Attracting LGBTQ+ Clients WITHOUT a Model Call 🏳️🌈
If you’re here, then I can only assume you’ve heard me speak on Clubhouse so, welcome 👋🏻 !! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m not being cute, I actually mean that. Thank you for hearing what I have to say, and thank you for valuing it enough to actually come and take a look at the resources I have built. This subject is so important to me because this subject is well… me. It’s my life, my community, my joy.
It gave me happiness, hope, joy, love, peace, friendship, and so much more.
Of course, there is a ton of pressure in the industry to have an inclusive portfolio. And I totally get where that pressure comes from. I, too, think that is super important – so do most Queer people.
With that, let’s look at some numbers…
In a 2018 study by the Gay Wedding Institute, 83% of LGBTQ+ couples want to see images of Queer people on your website.
And, 88% find it very important that a vendor serves and supports the LGBTQ+ community.
Additionally, 79% look for inclusive language on your website!
So, let’s unpack these numbers just a little bit. 83% of couples want to actually see Queer people on your website. Okay, we all know that is an important step in helping the LGBTQ+ community feel more comfortable hiring you for services. But this just feels like a “must have experience to be hired” and yet, no one will hire you so you can get experience!
➡️ There it is! That’s the big question!
If you know me at all, then you know I love ideas, and I absolutely LOVE actionables. I am not one to preach at you about how you should be – I am also going to give you ideas on how to get there.
I whole-heartedly believe that simply featuring an LGBTQ+ couple in your portfolio is not enough to be able to consistently appeal to, and book, LGBTQ+ clients.
So let’s focus on the 88% that find it very important that a vendors serves and supports the LGBTQ+ community, and the 79% that look for inclusive language on your website.
I believe there are two sides to this. Okay, well, three sides if you include actually photographing/filming/including Queer people in your portfolio… but that is not the focus with this post.
Undoubtedly, a lot of people get very nervous when I start to talk about alternative solutions to words like: bride, groom, fiancé(e), bridal party, groom room, and so on. I personally think this is silly because when we stop leaning on traditionally gendered language, we really get to start to have some fun, and tailor language to perfectly fit our brand!
FIANCÉ is male-gendered language
FIANCEÉ is female-gendered language!
putting “you + your fiance’s [name]” is not LGBTQ+ inclusive!!
Clearly, inclusive language is vital, but what are some alternative suggestions, you ask?? Don’t worry, I gotchu…
Pro Tip: I honestly like to keep this one simple and just stick with Wedding Party. Occasionally, if it’s a really good time, I like to call them “The Party” because well, it sounds more epic. Of course that’s situational, and ultimately up to you whether that works for your brand, or not.
Along with language, another common question I get relates to crafting an inclusive timeline. How should you say “bride’s family” or “groom’s family” but in a way that is inclusive? Should you say Partner 1 and Partner 2?
My question is this: how do you determine who is Partner 1 and who is Partner 2? Are we going to fall back on the trope that the “bride” or the more “feminine one” is Partner 1? Are these not the very ideas we are currently working to deconstruct?
I actually think the answer to this question is super simple: just use their names.
Don’t overcomplicate it.
As I have written this information over several different posts so I won’t necessarily be going into extreme detail, here. However, I will link other posts if you would like to read, in more detail, about how to be an affirming ally, such as this one: How to be a Better Ally to the LGBTQ+ Community.
I also want to take a moment and direct you to a great resource by Tia Nash: The Wedding Industry is Homophobic. Tia has been an incredible source of learning for me, and offers some really wonderful insight into being a more Affirming Ally!
Additionally, check out Liv Lyszyk’s The Inclusivity Workshop.
OKAY! That being said, here is a long list of ways to be an affirming ally to the LGBTQ+ community:
This list can also be found here: Representation Without Tokenism: A Wedding Vendor Guide
This list is continuously growing! So if you have any extra suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below!
That’s it my friends! So happy you’re here! 🙂
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Photos of Tori + Chelsie by:
Caitlyn Cloud Photography |
Hannah Bee Photography |
Liz Erban Photography |
We The Romantics |
Tia Nash Photography |
Amber Garrett Photography |
Amber McGill Photography |
Hannah Rita Photography |
Jenni Chung Photography