Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Bookstore

Best Bookstore

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

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College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014

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The Pride Issue

Can SA’s “Gay Dollar” Make Policy Impact?



Pride parade marshals past and present: SAPD chief McManus, Mayor Castro, Miss Fiesta 2013 Victoria Flores

Money talks, but does it make a sound if no one is listening? San Antonio LGBT consumers pack enough buying power to bankroll the entire city budget for a year and a half. Yet in many cases here, they’re still fighting for full citizenship in both the workplace and public policy.

Washington D.C.-based Witeck Communications reports the total buying power of the U.S. adult LGBT population at a whopping $790 billion in 2012. The adult population of San Antonio city proper represents roughly 0.4 percent of the U.S. adult population, and so Alamo LGBTs wield an estimated aggregate disposable personal income of $3.3 billion. That sum equals 144 percent of the City of San Antonio’s entire expenditure budget for fiscal year 2013.

Studies have shown that the LGBT community overwhelmingly prefers to spend on products from companies that are LGBT-friendly in their workplace policies and which advertise in gay media. They also favor living in and traveling to places with fair and inclusive public policies. In the press release accompanying the 2012 estimate, Witeck Communications observes: “Buying power projections may be seen as an accepted business measure for companies and policy decision-makers.”

Nevertheless, that buying power does not appear to have translated into LGBT economic or political muscle in River City. On the 2012 Municipal Equality Index, an LGBT-rights report card for U.S. cities published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), San Antonio scored a mere 42 out of 100 — ranking below five cities in Texas and beating only Arlington. (Austin led the state with a score of 91.)

Following the HRCF release, chagrined Mayor Julián Castro promptly appointed advisor Adam Greenup as his LGBT liaison. The move was widely applauded — but that doesn’t erase the lack of progress in policies advancing LGBT civil rights.)

On a separate index produced by the HRCF, the 2013 Corporate Equality Index, LGBT influence also appears feeble in San Antonio’s unenlightened business sphere. In this widely disseminated report, companies are graded according to such workplace policies as prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Nationally, 110 of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses achieved a perfect 100; the average score across all companies now stands at 81. Companies headquartered locally? A meager 27 average index score. The city’s two largest private employers, H-E-B and USAA, achieved 40 points and 0 points, respectively. According to H-E-B’s Dya Campos, the company does not participate in any surveys. USAA spokesperson Roger Wildermuth said “As a well-known and highly regarded organization, we receive numerous requests to participate in various types of surveys every year and unfortunately, it’s not possible to participate in all surveys. We generally focus on benchmarking surveys that help us serve our members better.”

As Witeck Communications President Bob Witeck notes, “DPI, or disposable personal income, does not translate directly into economic or political clout ordinarily, unless the community is very visible, active in the community, and has some context and engagement.”

A Move To Main Street

The Pride Issue 2013
  • Review of the Revamped Luther’s Cafe Luther’s Café has been around since 1949. I came upon it much later, thank you very much, when it was still the kind of greasy burger joint where you... | 6/26/2013
  • A Story and a Study of Queer Realities Lester Briggs has just finished a five-year prison sentence for stealing, of all things, a church, and travels to Rockport, Tex., to find the love... | 6/26/2013
  • Can SA’s “Gay Dollar” Make Policy Impact? Money talks, but does it make a sound if no one is listening? San Antonio LGBT consumers pack enough buying power to bankroll the entire city budget for a... | 6/26/2013
  • San Antonio's Glacial Progress on LGBT Rights One by one, activists, family members, and allies of LGBT San Antonians stood before their councilmembers, demanding the gay community be treated as more... | 6/26/2013
  • Drag's New Dawn in SA At first, it’s the bone structure that tips me off. Then, the thick, full lips. But ultimately, it’s the way he walks with unmistakable precision through... | 6/26/2013
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