Now LGBT Youth Can Hear “It Gets Better” From A Kitchen Appliance Manufacturer

Yes, it’s important to share stories of overcoming adversity and all that jazz. But can you imagine any child turning to The Whirlpool Corporation‘s “It Gets Better” video for reassurance, strength and encouragement?

We get that Whirpool has a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality index, but at least with the IGB videos of Pixar, Target and elected representatives we could envision a kid thinking, “I enjoy their movies/like shopping there/live in their state.” It’s hard to imagine a kid looking at the red sock in her parent’s high-efficiency front load washer and thinking, “I’m like that red sock. You get me, Whirlpool Corporation. Please God tell me that I won’t be lost in the spin cycle of life.”

Who knows. Inspiration comes from unlikely sources, perhaps even from corporations that produce water heaters and trash compacters.

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  • Matt

    Wow, has there ever been anything more classist? I have real concerns about this in the gay community. Whirlpool is just as valid and relevant as pixar. People are people, gays are EVERYWHERE and if anything, we don’t see enough representation from “blue collar” type jobs. Sorry there isn’t another IGB video from MAC or GAP. I love the assumption that inspiration can’t come from a company or people that make washers or trash compactors. Big fail for Qweerty.

  • Andrew

    The fact that this post devalues the contributions of LGBT individuals who happen to work for a company that’s less glamorous than Pixar is startling. The video adds the voices of regular people like you and me to the It Gets Better campaign and should be praised for doing so. You do not have to be a successful politician or work for a glamorous company to send the message of love and support.

  • chpinnlr

    WTF is wrong with working at Whirlpool? There are LGBT people working at everyday jobs in this country, myself included! It doesn’t just get better for people in higher income brackets! You seriously need to reconsider your comments Daniel! BTW I effin love to watch my red socks in my Front loading High efficeny washer…it’s more satifing than reading this BLOG most days!

  • Daniel Villarreal

    Classism? Bah. My main point is this: Target and Pixar market to kids and so I think kids will be quicker to look to them for inspiration rather than to the people behind their cold steel kitchen appliances. That is all.

    If you guys feel good about their message, that’s great. You’re adults. Would you have looked for their video as a kid with thousands of other IGB videos at your disposal?

  • Mike

    Maybe not classism. More like unnecessarily bitchy. Maybe this isn’t going to be the most inspirational video to kids, but its heart is in the right place. When you get a birthday gift you don’t want, you smile and say thanks. At least I hope you do.

  • Parson Thwackum

    So you’d rather Whirpool be anti-gay rights? This is the same confusion of equality with coolness that lets the stars of 30 Rock off the hook for homophobia.

  • CBRad

    Well……a gay man invented aluminum. Let’s hear it for the solid non-glamorous world and their great homo connections!

  • tookietookie

    For anyone who hasn’t been following lately, as of today on Queerty we hate Whirlpool’s It Gets Better video, Michele Bachmann, Alec Baldwin, Alec Baldwin’s barrista, Tracey Morgan, Chick-Fil-A, Rachel Maddow, Michele Bachmann’s closet case husband, calling Michele Bachmann’s closet case husband a closet case, Raising My Rainbow, Lady Gaga, Mormons, and each other. I must be leaving something out. This is a lot to keep track of.

  • Michael


    OMG send me the footnote im losing track already! :O

  • Chris

    As one of the employees featured in the video, I have to say that I am surprised by this reaction. I thought it would go without saying that this isn’t a marketing opportunity for the company, but a chance for a global company with strong mid-western values to reach out to teens and young adults who may be struggling with identity issues – and to their parents to help them understand some of the difficulties that their children may be facing. This video is about helping people understand that diversity can be celebrated by people who don’t live in California or New York.

  • Mike

    Well, Chris, the only reaction that this New Yorker has is: “Thanks.” (btw, trash compactor is spelled incorrectly in the original post)

  • CBRad

    @Chris: I was born and raised in New York City, have no snobbery about that at all, and I ditto the “thanks.”

  • TommyOC

    @Daniel Villarreal: I don’t know if you’re getting the reason why you’re being accused of being a classist. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, kids, you don’t have to run screaming to Hollywood, Broadway, or San Francisco to be safe and accepted.” But your post seems to think there is – as if the coasts are where you have to be for things to get better.

    If you build these kids up to only think that things get better if you are famous or work for a well-known organization, what kind of message are you incubating in the ones who never will? The ones whose passions and interests don’t lead them to glamor? In the absence of proof otherwise, life must positively suck for any gay living a middle class, less extraordinary life. Frigidaire goes out of their way to produce a video that shows that it doesn’t, to show the full spectrum of American gay life…. and you shoot them down for it.

    And that absolutely stuns many of you readers – most of whom cannot identify with most star-studded IGB videos produced to-date.

    Kids might not understand the importance of a blue-collar IGB video, but they certainly internalize the reasons why we praise and promote the videos of the rich & famous and are less-than-grateful for the videos from those who are not. Besides, kids – particularly teens – are excellent bullshit detectors, even when they can’t fully understand the bullshit they’re sensing.

    And your valuing of A-list names over the common man is bullshit.

  • Chris

    Thanks everyone for the support and encouragement. The overwhelmingly positive response the video has received is really touching.

  • Dallas David

    Seems to me that if everybody posts an “It gets better” video (except for the anti-gay crazy idiots) that would send the idea to kids that it’s the minority of people who think that it’s not ok to be gay. That’s progress, IMHO.

    Nevertheless, it would help to have some way to give prominence to IGB videos from noteworthy folks.

    After watching this video, though, it makes me want to wash another load of laundry in my Whirlpool washer!

  • Kyle

    Looks like I’ll be buying Whirlpool in the near future. Unlike, homophobic Hollywood, where I have not been to the movies in years.

  • chpinnlr

    @Daniel Villarreal: these videos don’t just help KIDS! There are plenty of adults that are still struggling with their sexuality, most of them are working in normal professions, and seeing something positive from a company as main-stream as this may help them come to terms with who they are. Most LGBT people are just normal everyday people, alot of them are just looking to live a normal simple life that is full of happiness and acceptance.

  • chpinnlr

    @Daniel Villarreal: You might also want to consider that this company does’t just employ a huge number of factory workers, but also a host of scientists, designers, engineers and support staff.

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @TommyOC: I’m not saying that it only “gets better” if you turn into Pixar and Target employees nor am I devaluing the work Whirlpool put into the video—hence, my words “it’s important to share stories of overcoming adversity…” and “Inspiration comes from unlikely sources, perhaps even from corporations that produce water heaters and trash compactors.”

    I never said one must run to Hollywood, Broadway, or San Francisco nor did I imply that one must pursue a glamorous, high-profile life for life to “get better.” I commended Target’s video and Whirlpool is as you say is “a well-known organization” blue collar or no. My reaction has nothing to do with classism.

    I merely made the statement that of the bazillion IGB videos featuring others entities that kids may feel a closer connection to, I can’t see a kid seeking out a kitchen appliance manufacturer’s video for advice on how to deal with LGBT issues; that is, unless they happen upon it or have some emotional connection with their dryer. Maybe I’m wrong, other people obviously feel differently, but that’s my take.

    Plus, there’s something odd to me about increasingly mundane companies reassuring queer kids that it’s gonna be OK. Maybe one day Vileda Fresh Comfort Rubber Gloves will tell kids it gets better.

    @chpinnlr: The idea that IGB is no longer just for kids is one I had not considered but a great point! After the suicide of Jeremy Rodemeyer it struck me that adults make these videos as much for themselves as for the viewers. I’m still parsing out the implications of that, though.

    Also, my point has nothing to do with the people featured in the video nor their jobs, but only to do my perceived oddness of a child seeking out a kitchens manufacturer for advice.

  • Stephen

    This is one of the best it gets better videos I’ve ever seen. We need more real life everyday people sharing their experiences, not just celebrities. LGBT people come from all walks of life. Also I think these videos send a great positive message to both gay and straight, young and old.

  • Mike

    there are kids who click on the channel because they see one they like…like Pixar…then they see another one in the side bar and they click it. soon they are just watching them to see the messages, doesn’t matter if it’s an individual and a company…and they can walk away with another message besides “it gets better”…”we’re everywhere”.

    Queerty, you kinda suck lately. You came back from the brink of collapse for this?

  • Terrance

    Queerty, let me make this simple, you suck. As a man who convinced the company that I work for to create an IGB video, I understand what it takes to make this happen. The point of this is to let kids, or anyone, realize that it gets better and you will have a perfectly normal life. I work for a gym. Chris works for Whirlpool and I am happy for both of us.

  • Mike

    Thank you, Whirlpool! You are a great company!

  • Tom

    @ Daniel, I know, and even those ridiculous celebrities who use these videos for free publicity! Like, that freaky looking asshole who played Spock in the Star Trek movie. He’s a homosexual who couldn’t even admit he was even gay! Yeah, it gets better…for my CAREER.

  • Tom

    @ Daniel…you’re an idiot. What do you even look like? I want to make fun of you.

  • Riker

    @tookietookie: Don’t forget Davey Wavey! And anyone ever posted on Morning Goods.

  • Fausto Fernós

    I appreciate all companies who create a safe work environment, respect their employees, give them equal benefits and reach out to youth to send messages of love and affirmation. But shouldn’t they all be doing this anyways?

    I don’t know anything about Whirpool, but I hope that they “Make It Better” and donate money to help teachers in public schools deal effectively with bullying.

    As it was well put in Anderson Cooper’s town hall meeting, many schools and teachers simply don’t know how to handle bullying when it reeks its ugly head.

    I hope companies that want to spend the time and money to make an It Gets Better video put their money where their YouTube channel videos are and financially support educational programs that fight bullying. Otherwise, their videos look ridiculous.

    Fighting bullying means working for better schools.

  • Kurt

    @Chris: I appreciate your efforts on this. But I’m going to join those who are unimpressed, though for different reasons.

    I do think blue collar LGBT persons have been mistreated by the LGBT movement — almost as much as by Whirlpool. As far as I can tell, “Whirlpool Pride Network” is an almost exclusively white collar organization and has no real presence at Whirlpool’s production plants. Whirlpool, even though it is a very profitable company even in these tough times with its sales increasing, is moving about a plant a year to some other part of the world where the boss can do pretty much as he pleases to the employees. I understand that for all of their claims of “gay inclusion” the company has been cool to the unions when they have asked for enforceable language in the employee contact protecting workers from discrimination.

    I think you got a fine little project going to help the managers and white collar employees at a manufacturing company. I don’t see your efforts doing much for the production workers, either here in the USA or in the cheap labor places Whirlpool is moving them to.

    I would like to see someone really stand up for LGBT factory workers. Pride @ Work is the only group I see doing that.

  • Mitch

    “It Gets Better” has always been a vapid, politically correct line of bullshit meant to pander to the more privileged homos by pretending to give empty reassurance to kids. The fact that this ridiculous site actually took offense that one company dared jump into the fray just shows how classist and shallow the movement’s supporters really are.

  • Kylew

    @Mitch: I think your comment is incredibly cynical, but I have to admit, I’ve been wondering the same thing myself. Telling someone who has a knife stuck in their stomach, “It gets better” does not seem to be the most effective solution, because you’re focussing on the effect not the cause. I’d be more impressed if the campaign was “Look out homophobes – your days are numbered!”

    But perhaps it is just one prong of a multi-prong effort designed to help the lives of gay kids, in which case, the more times they hear the message, perhaps, the more likely they are to believe it and not do something permanent to themselves.

    Or maybe they simply tune it out as meaningless background noise that provides no substantive help to ease their suffering.

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