Sustaining the Rainbow: Ensuring We’re Perpetuating Pride and Everything it Stands for Long After June
By Ashley Jones
Marsha P. Johnson. Gilbert Baker. Peter Tatchell. Audre Lord. Bayard Rustin.
These are only a few names among the thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies who have fought against the discrimination, belittlement, ignorance and hatred against the LGBTQ+ community. Without their contributions, Pride wouldn’t be what it is today, and the world would be a little less colorful. Less diverse. Less loving.
For the LGBTQ+ community, June marks an incredibly important time. It’s a time to promote self-affirmation, acceptance, visibility, equality and more. It’s a time to break down constructs and stigma. It commemorates the revolutionary Stonewall Riots that led to an urgency for change, that made the following recent milestones possible:
- June 26, 2015 – Supreme Court rules that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
- June 24, 2016 – Obama announces the designation of the first national monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) rights.
- June 30, 2019 – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law banning the use of the so-called gay and trans panic legal defense strategy.
- June 15, 2020 – Supreme Court rules that federal law protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination.
Despite the curveballs 2020 tossed at the world, Pride continued to thrive this year, albeit virtually. Today, our voices are more powerful than ever. We’ve been given digital platforms with which we can take control of the narrative, share our stories and lend our support. During the month of June, some of the biggest, most notable brands in the world use their platforms to share messages of unity and support to their massive followings and loyalists. The support of brands like Disney or Skittles can’t be understated or undervalued.
We in advertising, branding, marketing and related fields are responsible for the portrayal of what is considered the “norm” or “acceptable.” When brands step forward to promote the rainbow and donate financial aid to organizations that work to keep the LGBTQ+ community safe — not only during June, but year-round — that’s how love wins.
Here are some of the loud and proud 2020 Pride campaigns:
Calvin Klein – #PROUDINMYCALVINS
- Calvin Klein’s Pride campaign featured nine LGBTQ models, spearheaded by Jari Jones, a plus-size Black transgender model, actress and activist. In addition to a multi-color designed line for men and women, Calvin Klein’s campaign collected donations in support of the onePULSE Foundation, a non-profit organization established by the owner of the Pulse nightclub following the devastating June 12, 2016 shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Skittles – Only #OneRainbow Matters
- To celebrate Pride, Skittles removed their own rainbow to stand in solidarity and demonstrate support for the LGBTQ community. While the brand has launched this campaign previously, this marked the first year they brought the gray “Pride Pack” to the U.S. As part of the launch, Skittles partnered with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, with $1 donated to the group for each sale of a “Pride Pack,” up to $100,000.
BMW – Driven by Pride
- BMW USA’s 2020 Pride campaign, “Driven By Pride,” featured extremely colorful BMW 8 Series Convertibles with a Pride version of the BMW logo proudly stamped on the hoods. The brand’s campaign also included communications across their social channels, participation in a special broadcast event by NYC Pride, and support of the “Pride Everywhere” campaign by The Trevor Project, which is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
Kiehl’s – #HealthySkin For All
- As a go-to brand for skincare, Kiehl’s used their platform to emphasize inclusivity by celebrating the diversity among their customers, community and employees with their #HealthySkinForAll campaign. The brand also donated $100,000 in a partnership with The Trevor Project and called on the talents of Lucy Kirk, a UK-based LGBTQ illustrator to design the Pride page of their website.
Disney – Rainbow Disney Collection
- The Mickey Mouse powerhouse debuted a new Rainbow Disney Collection in recognition of Pride 2020, complete with clothing, stuffed animals, toys, keychains, bookbags and other memorabilia. In addition to the colorful ensemble, Disney also donated $100,000 to GLSEN, a leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ students.
Bliss – Self-Care for a Cause
- This year, Bliss began an ongoing partnership with The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. The skincare brand pledged $150,000 to the organization and, in celebration of Pride month, donated 100% of net proceeds (up to $40,000) from joint sales of Limited Edition Pride Makeup Melt™ Wipes – as well as classic Makeup Melt™ Wipes – to support The Trevor Project’s efforts. This partnership worked specifically to support suicide and mental health resources like Trevor’s Lifeline hotline, peer support community TrevorSpace, trained crisis service counselors, and more — which are all being relied on in increased amounts during COVID-19.
Bombas – Love. Compassion. Comfort.
- Bombas celebrated Pride with the launch of a new collection celebrating the bright, diverse LGBTQ+ community. For every pair of socks sold, a pair was donated to someone in need in the LGBTQ+ community through The Ally Coalition.
The ongoing support of organizations providing resources to the LGBTQ+ community is imperative to the well-being, protection and advocacy of these individuals — who continue to be marginalized. Learn more and lend your support year-round with these local resources and national organizations.
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