Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, Pride Media.When I first started volunteering for the Human Rights Campaign over 20 years ago, as a lesbian in the advertising industry, I saw that companies were pulling their ads from Ellen after the star came out.

Only a handful of companies would even market to our community — and pretty much only at bars, in LGBTQ+ magazines, or during Pride Month.At my employer, as was the case inside many employers, our primary challenge was making companies themselves safe for LGBTQ+ people.

It was the whole premise behind the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index — pushing for nondiscrimination policies that explicitly included sexual orientation and gender identity, for parity in benefits, for diversity training, and for some recognition of our community in marketing or philanthropic support — even if it was only in queer spaces.