Any given Pride parade or festival these days is bound to feature several recognizable products newly awash in rainbow colors as Pride becomes more corporatized. Coca-Cola, Delta, Bud Light, Absolut, Target, and Walmart are all known companies that celebrate LGBT people, but not all corporations get it right all the time. The latest example is that Coach misgendered Pose star Dominique Jackson on an invite to what the company deemed a Pride Ball. The actress called the company out for the offense in an Instagram video, prompting Coach to apologize publicly.
“So, happy Pride, everyone, I hope you guys have been watching and enjoying Pose,” Jackson said on Instagram. “A lot of companies join in on the Pride celebration to show they’re all-inclusive when they’re really not. They don’t research us. They don’t understand us. They don’t attempt to comprehend us."
Regarding Coach’s invite to attend its Pride Ball in which she was misgendered, Jackson said:
“They offered nothing. Not a car ride. Nothing. Not a pocketbook. Nothing. Then one of their representatives contacts me to invite me to something called their ’Pride Ball’ and misgendered me! You didn’t do your research. You’re not following the true stories of the LGBTQ community, ’cause you would know that a woman like myself should never be misgendered. It’s so insulting.”
Anyone paying attention to Pose would know that Jackson plays Elektra Abundance, mother of the House of Abundance, on Ryan Murphy’s latest juggernaut that boasts the largest transgender cast of any scripted series to date. It tells the story of the balls and bouses that were safe spaces for trans and queer people in the ‘80s, as depicted in Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris Is Burning.
Jackson also tweeted about the incident.
DONT PRETEND TO UNDERSTAND, DONT USE US! REPRESENT US ALL YEAR ROUND NOT JUST AT PRIDE FOR H.R. PURPOSES! DO YOUR DAMN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU VENTURE INTO A COMMUNITY! SO SADDENED BUT MOSTLY INSULTED!!!!!!!!! @coach@louisvuitton #inmytruth #touchtheskin #dominiquejackson pic.twitter.com/ay9GqzzdsQ
— Dominique Jackson (@tyraaross) June 12, 2018
Coach apologized but also made an excuse for its mistake, claiming that Jackson was erroneously sent a form invite:
Our apologies for the grave mistake. In our effort to celebrate you and the LGBTQ+ community, through our invitation you to join us for Pride Ball, we clearly erred using a template message we didn't check before sending and therefore got it wrong. In your words, we should have done more to understand the transgender community and to honor you, as a woman. Inclusivity is one of our company values and, while we endeavor to demonstrate this inclusivity every day, we are also learning.