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Author Topic: How do GLBT consume....  (Read 61 times)
kinda_invisable
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« on: Today at 11:41 AM »

I read with interest an article about Air New Zealand pay parity from one of the staff - who happened to be gay - http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/35/article_7282.php  My immediate reaction was a sense of outrage.  But for all the wrong reasons.  This guy was putting forward a legitimate grievance over pay.  What I found interesting that he happened to be gay and my immediate reaction was to feel outrage for him because he was.

As GLBT we seem to lose sight of our 'other hats' when we enter into a GLBT space.  We sometimes forget that we wear other garb outside that space and are prone to lose sight of perceptions we have developed as tenants, homeowners, parents, students, workers and the list goes on. 

But it does bring me to the nub of this topic: if we are GLBT, how do we operate outside our niche to be consumers, and participate as shakers in the marketplace?

My immediate reaction of outrage to the article, was to weapon up as a gay man and hurt Air NZ by removing my business (I frequently travel between Auckland and Wellington on a fortnightly basis).  Several problems arise:  You make it harder for the company to relent and give a decent pay rate if all those GLBT did the same thing; and you lose sight of why you choose to do such a thing:  Do you do it because you are gay or do you do it because you see the unfairness of the situation?

As GLBT we dont rate highly as a marketplace mover and shaker.  We certainly dont rate well against mothers who buy groceries for their families weekly.  We dont rate well against students in the finance sector where their banking needs are a competitive feeding ground for banks.  So how do we identify as say greenies, mums and dads, students, mortgage payers, truck drivers, who happen to be gay?  We dont.

A few years ago I read a study about the fictitious so called "pink dollar".  What the study revealed was that GLBT or to be precise gay men, were consumers who made spending decisions on their needs, requirements, expectations outside of their sexuality.  But the study also showed that there was an identifiable group of consumers who were gay men.  Their sexuality was the driver for identity.  But their consumption pattern was much the same as everyone else in society.  (One could argue that there is an exclusive market for leather erotica that easily identifies the consumer, but this is not a general pattern of consumption).

The Stonewall organisation in the UK, annually report (well they used to) on businesses and corporations that are 'gay' friendly.  They also make a huge deal over those businesses and corporations that are considered to be unfriendly.  As an organised representation of the GLBT Stonewall have attempted - and with some success - to impact the marketplace by drawing GLBT attention to an unfriendly company or corporation.  And so Stonewall has created an interesting phenomena.  The phenomena of sexuality driving market forces.

How does this relate to the article?  As GLBT or a group that has a common sexuality, is it possible that we can drive market forces in the situation of pay parity in Air NZ?  What is it that makes us want to engage as GLBT to drive Air NZ into negotiating pay fairness for their staff, who may or may not be gay, lesbian etc? My personal opinion is we shouldnt be driven by sexuality to make spending decisions.  But I could be wrong.
 
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MrCynical
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« Reply #1 on: Today at 11:45 AM »

Disagree completely, sexuality should have nothing to do with it, you are basically trying to put us above hetro people, trying to have us treated differently because of something we cannot change, it doesn't matter if it is preferential treatement, in fact that is almost worse.

He was being treated exactly the same as the hetero staff, be outraged about the contract, not about the treatment of a gay person.
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kinda_invisable
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« Reply #2 on: Today at 06:45 PM »

Disagree completely, sexuality should have nothing to do with it, you are basically trying to put us above hetro people, trying to have us treated differently because of something we cannot change, it doesn't matter if it is preferential treatement, in fact that is almost worse.

He was being treated exactly the same as the hetero staff, be outraged about the contract, not about the treatment of a gay person.

"My personal opinion is we shouldnt be driven by sexuality to make spending decisions".  I am not suggesting we put our sexuality first.  I am saying the pink dollar is a myth.  Along with that consumer group we call GLBT.  As far as spending patterns go we spend according to other consumer groups.  We dont spend as a group of gay men or lesbians or transgenders.......

But it has worked in some ways.  Stonewall created some interesting exceptions to driving marketplace changes.
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