DTG urges consumers to support gay-friendly companies

Posted on 28 May 2009 at 7:33pm
By David Taffet Staff Writer

Tavern Guild executive director says new push to promote ‘businesses that support our community’ will start with VOP competition

Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman says, "Support the businesses that support our community."

That message is part of a year-round campaign by the Tavern Guild that begins with Voice of Pride, the singing talent competition that opens on June 3 at Sue Ellen’s. The message will continue with Pride activities in September and during events throughout the year.

"Lots of people buy, shop, eat, drink without any thought of where the money goes," Doughman says. And he wants the LGBT community to become more aware of just where the money does go and spend it with businesses that give back to the community.

Although local beer distributors have been very supportive, he says, "We haven’t had a lot of support from the liquor industry."

An exception he notes is Smirnoff, which is "making a concerted effort to be visible and supportive here in Dallas."

As an example of how to support that effort by the vodka maker, he suggests that a bartender creating his own vodka drink might decide to use Smirnoff.

"Those companies we’ve posted on our Web site have made an investment in our community," Doughman says. "We want to point out who’s stepped up."

He explains that the companies listed have done more than just pay for a banner ad; they have contributed to the cost of events, programs and fundraisers sponsored by the Tavern Guild.

Andrews, a local beer distributor, and the brands Jagermeister and Heineken are listed on the Web site as Tavern Guild sponsors.

The next category, "Partners," includes a wide variety of brands, products and services. Local hotels and national chains include the Wyndham Group and the Melrose, Palomar Dallas, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and the Anatole.

Starbucks and Buli, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Sir Speedy and University Park Audi all have also supported the Tavern Guild and its projects.

Media partners include not only the Dallas Voice, but also 102.1 FM The Edge and Sirius Satellite Radio. American Airlines’ AA.com/rainbow offers special travel rates for Dallas Pride weekend. And along with North Texas GLBT Chamber support is the Dallas Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

"Any business making a significant amount of money in any market should invest in that community," Doughman says. "This is more of a ‘do list.’

"These people made a commitment. They stepped up. If you have a choice, they’ve supported us," so support them in return.

E-mail taffet@aol.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 29, 2009.

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