A Look Back at Pride Month: Which Companies are Truly Supporting LGBTQ+ Rights?
Last month, people throughout the country celebrated Pride. The marches and celebrations held in June honor the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City, commemorating those who fought for their rights, while also addressing the ongoing work for equality and inclusion. And each year, it seems like more and more brands are hopping on the bandwagon with their support.
This year, SoulCycle highlighted the studio’s LGBTQ+ riders and instructors in a series of videos and murals in its ‘All Souls Welcome’ campaign. Apple introduced a new Pride watch band, Nike unveiled its BeTrue Pride collection, and numerous fashion brands came out with rainbow-themed apparel.
While being an outspoken advocate of inclusion is never a bad thing, it’s evident that supporting Pride Month is no longer just a political statement – it makes business sense. However, as Pride becomes increasingly commercialized, how are companies backing up messages of support with action?
Here, we take a look at a few organizations that are doing more than just paying lip service to the cause:
Representation matters. Which is why during Pride Month, the live-streaming video platform Twitch promoted a different LGBTQ+ creator for each day of June. By elevating the voices and narratives of LGBTQ+ individuals–many of whom use their channels to drive awareness about marginalized sexual and gender identities–Twitch demonstrates the power of visibility and paves the way for greater diversity in media.
Last month, the leading sports and entertainment company AEG put its resources towards raising awareness. AEG announced a partnership with True Colors Fund, an organization working towards ending homelessness amongst LGBTQ+ youth, who are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. By collaborating on a national ad campaign to spread awareness, AEG sets an example for how companies can utilize their platforms to educate about causes that matter.
Microsoft has long been a champion of LGBTQ+ rights. As one of the first corporations to include sexual orientation in its corporate nondiscrimination policy, today, Microsoft continues to advance equality both within and outside of the company. In addition to sponsoring Pride Month events across the country each year, Microsoft also donates software and services to LGBTQ+ civil rights groups year-round, sponsors conferences like Out In Tech, and has lobbied against ‘bathroom bills’ in Texas and North Carolina.
Each of these cases provides an example of how to go beyond logos and branding to truly advance LGBTQ+ rights. As these organizations show, corporations can utilize their resources to push for change that is positive, tangible and meaningful.