facebook page? The only thing I heard about these commercials was negative — from right-wing groups like “One Million Moms” (I put that in quotes because, let’s face it, there’s like 20 of them). We need to do our part in saying thank you. Companies like this are taking major risks for being not only LGBT-inclusive but being LGBT family-inclusive, which is technically one step further.
No offense to our community, but sometimes I think we suck. We are too busy being sensitive and finger-pointing and getting caught up in semantics (see the comments on my recent article about my encounter with a transgender child here), that we don’t take the time to appreciate when someone goes out of their way for us. We’re like bad houseguests. We are major consumers, so get out there and consume — specifically products from those companies that are doing this. And if you don’t like Coca-Cola or Honey Maid or Hotwire, you can still send an email to the companies thanking them for acknowledging gay families.
Instead of bitching so much, we need to applaud more. As a matter of fact, I’m going to stop my bitching now and go eat some delicious s’mores made of Honey Maid graham crackers and wash that down with a fresh cold Coke while browsing cheap vacations on Hotwire. Don’t bother commenting on this article; use that energy to write a positive email to one or all of those companies or tweet about them or tell a friend. Do something to ensure that this will continue to happen, or it will fizzle out completely.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at GayAtHomeDad.