June is Pride Month, the time of the year when we celebrate LGBTQ rights and honor the trans and gender non-conforming people of color who sparked a movement while resisting police harassment during the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The first Gay & Lesbian Pride Month was declared more than twenty years ago, and a great deal of progress has been made since then. But with reportedly 18 anti-LGBTQ bills having been signed into law this year alone, there’s plenty of work still left to do.
More than rainbow flags, parades, and parties, celebrating Pride month is about recognizing that all people deserve to live their lives freely and that it takes an incredible amount of struggle to achieve that freedom. As a company committed to people first, part of our work is figuring out how to celebrate Pride month while staying mindful all year round about why we celebrate Pride in the first place.
Every Month is Pride Month
“Everyone should be able to be their most authentic self, and it's our obligation as a brand called Everyone for Every Body to try and effect that change in the world,” says Scotty Jacobs, Brand Manager for Everyone.
By the time Scotty joined the company in 2019, the company had a history of supporting LGBTQ and other underserved communities through various causes and local events - but employees wanted something more. “There wasn’t anything being organized internally on a regular basis to create a safe space for our employees to show up and be exactly who they are,” he explains. “As an openly gay leader at the company, I felt it was important that that space existed.”
What emerged was The Sparkle Squad, an employee resource group (ERG) launched internally in 2020 by and for LGBTQ company members and allies. Sparkle Squad has met monthly ever since, according to Scotty, serving as a safe space and supporting resource for anyone who needs it.
“In my past professional experiences, ERGs have been the place where I've felt most at home at the workplace, and I've personally benefited from the power that comes from a space dedicated to not just acknowledging, but celebrating parts of your identity,” he says.
After launching with a video celebrating last year’s National Coming Out Day in which a number of company employees were among the participants, Sparkle Squad set its sights on Pride 2021...but with a very important catch.
“We didn't want to just be one of those brands that slaps a rainbow label on a product. We wanted to do something more meaningful,” Scotty says. The team brainstormed a list of organizations that support LGBTQ communities locally and nationally before coalescing around The Trevor Project, the nation's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
Everyone + The Trevor Project Share The Love
Our mission of putting people first includes championing for inclusivity and diversity by making products for every body, while also supporting organizations dedicated to this shared commitment of equality. For Pride 2021, we collaborated with The Trevor Project to create a limited edition “Share The Love” Pride Sanitizer Spray conceptualized by our very own Sparkle Squad. To Scotty, it’s the beginning of a beautiful partnership.
“It's been really cool partnering with the Trevor Project, because in addition to them being the leading organization in their space, they’re also providing a lot of resources to us,” he says. “For example, they're taking a group of employees through unconscious bias training in the month of June so that they can learn how to be better allies to the LGBTQ community. Even as a gay man myself, I can always learn more about what I can do for my community.”
Finding ways to do more for the LGBTQ community - we can’t think of a better way to share the love!