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The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went from LGBTQ Adversary to Ally

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An accurate picture of the LGBTQ rights movement's achievements is incomplete without this surprising history of how corporate America joined the cause. Legal scholar Carlos Ball tells the overlooked story of how LGBTQ activism aimed at corporations since the Stonewall riots helped turn them from enterprises either indifferent to or openly hostile toward sexual minorities a An accurate picture of the LGBTQ rights movement's achievements is incomplete without this surprising history of how corporate America joined the cause. Legal scholar Carlos Ball tells the overlooked story of how LGBTQ activism aimed at corporations since the Stonewall riots helped turn them from enterprises either indifferent to or openly hostile toward sexual minorities and transgender individuals into reliable and powerful allies of the movement for queer equality. As a result of street protests and boycotts during the 1970s, AIDS activism directed at pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s, and the push for corporate nondiscrimination policies and domestic partnership benefits in the 1990s, LGBTQ activism changed big business's understanding and treatment of the queer community. By the 2000s, corporations were frequently and vigorously promoting LGBTQ equality, both within their walls and in the public sphere. Large companies such as American Airlines, Apple, Google, Marriott, and Walmart have been crucial allies in promoting marriage equality and opposing anti-LGBTQ regulations such as transgender bathroom laws. At a time when the LGBTQ movement is facing considerable political backlash, The Queering of Corporate America complicates the narrative of corporate conservatism and provides insights into the future legal, political, and cultural implications of this unexpected relationship.


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An accurate picture of the LGBTQ rights movement's achievements is incomplete without this surprising history of how corporate America joined the cause. Legal scholar Carlos Ball tells the overlooked story of how LGBTQ activism aimed at corporations since the Stonewall riots helped turn them from enterprises either indifferent to or openly hostile toward sexual minorities a An accurate picture of the LGBTQ rights movement's achievements is incomplete without this surprising history of how corporate America joined the cause. Legal scholar Carlos Ball tells the overlooked story of how LGBTQ activism aimed at corporations since the Stonewall riots helped turn them from enterprises either indifferent to or openly hostile toward sexual minorities and transgender individuals into reliable and powerful allies of the movement for queer equality. As a result of street protests and boycotts during the 1970s, AIDS activism directed at pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s, and the push for corporate nondiscrimination policies and domestic partnership benefits in the 1990s, LGBTQ activism changed big business's understanding and treatment of the queer community. By the 2000s, corporations were frequently and vigorously promoting LGBTQ equality, both within their walls and in the public sphere. Large companies such as American Airlines, Apple, Google, Marriott, and Walmart have been crucial allies in promoting marriage equality and opposing anti-LGBTQ regulations such as transgender bathroom laws. At a time when the LGBTQ movement is facing considerable political backlash, The Queering of Corporate America complicates the narrative of corporate conservatism and provides insights into the future legal, political, and cultural implications of this unexpected relationship.

57 review for The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went from LGBTQ Adversary to Ally

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jake Gnolfo

    2.5/5 Queering of Corporate America made me think. Is that a good thing? Maybe? Am I torn? Yes! Will others like it? Idk! Let’s review!! Synopsis: Queering of Corporate America argues that in the past 50 years, Corporate America has turned into a LGBTQ ally by creating nondiscrimination policies, donating to LGBTQ organizations, and venturing into the public policy sphere by threatening economic boycotts of states passing anti-LGBTQ policies. Although traditionally conservative, Corporate America 2.5/5 Queering of Corporate America made me think. Is that a good thing? Maybe? Am I torn? Yes! Will others like it? Idk! Let’s review!! Synopsis: Queering of Corporate America argues that in the past 50 years, Corporate America has turned into a LGBTQ ally by creating nondiscrimination policies, donating to LGBTQ organizations, and venturing into the public policy sphere by threatening economic boycotts of states passing anti-LGBTQ policies. Although traditionally conservative, Corporate America has become an odd defender of the LGBTQ Community in a time where the public sphere has become stagnant with LGBTQ rights. Review: This book left me torn. One part of me wants to “thank” Ball for writing about Corporate America’s contribution to LGBTQ rights. Some of the progress the queer community has made is owed to Corporate America, however the tone of this book is too positive for my taste. Yes, CA needs some praise, however, Ball spends too much time praising CA for its work while spending minuscule paragraphs and a dry epilogue talking about how CA continues to fund the campaigns of legislators who bring up Anti-LGBTQ legislation. They continue to fund the campaigns of legislators who refuse to raise the minimum wage, who keep our healthcare system expensive, and who allow CA to get away with extremely low taxes. Reading this book gave me a sour taste in my mouth because so many of the LGBTQ Community’s problems are still around because of CA. We shouldn’t be praising them for their past actions because in the public sphere, we are still stuck in the status quo. If CA starts donating to legislators who will bring forth Pro-LGBTQ rights instead of only acting when it protects their economic interests, then I may thank them. But for now, even though this book is week written, well researched and well intentioned, I am not gonna appreciate it. Ball should have taken a more adversarial tone. Ball also does not mention how CA tends to only focus on queer issues during Pride Month while avoiding issues the rest of the year. This was left out and needed to be mentioned. Overall, I do recommend it however come into with a critical lens. Think about what Ball says and form your own opinion about it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barred Owl Books

    Legal scholar Carlos Ball tells the overlooked story of how LGBTQ activism aimed at corporations since the Stonewall riots helped turn them from enterprises either indifferent to or openly hostile toward sexual minorities and transgender individuals into reliable and powerful allies of the movement for queer equality. As a result of street protests and boycotts during the 1970s, AIDS activism directed at pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s, and the push for corporate nondiscrimination policies Legal scholar Carlos Ball tells the overlooked story of how LGBTQ activism aimed at corporations since the Stonewall riots helped turn them from enterprises either indifferent to or openly hostile toward sexual minorities and transgender individuals into reliable and powerful allies of the movement for queer equality. As a result of street protests and boycotts during the 1970s, AIDS activism directed at pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s, and the push for corporate nondiscrimination policies and domestic partnership benefits in the 1990s, LGBTQ activism changed big business’s understanding and treatment of the queer community. By the 2000s, corporations were frequently and vigorously promoting LGBTQ equality, both within their walls and in the public sphere. Large companies such as American Airlines, Apple, Google, Marriott, and Walmart have been crucial allies in promoting marriage equality and opposing anti-LGBTQ regulations such as transgender bathroom laws. At a time when the LGBTQ movement is facing considerable political backlash, The Queering of Corporate America complicates the narrative of corporate conservatism and provides insights into the future legal, political, and cultural implications of this unexpected relationship.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    Easily read and understood, Ball’s dive into the history of corporations in the United States and then his focus on 20th Century LGBTQ+ activism within and with corporations is an eye-opening journey. He explains how the status and function of corporations changed over time and then how they became involved in the LGBTQ+ movement and why. A bit repetitive at times, it did change my conceptions about corporations somewhat. I still believe in their money-hungry June Pride approach - swiftly enteri Easily read and understood, Ball’s dive into the history of corporations in the United States and then his focus on 20th Century LGBTQ+ activism within and with corporations is an eye-opening journey. He explains how the status and function of corporations changed over time and then how they became involved in the LGBTQ+ movement and why. A bit repetitive at times, it did change my conceptions about corporations somewhat. I still believe in their money-hungry June Pride approach - swiftly entering stores June 1st and disappearing no later than June 30th with large silence every July through May. However, there is something to be said about their support and push for change and acceptance in various areas of the law on behalf of this community. It’s an interesting look. I’d be very interested in an update or companion book detailing the post-Citizens United and post-gay marriage legalization to today as last year we saw the Supreme Court state that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I think seeing what corporations did in this period would be interesting. It’s an interesting read that really makes me rethink my anti-corporation as they are anti-LGBTQ stance. Religious companies (which I think is absolutely ridiculous to begin with as a concept) may have given all corporations a bad name by tainting their work for equality. This book remedies some of my misconceptions and challenged me. I recommend this very much.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James

    Younger readers with more progressive outlooks will likely have difficulty with the premise that corporate America has been slightly ahead of the curve, compared to the government, in terms of supporting the queer community's access to employment and relationship recognition. Nevertheless, the author makes a good case. I appreciated the different perspective on LGBTQ history, which normally focuses on legal cases, not changes in the workplace/corporate world. I found value in reading about boycot Younger readers with more progressive outlooks will likely have difficulty with the premise that corporate America has been slightly ahead of the curve, compared to the government, in terms of supporting the queer community's access to employment and relationship recognition. Nevertheless, the author makes a good case. I appreciated the different perspective on LGBTQ history, which normally focuses on legal cases, not changes in the workplace/corporate world. I found value in reading about boycotts, DPBs, and businesses that applied pressure to conservative legislators to stop homophobic and transphobic legislation. These are all worth considering as a part of queer history. That said, the text could get very repetitive at times and the last chapter was incredibly dry, although the book is overall quite readable. I have never seen the term "sexual minorities" so many times in one place before, and even if this is standard (is it?), the terminology still feels icky when applied to LGBTQ people. Maybe I shouldn't feel this way, but I was grateful that my state's foray into bathroom legislation was omitted. In general, the author does a really good job with trans issues in particular. If you normally don't read the Acknowledgements, read them this time. Overall, I found this to be an unexpectedly compelling read and would recommend it to younger people active in the LGBTQ civil rights movement for additional perspective on how our rights have evolved and where we might need continued support facing an uncertain future with a more conservative Supreme Court.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Shanker

    In The Queering if Corporate America, law professor Carlos Ball takes readers on a journey from the 1970’s to the present in understanding how queer activists changed corporate America from adversary to ally in the fight for equal justice. This book is not an apology for the wrongdoings of corporations, or an endorsement of corporate partnerships with the queer rights movement. Ball shares his own critiques of corporate actions throughout the book. Rather it is a look at the brave queer activist In The Queering if Corporate America, law professor Carlos Ball takes readers on a journey from the 1970’s to the present in understanding how queer activists changed corporate America from adversary to ally in the fight for equal justice. This book is not an apology for the wrongdoings of corporations, or an endorsement of corporate partnerships with the queer rights movement. Ball shares his own critiques of corporate actions throughout the book. Rather it is a look at the brave queer activists who risked everything in the 1970’s and what the decades-later results of their work looks like today.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cate Sullivan

    I liked this a lot. It questioned why companies are seen as doing the right thing. And I really liked how the author challenged the thinking of the reasoning behind why companies actually start recognizing LGBTQ folks. Which usually spoilers is because of money.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This was a really fascinating take on a section of American history that is totally ignored by the consensus history on the issue. Check it out, for sure.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Khan Ashraf Alif

    Historical events and statements - but mainly this is a work of selective statements to drive the course to desired path.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bobert

  10. 4 out of 5

    Juan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Violet

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danny

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wen Stenger

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  15. 5 out of 5

    Casey

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Suppes

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michał

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Harder

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dobrosława

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  22. 5 out of 5

    glitter trash

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Floyd

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marta

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex Croy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zakia Khan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nick Lehr

  29. 4 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

  30. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

  31. 5 out of 5

    Alex The Ninja Squirrel

  32. 4 out of 5

    Muffin

  33. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  34. 4 out of 5

    Igpy Kin

  35. 5 out of 5

    Neva

  36. 5 out of 5

    Chloe A-L

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jakub Szestowicki

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kamil

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  40. 4 out of 5

    Paulina

  41. 5 out of 5

    rin rose

  42. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  43. 5 out of 5

    The Project

  44. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

  45. 4 out of 5

    Megan Parrott

  46. 5 out of 5

    Nessa

  47. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  48. 4 out of 5

    amy

  49. 4 out of 5

    Bill Schlott

  50. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  51. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  52. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  53. 4 out of 5

    Collette

  54. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Davis

  55. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  56. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  57. 4 out of 5

    ROY Law

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