June is Pride Month, and brands around America are eager to show their support. From donating to LGBTQ+ charities to hiding rainbow easter eggs in apps, here’s how brands are recognizing the anniversary month of the Stonewall Riots.
Big Brands Put Up Big Money
Several companies are choosing to donate their own money in celebration of Pride Month, including AT&T, which has donated one million dollars to The Trevor Project, a LGBTQ+ crisis intervention charity, the largest single donation in the organization’s history.
“We’re so incredibly grateful for AT&T’s generous support of The Trevor Project’s life-saving work,” said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, in a press release for AT&T. “Now more than ever, it is critical for companies committed to inclusion to stand with LGBTQ youth and let young people everywhere know that they should be proud of who they are and that they are never alone.”
Vodka brand Stoli is also making monetary contributions to queer causes, giving a “sizable donation” to the Harvey Milk Foundation in exchange for the rights to use the gay rights activist’s likeness on special edition vodka bottles. The company has been auctioning off several of the bottles at fundraising events, earning the foundation another $10,000, and commissioned the bottle’s designer to paint a mural in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, near the Harvey Milk Plaza.
Inclusion In Gaming
The video game consumer culture has long had issues of toxicity toward its female and queer segments, but various brands are taking steps toward making their spaces safer.
Twitch has announced a substantive effort to promote LGBTQ+ livestreamers, posting a link to a new creator on Twitch’s homepage every day. Additionally, the company is fundraising for the Human Rights Campaign, working with the It Gets Better project, livestreaming the San Francisco Pride Parade and a host of other, small efforts.
Esports team Los Angeles Valiant, for its part, is partnering with the You Can Play Project to provide diversity and inclusion training for its players, as well as filming a PSA informing others in the community of the You Can Play initiative.
“For too long, the esports industry has been unfairly characterized as a toxic, unwelcoming environment,” said LA Valiant CEO Noah Whinston in a statement to AListDaily.
Brands Hop On The Pride Parade Bandwagon
The main events for Pride Month, regional Pride parades, offer brands an easy chance to come out in support of LGBTQ+ rights, and an easier way to get quick brand exposure from news coverage and social sharing.
“Through our annual Pride + Joy campaign, Macy’s joins community equality celebrations nationwide with in-store special events and support for local charity partners,” said Kristyn Doar-Page, Macy’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, in a statement.
“I am incredibly proud that our PVH family around the world is once again coming together in support of the LGBTQ community to celebrate Pride,” said Emanuel Chirico, chairman and CEO of PVH.
Macy’s, PVH and Gap are additionally selling limited-edition Pride-themed merchandise, and the latter two are going so far as to donate portions of the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign and the UN’s Free and Equal campaign, respectively.
Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, made a show of its support by participating in the LA Pride Parade and sharing messages on social media.
“Pride means acceptance for not only who you want to be, but who you are and the journey to get there.” We are proud to support Rioters on that journey, wherever the destination may be. pic.twitter.com/sHVGMoLlQF
— Riot Games (@riotgames) June 26, 2018
Tech Firms Make Gestures
Apple started Pride Month off early, releasing a Pride-themed rainbow background for the Apple Watch that users can opt into for the month of June.
“The new watch face features a black background with rainbow stripes appearing vertically,” Fortune reports.
— itimi (@itimi2) May 30, 2018
Spotify, not to be outdone, has added a rainbow easter egg to its desktop app. When users turn their volume up to maximum, the volume bar turns rainbow colors and displays various volume-themed messages, such as “Loud and Proud” and “Live At Full Volume.”
Duolingo has opted to highlight its inclusivity efforts, posting pictures of some of its language exercises that acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ+ people on Twitter.
On June 23, Intel launched 300 drones above its Folsom, California campus in an elaborate Pride-themed light show. The drones formed pictures to illustrate Intel’s support of the community including a rainbow flag, same-sex symbols and a unicorn.