The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way. We state so in every article we have ever published on this site. And of course, there’s no lie to this. After the de-criminalization of Section 377, we have seen even more acceptance of the community. But we also collectively acknowledge, this isn’t the end. There’s SO much more to become, explore and overcome.
That’s why Fifty Shades of Gay, in collaboration with Laudco Media, is on a mission. We aim to create a platform for the community. We want it to be a safe space, where one can truly be oneself, in all their infinite glory.
These days, LGBTQ+ influencers have huge followings with at least a couple dozen hundreds. They become great voices for multiple people from the community and are often followed by both closet LGBTQ+, openly LGBTQ+ as well as knowledgable allies who just want to share their support.
But of course, the reality is a lot different. Companies do not seek out to these influencers, even with their great following and beautifully curated content.
We believe this needs to change.
Here are certain things that we want to eradicate when it comes to creating a platform for the LGBTQ+ influencers.
Not all LGBTQ+ individuals are the same. Period.:
Indian companies very rarely come out with advertisements that show their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, it’s rarer for the actors themselves to be a part of the community. And when they do have actors on board, it’s usually a very stereotypical idea.
We hope to bring change. For one, the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ as potential influencers and actors for brands. And over that, the need for a variety of people. India is known for having brand faces as slim, fair women and muscular men.
The LGBTQ+ community doesn’t necessarily identify with the same. We have a range that is about just as broad as the human race itself. Every form of shape, colour, height, weight, look, caste, creed and religion. And inclusivity is the only thing we ask. It’s about time we had some trans representation too.
Why the surge?:
Another thing we have noticed is that when Pride Month is around the corner, most brands suddenly sponsor the community. However, we understand how business works. We know that companies jump into the same bandwagon because of the rise of trends and support. Therefore, supporting the LGBTQ+ community = sales = money.
India, unlike America, doesn’t go crazy over Pride Month. But, we know for a fact that when September rolls around the corner for the anniversary of the decriminalization of Section 377, we’re going to see a lot of brands go rainbow.
We aim to bring change to just that. We want brands to show inclusion at off-peak times of the year. To show support year-round through donations and campaigns. To have LGBTQ+ influencers sign up for a whole year contract and have content go up every 2–3 months. In the long-run, both sides benefit, as the business builds a relationship with the LGBTQ+ community.
Where’s the money?:
A majority of influencers don’t get paid for the work they do. Most companies gift product, with the aim to hit on smaller bloggers and influencers. Their aim is to increase the number of influencers and not actually help the influencer. Others use a mix of gift and paid campaigns, and others only do pay campaigns — they’ve learnt that to pay means better results.
Our point is, do not take up campaigns that do not pay you. Seriously. It isn’t about the money, rather the acknowledgement that what you are doing takes time and creative energy that cannot be taken for granted. Even if the biggest of brands reach out to you, push up your margin.
Be brand conscious:
When a brand reaches out to you, do your research. Most brands do not actively engage themselves in the support of the LGBTQ+ community. If brands have made an effort in the last couple of years to include a healthcare plan for transitioning, offer workspaces, paternity leaves, training and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and for the LGBTQ+ community, only then take them up.
There are a lot of brands that have been borderline homophobic and it is your duty to know exactly who you will choose to work for.
Basically, at the end of the day, we want influencers to have a great time doing exactly what they love. We want to bring opportunities and create an open and accepting space for the same. We also hope that this new initiative is well accepted by the community.
If you want to be a part of our LGBTQ+ influencer platform follow these steps:
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: LGBTQ+ Influencer Platform
attach the links to your social media/ blogs that have the highest reach!