In the past few years, several businesses have begun showing support for the LGBTQ+ community ranging from parade participation and donations to Easter eggs in their apps.
It may seem normal now, even expected for corporations to display their support during Pride Month, but that was not always so. The history of business involvement started to become popular in the late 1960s at Stonewall Inn, a rare venue where same-sex patrons could dance with each other without the fear of harassment. When police arrived with legal rights to shut down the facility, the community rioted and threw beer bottles at officers. This event lead to more violent riots inducing more supporters to become involved. Ultimately, these moments and actions have led to what is known as Pride Month, where events, marches and protests take place all over America during the month of June.
Community members continued to push protests forward and soon companies became involved, although business involvement didn’t turn mainstream till the 2000s. Now it’s common to see things such as Bud Light creating t-shirts, Starbucks showcasing bright chalk signs, Google making hashtags and videos, Wells Fargo launching celebration campaigns and so much more from a multitude of large global companies to small family owned restaurants. Every year the list of businesses to display their political opinion concerning the LGBTQ+ community grows.
- Business involvement is usually instigated by inside employment. Out of support for employees, CEOs began making the decision to be Loud and Proud.
- Homosexuality is still criminalized in 72 countries. Just because gay-marriage is legal in the U.S. does not mean that the LGBTQ+ community is free from harassment, discrimination in the workforce and rejection from religious organizations.
- Some debate that business involvement in Pride is primarily for marketing and outreach purposes, versus genuine support. LGBTQ+ individuals have said they appreciate company involvement because when they see the signs and logos they can be assured they’re safe there and they have allies.
Quests and Actions (Q&A):
- Without employees encouraging business involvement in Pride, do you think companies would be as vocal in showing support?
- Social changes begin in communities and, eventually, gets the attention of businesses. How can businesses start social change?
- What does your company do to ensure there is no discrimination in the workplace?