Pandering

Paris AdOne of my reoccurring San Francisco political thrills is the appearance of political office seekers at a Sunday beer bash at a gay bar. When I moved to The City 25 years ago, there were few other cities whose politicians would openly court gays and lesbian voters. Certainly the city council members of Long Beach from where I just escaped wouldn’t have even had their campaign literature in such places!

But in San Francisco I got a charge out of swilling beer on a warm day while an earnest — and sometimes nervous- — looking man would step on stage to tell the crowd that he wanted our votes.  Sometimes they even came with or sent their wives because they sensed that the crowd would like them better.  Lady Di Fi never appeared on stage at the Eagle, but follow-on Mayors like Art Agnos reliably begged for the votes of my fellow travelers and me.

Why we were being treated just like any other social grouping — Irish, Lions, PTA picnic’ers!  We were being pandering to as an identity group that could help the candidate win election.

It was heady stuff.  Their attention was not something I would have ever expected growing up “That Way”, as my mother phrased it.  Not only was I That Way, but the people in power thought that they needed my help.  Just like a real person!

Today’s Wall Street Journal wrote about Las Vegas’ marketing campaign for my custom.
Luxor/MGM Mirage ad
Las Vegas?  The Disneyland for adults?  The standard-setter for wholesome decadence for mainstream America? 

Damn, I like being pandered to.

I feel cheap and used. And, I love it.

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4 Responses to Pandering

  1. bigjohnsf says:

    Would it be fabulous of they recognized a revenue opportunity and started marketing gay wedding in Las Vegas?

    • ozdachs says:

      They’re doing it… let’s hope that they decide to lobby to change state law to make it a legal wedding. Nevada: first the divorce capital then the gay wedding capital?

      From the article:
      In one advertisement for the Chapel at Luxor, the manicured hands of two women cut a wedding cake together. The tagline reads: “Declare your love for each other loud and proud.”

      [I’ll email you a link to the whole article online.]

  2. allanh says:

    The article said that Harrah’s only started GLBT marketing 18 months ago…but of all of the LV hotels Randy and I have stayed in and/r patronized in the past, the staff at Harrah’s always seemed to go out of their way for us.

    [shrug] Or … maybe we just scared them. A lot.

    • ozdachs says:

      It sounds like the line staff were either naturally comfortable and welcoming and/or they caught on to the financial potential a long time before the “experts” in the marketing executive suite!

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