Pride at Microsoft is a grassroots phenomenon created by employees across all continents. It’s an opportunity to give visibility to LGBTQI+ identities on a global scale by bringing Pride to our products, bringing messages of empathy and inclusion to billions of people, and donating to LGBTQI+ nonprofits working toward equity for all.
This year Microsoft is making the largest and most inclusive Pride themed products in our company’s history. Created with and by employees from the LGBTQI+ communities, these Pride products center on the intersectionality of the LGBTQI+ movement across race and ethnicity. Embracing 19 flags representing various gender identities and sexual orientations, they give visibility to groups that are still often overlooked and neglected today.
Microsoft is also continuing our longstanding support for LGBTQI+ organizations. In the past year alone, together with our employees, we have donated over $2 million to organizations that support the LGBTQI+ community. To honor the launch of our Pride campaign, we are making an additional $150,000 total donation to nonprofits around the world to help in the fight for LGBTQI+ equity.
Together, we can
Microsoft operates in over 120 countries, most of which still don’t provide legal protections for LGBTQI+ individuals. LGBTQI+ communities represent a large group of people whose experiences vary and intersect across different cultures, regions, races, ethnicities, faiths and more.
When selecting the focus for this year’s Pride, Global LGBTQI+ Employee and Allies at Microsoft (GLEAM) members reflected on the intersectionality of the LGBTQI+ communities, centered on the stories of Black, Asian, Latinx and Indigenous LGBTQI+ people, and reflected on the spectrum of issues that the communities face today. Many issues are salient for LGBTQI+ people: working to protect transgender lives, working for racial equity, mitigating the impact of COVID-19, expanding environmental equity, increasing Indigenous visibility, and so much more. LGBTQI+ people at Microsoft believe that true power lies in coming together across communities to create change.
That’s why this Pride, the LGBTQI+ communities at Microsoft invite everyone to join in our call for justice and equity, as we highlight how societal issues that are often seen as separate and unrelated impact us all. The challenges we face are hard to solve. But as the stories of Microsoft employees and activists show, if we come together, we can make an impact and create change.
The richness and intersectionality of the community is at the heart of the inspiration for Microsoft’s Pride design. While traditional Pride designs favor a single Pride flag with a single message of inclusion, this year our work reflects the broader diversity of gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations. We also centered on the Black, Asian, Latinx and Indigenous communities.
The 19 different LGBTQI+ flags became the inspiration for many of our designs, including the Progress Pride flag, created by Daniel Quasar. Many of our products combine all these flags in an interwoven, energetic way, creating a sense of unity and evoking both technology and the possibilities of coming together to make change. If you haven’t seen these flags before, look them up and learn which sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions they represent. By putting the spotlight on these identities, we hope to give them visibility, and invite everyone to think how intersections offer new perspectives, and how collectively we can bring about change.
We use this Pride aesthetic across the product and campaign touch points, culminating in the stories of Microsoft employees and activists who bring change for and beyond LGBTQI+ communities.
Visit microsoft.com/Pride to learn more.
This year GLEAM members worked with teams across Microsoft to create the largest and most diverse product release in our history:
- Xbox – This June and beyond, explore the new Pride profile theme for console and PC, livestreams on Xbox’s Twitch channel, personal stories from Xbox Ambassadors and employees, industry spotlights on Xbox Instagram, games curated by the LGBTQI+ communities and more.
- Xbox games – Celebrate Pride and LGBTQIA+ players and creators with Xbox. Explore the new livery design in Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Motorsport 7, Halo: MCC Pride nameplate, and the GLAAD award-winning Tell Me Why will be free to play for the month of June on Xbox consoles, the Microsoft Store and Steam.
- Xbox Gear – Wear your Pride with the new collection of Xbox Gear shirts, hoodies, totes and more.
- Microsoft Teams – Show where you stand with new virtual backgrounds for Pride.
- Skype – Celebrate Pride with new virtual backgrounds and Together Mode scenes inspired by different LGBTQI+ flags.
- Microsoft 365 – Turn on your Pride in select Microsoft 365 apps* and celebrate with the special themes inspired by the flags of the LGBTQI+ communities.
- Microsoft Edge – Show your colors with 20 Pride themes for Microsoft Edge inspired by the flags of the LGBTQI+ communities.
- PowerPoint premium templates – Present with Pride, using new PowerPoint templates, images and more.
- Outlook mobile – See your Pride in Outlook mobile on iOS and Android with the themes inspired by the Pride, trans, lesbian, bisexual and nonbinary flags.
- Windows – Personalize your device with Pride wallpapers inspired by retro Windows experiences.
- Surface – Show your Pride on every side with the new Skin for Surface Laptop and Surface Pro.
- Give with Bing – Support LGBTQI+ youth in crisis by donating to the Trevor Project, and Microsoft Rewards will match all donations to make an even bigger impact.
- Bing – Explore the stories of people who’ve contributed to the ongoing progress for LGBTQI+ equality.
- Microsoft Store – Explore collections of games and movies curated by the LGBTQI+ communities at Microsoft.
- Microsoft News – Will highlight special content experiences for Pride across 20 markets and in more than 10 languages.
We’re also hosting a 3-hour virtual Pride “Together, we can” event on Thursday, June 24 at 10 a.m. PT on Microsoft’s YouTube channel. We’ll have discussions about intersectionality, solidarity, and representation with invited guests, nonprofits, and artists. We hope you can join us. RSVP at aka.ms/PrideLive.
Acting on the message
To honor the launch of our Pride campaign, we’re donating a total of $150,000 to the following nonprofits selected by the LGBTQI+ communities at Microsoft:
- ACLU Foundation, together with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), engages in a broad range of work to protect civil liberties, including those of LGBTQI+ people.
- OutRight Action International works to research, document, defend and advance human rights and equality for LGBTQI+ people everywhere. In addition, OutRight’s COVID-19 Global LGBTQI+ Emergency Fund supports LGBTQI+ communities on the frontlines of the pandemic.
- Act To Change aims to empower students, families and educators with the knowledge and tools they need to help stop and prevent bullying in Asian American, Pacific Islander, Sikh, Muslim, LGBTQI+ and immigrant youth communities.
- BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective) is a national training, movement-building and grant-making institution that’s dedicated to the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities.
- Mermaids is a U.K.-wide charity working to support transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people and their families. They offer a dedicated helpline, web chat and online forums, as well as face-to-face meetups for peer support.
- The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.
LGBTQI+ inclusion at Microsoft
We’ve been consistently advocating for the LGBTQI+ people since 1989, when we became one of the first companies to introduce sexual orientation in our non-discrimination policies. Microsoft has attained a 100 score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for 16 years. Since its founding in 1993, GLEAM has been honoring Pride by lifting up LGBTQI+ voices and using the reach of our products to share the messages of inclusion and support.
We invite everyone to join us in dialogue and action toward LGBTQI+ inclusion. There are many issues that many of our communities face, but by coming together, we can bring about change. Share your thoughts with us on social by using #MicrosoftPride.
*Show your Pride is available on iOS, Android and Mac in the following apps:
– iOS: Outlook, Teams, OneNote, the Office mobile app and stand-alone Word, Excel and PowerPoint
– Android: Outlook and Teams
– Mac: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
**Pride products are available in select markets.