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Consumer myths and the gay men and women who believe them: a qualitative look at movements and markets



Using focus group data from six different conversations in two U.S. cities, this study examines how advertising, corporate policies toward sexual minority employees, and sponsorship of events and charities central to the gay and lesbian community affect the perceived “gay-friendly” status of brands and companies. This study also explores how gay and lesbian respondents understand their role as distinct consumers in relation to gay social movements. In contrast to cultural critiques that argue that constructions of gay consumer markets are antithetical to gay social movements, this study shows how actual gay and lesbian consumers not only understand this dialectic, but also use it as both self-validation and as leverage in achieving social gains. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.