Griffin Maxwell Brooks on the Upright World slump mission. The Princeton Gay Diver has the power of his popular TikTok account to turn straight cultural staples like Bass Pro shop hats and Pit Viper sunglasses into more gay cult products.
So, naturally, when Brooks was considering brands for “slimming” earlier this year, NASCAR came to mind. Historically, auto racing has been an exceptional setting for LGBT people and other minority groups. After all, it was only two years ago when NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from flying on racetracks.
In other words, NASCAR looked major to some honey “yassification” of honey.
“Very simple concept: Think of this as a promotion, it’s Shark Tank: YASCAR. I think it would be great for the brand,” Brooks said in their viral video.
NASCAR listened. Just before Pride Month, Brooks received an email from an LGBTQ person working for NASCAR with some surprising news: YASCAR was a reality.
They wanted to give Brooks credit.
“I love him,” they told Outsports. “I’m an athlete. I dive for Princeton. I’m one of the very few gender-nonconforming people in swimming and diving in the Ivy League — in athletics in general, it’s very rare to see gay people, let alone gender-nonsense and transgender people.”
This is especially true in NASCAR, although gay driver Devon Rouse is trying to change that. Growing up, he never thought he would belong in the world of motor racing dominated by heterosexuals.
But when he saw the rainbow outline in the NASCAR logo three years ago, he began to change his view. He is a proud part of the YASCAR campaign, but believes that marketing strategies are no substitute for concrete advocacy.
“It’s great that they’re trying. It’s great that they’re making an effort,” he told Outsports. “But there’s a lot that needs to happen.”
NASCAR is kicking off Pride Month with a vague apology to the LGBTQ community over its “recent actions,” which Reporters soon speculated He was referring to their decision to host Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway last month.
Although the apology was weak, it did note that NASCAR was trying to reach fans of LGBTQ racing. NASCAR has partnered with Jeff Parshley’sNOH8 . campaignAnd driver Jennifer Jo Cobb She raced in Daytona with a sticker on her car.
Two years ago, NASCAR partnered with The Trevor Project.
That’s the kind of business Rouse would like to see more of — not just with NASCAR, but with every company wrapping themselves in Pride colors this time of year.
“That’s not how this works,” he said. “What are you doing to help find a cure for AIDS? What are you doing to help this foundation for this? What they’re getting away with is a very cheap marketing ploy, in all honesty.”
While companies may join dollar signs with Pride Month, they are also facing a backlash for their public assertion of LGBTQ. YASCAR campaign has I faced some brutal oppositionwith homophobic sobbing about “wokeness” and other Fox News buzzwords.
But NASCAR, to its credit, is not bowing to the loudest fanatics in the room.
NASCAR is committed to “yassizing” itself, thanks to some bold LGBTQ employees.
“Amid the company’s pride in being a point of fair criticism, it was refreshing to have a point of contact with gay people in a really large company whose fan base doesn’t usually include gay people,” Brooks said.
What sets Yaskar apart from other Pride Month tricks is that it started naturally. Brooks, who has over 1 million followers on TikTok, speaks truthfully to the young LGBTQ community.
Here’s how they view YASCAR merchandise on their TikTok account: “Vroom vroom, gay. Power up those poppers, because it’s such pride I’m sharing with NASCAR to make these YASCAR T-shirts to help make motorsports more slaughtered.”
That’s a little cooler than a voiceover from Bank of America that says “Love is love,” don’t you think?
Brooks believes vision is power. As far as YASCAR is concerned, it is safe to say that they have accomplished their mission.
They said, “I think exposure is really necessary, especially in motorsports, where no sort of thing is shown.” “I’ve always believed that being present is a protest when it comes to the LGBTQ community. Being out there, loud and visible is the first step toward queer liberation for a lot of people.”