It’s Pride Month and people from the LGBTQIA community around the globe are celebrating love and freedom of choice. In India, 2019 Pride Month is particularly crucial and historic as the celebration comes after the landmark verdict on Section 377, which legalises same-sex relationships between consenting adults. Although, there’s a long way ahead in the fight for equal rights and against stigmas, the world chose to celebrate and support the community taking a step closer towards inclusivity.
As June was chosen as the LGBTQ Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, nowadays it isn’t just about pride parades but much more than that. Brands too have come out to pledge their support for the pride month, not just globally but even in India.
As June draws to a close, here are some of the initiatives taken by companies this #PrideMonth.
Senco Gold and Diamonds
One of the largest jewellery retail chain from Eastern India, the jewellery brand launched a unique ‘Pride’ collection recently to celebrate the special month. A unique fashion show titled “Sphulingo – Freedom of Expression” was hosted at the brand’s headquarters in Kolkata recently where a group of transgender men and women dressed in mythological characters from Indian epics, walked down the ramp at one of their megastore in the city. It was led by well-known LGBT activist and professor and college principal Dr Manabi Bandyopadhyay along with other activists and trans models.
The Pride Collection consists of uniquely designed gold and silver pendants named Trans Hearty, G-Rex and Less More that were unveiled during the fashion show. Photos of the event garnered a lot of attention online and people were excited about the unique collection as the brand earned praise.
Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds, said, “We have launched our Pride Collection in honour of the LGBT community, especially the transgender women on the occasion of Pride month. Many of these women have striven hard to achieve what they have in our society despite the odds stacked against them. We salute them and their indomitable spirits through this fashion show. The Pride collection, immaculately crafted and designed, would appeal to all sections of buyers we cater to with different varieties that we offer from our stable.”
Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic took Pride celebrations to new heights with the UK’s first Pride Flight celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. To mark the occasion, the company celebrated diversity with a a one-of-a-kind party at 38,000 feet and a crew entirely by LGBTQ+ Virgin Atlantic staff — onboard flight VS69, which takes its name from the year of the riots.
Passengers witnessed a six hours of Pride extravagance including a performance from Broadway musical icon and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess, a troupe of drag queens leading games, interseat dating and much more.
On board was a star-studded line up of celebrities, including entertainer Courtney Act, Grammy-winning singer songwriter MNEK, Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard, model and activist Munroe Bergdorf and singer of the official London Pride song Saara Aalto.
But what made the flight truly special was a 80-year-old passenger and Stonewall veteran, Tree Sequoia, who recalls the night of the Stonewall Uprising and how the world changed after the demonstrations. A true LGBTQ+ hero, Tree still works as a bartender at the Stonewall Inn in New York which stood at the site of the 1969 demonstrations.
While the visibility of the ever-enduring rainbow flag was plenty this month, there are some brands whose mission to support the community and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising went above and beyond, as they decided to donate a share of their sales towards organisations that support the LGBTQ community!
From Fossil watches to Happy Socks, five lifestyle brands are winning hearts for donating all there proceeds to various agencies fighting for the community and providing legal aid to those in distress.