The Allstate Ad at left (click to enlarge) speaks to a condition that many gay people feel in their everyday lives, the ‘Is it safe to be out here’ question that we are constantly asking. Even in the largest and most progressive cities, there are those who think that gay people are horrible and something simple as holding hands is ‘shoving it in their face.’ And the further out you go from progressive areas, the more the odds of encountering the people who think that goes up. Gay people are constantly analyzing our surroundings to determine is this a place where I can interact with my boyfriend or girlfriend the same way any heterosexual couple would act and not be subject to negative reaction. That reaction can range from stares to violence. And no matter how safe the space we are in may feel, that last possibility is always on our mind.
When we hold our same-sex partners hand, we are always thinking ‘is someone going to come up behind us and shove us down, hit us in the head, punch us’, etc. Outside of a gay bar or pride event, it is a thought that never leaves our minds because violence against gay people still happens.
Whoever created this particular ad managed to say something beyond just ‘our insurance company is welcoming to gay people.’ It subtly, but loudly, speaks the condition that gay people find themselves in everyday because being safe, truly safe, while being visible is something that we can not yet take for granted.