I mentioned the gap between firms’ embrace of the Pride rainbow and their actual actions the other day. Here’s a great example.
I was in a minor car crash on Friday, and over the weekend various companies – my insurer, the repairer and the car hire firm that’s sorting out the courtesy car – all phoned me. Each one of them had the same details, Ms Carrie Marshall, and every single one of them called me sir, mister, mate and man throughout the phone calls.
Today I went to pick up the courtesy car, presenting fully female, and admired the Pride lanyards worn by all the staff.
All the staff including the guy who took me to the car while variously calling me sir, mister and man.
I’m not hugely bothered by this (although obviously I’m a little bit bothered or I wouldn’t be blogging about it) because it’s very common. All too often, sir/madaming happens based on what I sound like, even when the paperwork and my actual physical presentation tell a different story.
But it does illustrate the problem with Pride marketing. If the rainbow isn’t reflected in the interactions between your staff and LGBT+ customers, it’s meaningless.