Now that gay marriage is legal (YAY!!) You may be thinking, “What do I need to do to make sure my business is more Queer welcoming?” Well, here are 3 easy ways to become more inclusive.
1: GENDER: Add more options for gender. Instead of having boxes for just female or male think about allowing the person to write in their own words. Example: Gender: Female
This will show your customer that you are not assuming this person is male or female. Allowing the person to write in their gender identity signifies that you are aware there is more than just two genders.
Follow up question here: What pronouns do you prefer? He/Him/His OR She/Her/Hers OR They/Them/Theirs OR ___________
Again, you are asking the customer what their preference is. Make sure you call them by the correct pronoun and if you mess up, apologize and move on using the correct pronoun next time. Also, do not only offer “boy” or “girl” options. Mix up your options, do not group by gender.
2. SEXUALITY: Do not assume your client is straight. Think before you speak. Use the word “partner” if you need to ask about/talk about the customer’s significant other. They will usually follow this up with identifying their partner’s label. For example if you are a cake baker and you use “partner” when referring to the couple, she may then say “Yes, my girlfriend and I are getting married”. Well done! You’ve just expressed your business as aware there are homosexual couples out there getting married too! Change your paperwork to say “partner” instead of gender specific terminology (bride/groom/husband/wife). If you have a demographics sheet, add the options: bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, pansexual, other______ (Do not add this if you don’t need this information though)
3. Think about your art/photos on the walls. Do you have only heterosexual examples of families? Make sure to have examples of all types of families. Remember that having examples of gay families of color shows that you can relate to all types of customers. If your customer sees an example of their family on your wall, they may feel more comfortable to be in your office and to buy your services or products. Also think about your website/social media photos.