This year’s Gay Games in Chicago are shaping up to filled not only with headline acts – Andy Bell, Cindi Lauper, Margaret Cho, Megan Mullally – but some headline advertisers, as well. Both ESPN and Gatorade have signed on as official sponsors, joining the likes of Kraft and Walgreens in the face of plenty of right-wing groups calling for boycotts of these companies. (Keep in mind Kraft is owned by Altria, which owns Phillip Morris, which make Marlboro cigarettes. How many conservatives do you picture switching to Camel?)
We’ve been hammered with press releases from corporate sponsors of gay pride events for weeks now — Svedka vodka, for instance wants to make sure Queerty readers know drag queen empresaria Lady Bunny is Madame President in 2033, or at least she’ll play her on the Svedka float during NYC pride.
Do we get the warm and fuzzies when big companies embrace the GLBT community? Sure. Are we more likely to buy their products if they actively target our demographic? Most likely. Are we losing some of our gay pride purpose by letting corporations attach themselves to our community efforts? Probably.
Gay Games add sponsors [Chicago RedEye]