June is Pride month, when organizations across the world put on Pride parades to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identity. They are held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, widely seen as a turning point in the LGBT movement. Of course, after the recent attack in Orlando, this year’s gatherings carry special weight as many look forward to the much needed camaraderie and celebration.
While in many ways an event with a socially conscious bent, Pride is also notable for the ways businesses get involved as sponsors and participants. Corporate participants add to the pageantry of Pride with colorful floats, costumed marchers, and upbeat amplified music. Initially driven by LGBT employee groups wanting to advertise their company’s inclusive culture, more and more businesses see Pride participation as a way to target LGBT consumers. For their part, Pride goers often appreciate the fun displays, financial support, and validation that well-known companies bring to the parades.