Today on Instagram, Pose star Dominique Jackson shared a story about a recent reach-out she received from the handbag and accessories brand Coach. Jackson, a trans actress, says Coach first invited her to come to their offices and share her life story.
“They offered nothing―not a car ride, not a packet book, nothing,” she says. “Then one of their representatives contacts me to invite me to something called their Pride Ball and misgendered me.”
Jackson goes on to say, “Like, you didn’t do your research, you haven’t obviously watched Pose, you’re not following the true stories of the LGBT community, because you would know a woman like myself should never be misgendered. It’s so insulting and I don’t even think I want to use your products or buy your products ever again. I’m going to Louis!”
DONT PRETEND TO UNDERSTAND, DONT USE US! REPRESENT US ALL YEAR ROUND NOT JUST AT PRIDE FOR H.R. PURPOSES! DO YOUR DAMN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU VENTURE INTO A COMMUNITY! SO SADDENED BUT MOSTLY INSULTED!!!!!!!!! @coach @louisvuitton #inmytruth #touchtheskin #dominiquejackson #dominiquetarjackson #ageless #posefx #islandgyal #tobago #iknowexactlywhoiam #inmytruth #makeaplanandsticktoit #livehonestly #liveauthentic #ifyouwantsomethingworkforit
In the comments, Coach responded, apologizing and saying they sent “a template message that we didn’t check before sending.”
“Dear Dominique, as we just emailed you, our apologies for this grave mistake. In our effort to celebrate you and the LGBTQ+ community, through our invitation to join us for Pride Ball, we clearly erred,” they wrote. “…In your words, we should have done more to understand the transgender community and to honor you, as a woman. Inclusivity is one of our company values and, while we endeavor to demonstrate this inclusivity every day, we are also learning. We hope you will help us learn and would like to invite you, and several of your peers, for a conversation to understand how we can avoid future misses and support you in celebrating this beautiful community.”
This kind of insensitivity and offensive action on behalf of a major brand is exactly what has many LGBTQs upset about the consistent shift in corporate presence surrounding Pride. From major companies like Target and fashion houses like Burberry utilizing rainbows to benefit their own branding comes a lack of understanding and inevitable harming of the very community that brands are attempting to support (or, as skeptics might say, court.) In the beginning of her video, Jackson speaks to this very idea, saying that being visible on a QPOC-focused series like Pose means she has many more opportunities presented to her, including opportunities from brands like Coach.
“A lot of stuff comes by is that a lot of companies join in the Pride celebration to show that they’re all-inclusive when they’re really not,” she says. “They don’t research us, they don’t understand us, they don’t attempt to comprehend us.”
INTO has reached out to Coach for comment and will update this story should they respond.