Between the pandemic and ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, brands are navigating how to address both causes without distracting from messaging around widespread calls for social reform in America. With the arrival of Pride, observed every June, some brands have launched campaigns and products in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride, which black transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson and Latina transgender activist Sylvia Rivera helped catalyze. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first US pride rally, and while in-person parades have been canceled, publishers, organizations and brands are either postponing events or pivoting virtually. Here’s a roundup of brands activating around Pride.
In addition to this year’s Pride Edition Sport Band featuring a vertical-stripe rainbow design, Apple launched a second watch in collaboration with Nike. Apple’s annual Apple Watch Pride Edition band and face collection directly support the work of organizations like GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, ILGA World and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Disney’s installment of the Rainbow Disney Collection, an array of colorful apparel and merchandise, complements its donation of $100,000 to GLSEN. It has also launched a Disney Pride playlist, available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, YouTube and Vevo.
In a statement announcing the postponement of its Pride initiatives and brand partnerships, GLAAD recommends that any campaigns that do launch during this time take into account issues black LGBTQ+ people are facing.
GLAAD has partnered with FOX’s #TVForAll campaign to host a Zoom conversation on June 22 featuring artists from GLAAD’s team to discuss the intersection of Black Lives Matter in entertainment and the LGBTQ+ community.
NYC Pride, together with GLAAD, will stream a three-day virtual drag festival on Facebook to raise funds for local drag performers.
Grindr postponed the launch of its #PridePerseveres initiative in light of the protests and has launched in a different light: via an Instagram Live series to spotlight black queer voices and the “urgent need for queer responsibility and racial justice.”
In mid-May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, Harry’s kicked off its support of the LGBTQ youth community on social media by announcing the launch of a limited-edition set called Shave With Pride. Harry’s is giving 100 percent of the profits to the Trevor Project in the US and £10 from each purchase to the UK-based Akt charity.
Nike and Converse
Nike’s BeTrue and the Converse Pride Collection are inspired by the More Color, More Pride flag which was popularized in 2017 by social justice advocate Amber Hikes. On Nike’s first BeTrue Air Force 1 shoes, the rainbow includes black and brown stripes to recognize people of color in the LGBTQIA+ community. Converse’s nine-piece Pride collection of Chuck 70 and Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers and accessories also expands the rainbow to include a black and brown stripe.
On June 22, Condé Nast-owned LGBT magazine them. is streaming a one-hour live concert on YouTube with special performances from members of the LGBTQ+ community including Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Tegan and Sara and Cynthia Nixon, among others.
Starbucks’ creative manager Brenden Mendoza created the brand’s Pride cup this year, a 24-ounce tumbler featuring iridescent rainbow stripes and the word “LOVE” across it. The tumbler launched in stores at the end of May.
Skittles gave up its rainbow by creating colorless Skittles to show support for the LGBTQ+ community because, as the brand noted, “During PRIDE only #OneRainbow matters.” For every Skittle Pride Pack purchased, Skittles is donating $1 to GLAAD.
As part of its month-long #PrideWorldwide campaign, Time Out is partnering with the first-ever Global Pride, a 24-hour virtual event curated and hosted by LGBTQ+ organizations worldwide, set to live stream on June 27. The virtual event will feature musical performances, speeches from activists and addresses by public figures.