Saturday, July 16, 2011

McDonald's Gay Ad in France is a Conversation Starter

I happened to catch this ad by McDonald's today in the Telegraph. I Tweeted, Facebooked, and Google+'d (yes twitter has the best social media verbs but that is another discussion). I realized that there was more I had to say on it so I am doing things a little backwards with with writing after already putting it on social media but oh well.

First here is the video...then we can discuss.

I guess the video was actually released a year ago but I missed it somehow. Maybe because I don't live in France.  Regardless of when it came out, I have seen it now and I love it. I love how it shows just one of many conversations that happen daily in which LGBT individuals have to decide whether or not to come out. Many people just don't realize how often this happens. Then the decision comes - do I out myself or not? We don't actually know what the father and son discuss over fries and that is ok. Part of me really wanted to see the conversation start. Something like, "Dad, I've got something to tell you." However, is McDonald's really the place to have that conversation with Dad?

Sometimes I think that is what holds us back from coming out. Is this the right time and place? I wish that wasn't the case. I wish people felt like it was something to discuss anywhere at anytime. Doing that takes the stigma out of it that talking about being gay is only something to do in private. I understand that many risk their jobs and others could risk their safety. That's why for those of us that feel safe and secure we must not miss these opportunities. It will only help to make things better for those that can't.

Another thing I thought of as I watched this was, how many conversations did this start? Not necessarily between teens and their parents but among all generations - maybe with friends or even co-workers. Just someone commenting they had seen the commercial and liked it would be enough for an LGBT individual to recognize they had an ally and be more comfortable coming out. Even just a parent that wants their child to know they are loved no matter what could comment on the commercial in a positive way. I see many good conversations that can happen because of this.

Do I see how there could be bad conversations, of course. People could learn a close friend or family member is not accepting. However, I choose to believe that both the good and bad conversations are good. The bottom line is the more things are in the open the better.

Thanks McDonald's. I can't wait for the day we see things like this in the U.S.

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