Absolut’s new Pride video.

Where do I start? How about here: it is a very pretty video. The people in it were great. Sweet stories, real people. Lots of familiar faces- people who I know and admire from the LGBTQI community here in Dublin. It’s wonderfully human and engaging.

It’s just what’s missing that bothers me.

While the people and couples in it are lovely, the first thing I noticed was that it was all gay, gay, gay. No trans or bi representation, definitely no mention of the existence of any other diversity in the LGBTQI community. No POC, no people with disabilities, no people with non-Irish accents. No people with working-class or regional accents. In a video about Pride in our capital city- a place where so many people move to to find acceptance and community. And the only mention of an older person? Was someone talking about how he once saw an old lady waving a Pride flag from the sidelines, with the assumption that she must have been straight.

That’s not our community. I think.. there’s such a wonderful opportunity here to showcase that LGBTQI people are everyone. That we’re not just young urban white gays! To actually show more of a cross-section of Ireland and make it obvious that we’re so much more than that. There are far more interesting stories to be told. There are faces that should be shown and voices that should be heard. Those faces and those voices- from the working-class queers, queers with disabilities, queer POC and immigrants, from the bisexuals and asexuals and intersex people and trans people, from the kids of same-sex couples- are the stories you don’t get to hear. I want to hear those stories. I want those faces to be as visible, because I want those people to feel the same kind of belonging that we give to young, urban, middle-class, abled white gay people.

I like the video. It’s well-done. But in terms of representing what Pride is supposed to be about? It’s disappointing.

Absolut’s new Pride video.

7 thoughts on “Absolut’s new Pride video.

  1. 1

    Well said. Lately I’ve seen too much divisiveness, too many attempts to impose some sort of hierarchy on the community instead of considering each of us an equal contributor. It shows up outside of lgbtq doings as well, in some feminist spaces. Maybe I was insulated from it in the TD days, I don’t know… but I miss the overriding spirit of the place. I am no better or worse than anyone else, no more or less a member of the lgbtq community – or the larger community of women.

      1. I do… I was an unholy mess, and that space offered me a place to retreat. It might have been what kept me from a worse fall.

        I worry today… back then we had online space, but it was anonymous until we chose to connect with others. Today, the whole world is aware, For an adolescent or teen out there trying to find their identity, you can’t explore and discuss. Facebook and the like eviscerated those enclaves. There is no place to hide, and unfortunately we are seeing an increase in suicides amongst those 11, 12, 13… If I were that age now, coming out as queer… we think things have improved so much, and in many ways they have, but nowhere near enough.

  2. MGI

    I agree and lament the lack of diversity but Pride say they were not consulted and by the time they knew of this, all filming had finished – in fact they didn’t see it until the launch. many LGBT groups were not invited to the launch. What a pity there is no information on Dublin Pride in it? No pride website or programming details and not even dates for the 2013 event – all we have are absolut twitter and hashtags and to be honest I know of no event called absolutpride happening in Dublin. Nice stories by good people but it does not promote Dublin Pride’s amazing 30th anniversary at the end of June – it promotes Vodka? – a real lost opportunity as vodka hijacks the diversity of the LGBTQI community, who have done tremendous work to etch out their celebratory space in the past 30 years in Dublin. Roll on Dubln Pride as it is all the things and more, said in this dvd, but its OURs and includes all lgbtqi and our straight friends who make up this rainbow in our inclusive city – it must not be replaced by over aggressive and saturating commercial zeal. Best of luck to all the volunteers who are working hard to celebrate our identity at the end of June! Corporate sponsorhsip is needed and necessary but it can not be allowed to replace our hard won identity.

  3. 4

    It would be nice as one video in a series of equal videos.

    Anything that smacks of marketing the way corporate-sponsored projects like this can gives me the impulse to paraphrase *Persuasion* (when Elizabeth, claiming that nobody will Anne in Bath, accedes to Mary’s selfishly requiring Anne’s company at Uppercross: “To be claimed as a good, though in an improper style, is at least better than being rejected as no good at all.”) in something like: The annoyance of being tagged as a Desirable Marketing Demographic is outdone by the annoyance of being deemed not worth the outlay for the campaign.

    Particular thanks for mentioning the accents; I’m not sure if I’d have caught the class- or region-based lack of inclusion.

  4. 5

    It is interesting to see the difference in tone expressed in the comments here, compared to those on QueerID, about the lack of inclusion in the video. I posted the original thread on QueerID after attending the launch of the video, hearing the comments of the Dublin Pride representative and viewing the video.
    My initial reaction was to notice the absence of any historical references to the early days of pride, ie: the social and cultural context of it’s beginning. Then I was aware of the noticeable lack of diversity in the faces and voices of those who appeared in it. Older people, people from the transgender community, people with disabilities and ethnic diversity (I include members of the traveller community in that).
    I am sorry a more diverse representation of our diverse community were not included in the video. I find is sad that so many members of our community think it is OK to exclude other members of the community and when someone raises it as an issue they are made out to be crazy, old hat, looney leftist, ignorant or just plain stupid for even raising the issue.
    What a sad day it is when reminding people of how far we have come, and still need to go, is seen as dulling down the party.
    I always find it interesting how so many of those who deride others for raising issues of community and inclusion, are the ones who turn out for the party events, yet you never see them at the coalface of community work to bring about the equality which allows them the freedom to party. They don’t seem to be able to connect the dots that brought us from the early struggles to get decriminalisation of homosexuality to current issues like gender identity, same sex family rights, marriage equality, etc.
    I guess if the issues don’t affect you directly, you don’t have to bother taking an interest, as long as you can have your fun. How sad if that is what our ‘community’ has become.

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