I work for a design agency and frequently get some odd requests from clients, but nothing that I can’t handle. My go-to colleague in the client services team said that he has a project that “only I can work on”.
Obviously, I was a little confused by that statement but proceeded to listen to the brief. The only reason I was the “only one” that can work on this project was that the client only specified she would only work with LGBT designers.
Now, I am a gay man, but not what most people expect; I’m large, hairy, play rugby and have an awful sense of fashion.
This was the exchange we had with the client when they came in to explain the project.
Client: Hi, can I meet who will be doing the work?
Me: That will be me.
Client: I’m really sorry but I specifically requested an LGBTQ+ designer to work on my project.
Me: Oh, I’m gay.
Client: Well, to be honest, I’m not super comfortable with you working on my project. I don’t think you’ll have the right feel for it.
Me: I have a long history of doing design for all sorts of project, from construction brochures to fashion magazine supplements. I assure you I can handle it.
Client: I just cannot work with someone who fights their own personality and can’t embrace their lifestyle.
At this point, I thought it was best to leave and let my colleague try and work out the issue with his client. About 30 minutes later, my colleague comes out of the meeting room and the client just walks out the front door.
My colleague proceeded to tell me that the client did not want to do business as she felt that I “wasn’t gay enough” and that she feels that i “wouldn’t understand her vision”.
All she wanted was a few leaflets and brochures created for a campaign she is doing regarding homeless LGBTQ+ teens.