h/t SteelCityDyke for the link to the original letter
By now, you've read about the letter on 365gay.com from Cinemark executive and openly gay man, Bob Shimmin. In the letter, Shimmin states that the company has an LGBT Liaison. So … where is this person?
During my job interviews, I discovered that Cinemark has an LGBT liaison for community outreach; Cinemark provides domestic partner benefits for California team members; Cinemark hosts the annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival; and Cinemark works with the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce as well as the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance to arrange advance screenings for movies of interest to the LGBT community.
My partner participates in company and industry functions at Cinemark and is treated as my spouse by everyone here. In short, the corporate culture at Cinemark is inclusive and the customer experience at our theatres is inclusive.
After all, movie theatres are a community melting pot; a destination where all members of the community can share in an entertaining, and sometimes educational, experience.
I don't know, Mr. Shimmin. What about domestic partner benefits outside of California? Or for those whose corporate salaries don't offset the expense of private coverage (or a second salary/set of benefits)? What about the film festivals throughout the country? $10,000 split between 10 festivals around the country could go a long way to help promote gay-positive relations. Who is your LGBT liaison and where has s/he been during this ongoing dialogue?
Finally, I have had experiences in movie theaters where I've been treated poorly when I held my partner's hand or touched her back to guide her as we wind our way through the aisles. I've heard gay slurs. I can't imagine what it would be like to work in that environment. I certainly don't take my movie dollars back to those establishments.
It is great that your corporate culture is gay affirming, if that's how you define not having domestic partner benefits. I don't. And I think that calling attention to Cinemark's attempts to have their cake and eat it, too is a perfectly legitimate business tactic.
I'm looking forward to your LGBT Liaison reaching out through the Pittsburgh region theaters to throw us a little love. We have a film festival. Have her email me.
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