At Amazon, we want to ensure everybody feels welcome and comfortable to be their authentic selves from day one. That’s why we work hand-in-hand with our LGBT+ employee affinity group glamazon throughout the year to foster a diverse and inclusive working culture - from our transgender guidelines to the use of preferred pronouns on our internal directory.
However, Pride Month in June is always special – both for our LGBT+ employees and the many others who are proud to count themselves as allies. It’s a brilliant opportunity to shine a multicoloured spotlight on LGBT+ diversity at Amazon and beyond.
We spoke to Luca Sale, chair of glamazon, about why Pride is such an important month and to get the lowdown on this year’s celebrations.
Why do we celebrate “Pride Month”?
On 28 June 1969, a group of LGBT+ patrons at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, pushed back against a series of police raids at many LGBT+ establishments. Those raids often included the arrest of transgender people and drag queens, among others.
At the time, more than fifty years ago, being LGBT+ was illegal in most countries and members of the LGBT+ communities regularly faced this kind of persecution.
Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, among many others, decided that it was time for a change and began protesting against a society where LGBT+ people were treated as second-class citizens. This was the beginning of the modern LGBT+ rights movement.
Why is there still a Pride parade?
Social attitudes have taken huge strides since those events in 1969, but we know that there’s still a long way to go.
For example, it’s still illegal to be LGBT+ in more than 70 countries, leading many LGBT+ people to carefully research unfamiliar countries before traveling. Hate crimes are still common, even in a progressive city like London. These examples highlight the ongoing need for Pride to be loud, visible and unified.
Here’s how Amazon has been playing its part.
Amazon Music as Official Music Sponsor of Pride in London
Amazon Music was delighted to continue its role as Official Music Sponsor for Pride in London.
More than 170 people from all areas of our business marched with the Amazon Music float through the city, including our friends at Twitch who live streamed the entire parade from the float.
Amazon Music also delighted us with their Pride playlists, featuring LGBT+ anthems, modern queer pop and much more. Prime customers can still check out our Pride playlists here.
Will Young launches LGBT+ Reading Roadshow
We launched the Amazon LGBT+ Reading Roadshow to shine a light on LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in UK secondary schools.
In partnership with LGBT+ education charity Just Like Us, and media outlet Pink News, the LGBT+ Reading Roadshow visited schools around the country to provide free inclusivity workshops featuring LGBT+ role models from Amazon. Musician and campaigner Will Young joined us at Petchey Academy in July to kick off the initiative.
All participating schools received a free Book Box containing a host of age-appropriate and expert-approved books for their school library – all written by LGBT+ authors or focusing on LGBT+ themes.
Click here to learn about diversity and inclusivity at Amazon and the work of our employee affinity groups.