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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.

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

  1. 5 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.

  2. 4 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bobert

  8. 4 out of 5

    Juan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Violet

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danny

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  12. 5 out of 5

    Casey

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Suppes

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michał

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Harder

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dobrosława

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  18. 5 out of 5

    glitter trash

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Floyd

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marta

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alex Croy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zakia Khan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick Lehr

  25. 5 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

  26. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alex The Ninja Squirrel

  28. 4 out of 5

    Muffin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  30. 5 out of 5

    Igpy Kin

  31. 4 out of 5

    Neva

  32. 4 out of 5

    Chloe A-L

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jakub Szestowicki

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kamil

  35. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  36. 4 out of 5

    Paulina

  37. 5 out of 5

    rin rose

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  39. 5 out of 5

    The Project

  40. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

  41. 5 out of 5

    Megan Parrott

  42. 4 out of 5

    Nessa

  43. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  44. 5 out of 5

    amy

  45. 4 out of 5

    Bill Schlott

  46. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  47. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  48. 4 out of 5

    Alison

  49. 5 out of 5

    Collette

  50. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Davis

  51. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  52. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  53. 4 out of 5

    ROY Law

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