How is Amazon celebrating Pride in 2020?
At Amazon, we want to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable to be their authentic selves. That’s why we celebrate Pride Month every June, with the support of our LGBTQ+ employees and their allies across the business.
Glamazon, our LGBTQ+ employee affinity group, works hard throughout the year to help foster an open and inclusive work culture. For Pride Month, that means celebrating the stories and achievements of our LGBTQ+ colleagues, our customers and their communities.
Co-chair of glamazon, Gareth Johnson, said: “In light of the COVID-19 crisis, this year we had to get creative with new ways to celebrate Pride. Thanks to the quick thinking of teams across Amazon, whether you’re a colleague or a customer, there are plenty of ways to get involved this June.”
“While we are celebrating Pride virtually this year, it is impossible to ignore the global outcry about injustice against black and minority ethnic communities. I believe it is vital for LGBTQ+ communities to stand united with those facing prejudice and discrimination.”
“We will continue to act on our global commitments to diversity, inclusion and social justice, and I look forward to continuing our work with colleagues like Amazon’s Black Employee Network to support and amplify those voices. By working together, we can lead the drive for greater understanding.”
We also want to hear about how you’re celebrating Pride Month this June – get involved with the conversation on social media with the hashtags #readwithpride, #listenwithpride and #watchwithpride.
“Alexa, open Pride History”
On May 29, Amazon Music launched a new daily feature called Pride History which customers can access via Alexa.
Throughout June, customers can ask, “Alexa, open Pride History” to hear a different story from LGBTQ+ history. Narrated by guest speakers (Melissa Etheridge, Tegan and Sara, and Kim Petras), each story is paired with a song to soundtrack that moment in history, featured in “The Sounds of Pride History” playlist.
You shop and Amazon donates to LGBTQ+ charities with AmazonSmile
AmazonSmile makes giving even simpler - simply nominate your charity of choice, shop via smile.amazon.co.uk and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of eligible products (excluding VAT, shipping fees, and returns) to your favourite charitable organisation, at no extra cost to you or your charity.
PROUD Playlist Relaunch & PROUD Amazon Originals
Amazon Music relaunched the PROUD Playlist on May 29. The global playlist spotlights new music from LGBTQ+ artists both during Pride and beyond to celebrate this community of artists all year round.
The PROUD playlist features newly commissioned artwork by non-binary UK-based artist Kate Moross, featuring bespoke typography, abstract shapes, and symbols from the LGBTQ+ community.
As part of the newly relaunched PROUD Playlist, Amazon Music will also debut brand-new Amazon Originals to highlight the work of ground-breaking LGBTQ+ artists. We have already debuted an Amazon Original with Haley Kiyoko who covered The Killers’ 2003 hit, ‘Mr. Brightside’.
This song made me feel seen at a young age and gave me the strength to embrace who I was, to stay positive even though I was struggling to find that positivity in my own life at the time.
Later in June, Amazon Music is set to unveil a new Amazon Original track from the critically acclaimed artist Perfume Genius. Watch this space!
As part of our work with these artists, we have also been able to support and make donations to a number of charitable causes that provide support for LGBTQ+ communities.
“Amazon Music has been delighted to work with Pride over the past few years,” explains Craig Strachan, glamazon member and Head of Brand for Amazon Music in Europe. “We believe music plays such a powerful role for LGBTQ+ communities. Music helps us all to articulate our struggles of the past and present – it’s the ultimate expression of who we are and what we hope for the future.”
Dating Amber on Amazon Prime Video
Dating Amber, now available on Amazon Prime Video, is a hilarious coming-of-age comedy set in mid-90s Ireland. The story highlights the challenge of coming to terms with your sexuality as a teenager by following two closeted teens – Eddie and Amber – as they embark on a fake relationship to stop speculation about their sexuality.
Dating Amber is my love letter to my home and for all those kids who needed to escape to be themselves. I’m so excited to share it on Amazon Prime Video, to bring some laughter in these uncertain times and for everyone to fall in love with Eddie and Amber.
Prime Video is ‘Celebrating Pride’
Throughout June and July, Prime Video customers will be able to enjoy a curated selection of movies and TV shows grouped on a ‘Celebrating Pride’ carousel when browsing Prime Video on the app on a variety of devices including mobiles, tablets, smart TVs and Fire TV.
The carousel will help customers discover movies and TV shows exploring LGBTQ+ themes including the new movie release Dating Amber, award-winning Amazon Original series Transparent and the documentary that inspired a hit musical, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16.
Sylvester mini-Documentary on Amazon Music
Later in Pride Month, Amazon Music will debut a mini-documentary on the trailblazing queer disco icon, Sylvester.
The documentary, which includes extensive, rarely seen footage of Sylvester and his performances, will tell the story of the San Francisco-based singer’s international smash hit, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, illustrating how the singer and his most enduring song continue to influence today’s pop music.
Check out the brand-new mini-documentary when it goes live later this month.
Pride-themed livestreams on Twitch
Since many of us will be at home during Pride Month, Amazon Music are bringing the celebrations into everyone’s front room with a variety of Pride-themed live streams on the Amazon Music Twitch channel throughout June, including San Francisco Pride’s 2020 Online Celebration, which will take place on June 27-28.
We will also be partnering with influencers on YouTube and hosting special ‘drag streams’ on Instagram and TikTok. In addition, we’re delighted to be partnering with Rihanna’s choreographer Paris Goebel to host a one-off dance class on Instagram Live.
Join leading authors to #ReadWithPride
For many during the lockdown, books have been a reliable source of comfort and escapism. There is something inspiring about reading a book and seeing yourself in it.
'Girl, Woman, Other' is the BBC 'Book at Bedtime' Monday June 1-12. Adaptor: Patricia Cumper. Narrator: Pippa Bennett-Warner. Then available @BBCiPlayer @BBCSounds. I won't hear it myself until it's live. My 1st time in this slot. So looking forward to it.https://t.co/0VoQXXPHw9— Bernardine Evaristo (@BernardineEvari) May 28, 2020
Our #ReadWithPride campaign highlights the works of LGBTQ+ authors and stories throughout the month of June. Participating authors include Booker Prize 2019 winner Bernardine Evaristo, Adam Kay, the Revd Richard Coles and Juno Dawson.
“The idea for #ReadWithPride came up during a conversation with a colleague about how Pride, normally so visible with parades and marches, wouldn’t be the same this year,” explains Phil Reay-Smith, glamazon member and Principal Comms Lead for Books. “We wanted to find new ways to celebrate LGBTQ+ visibility.”
“The books team are linked to some of the biggest and best authors in the business, so we asked some of our favourite authors to celebrate LGBTQ+ visibility by reading from their own work. The response has been incredible – we’ve got a Booker Prize winner, lesbian crime writers, gay best sellers, writers who are trans, queer and many other voices,” Phil adds. “They are poignant and moving - it’s important to hear them.”
Watch this space and follow @AmazonUK on Twitter to discover more about these authors and their stories.
LGBT+ Reading Roadshow goes virtual
Last year we launched the LGBT+ Reading Roadshow in partnership with PinkNews and Just Like Us to provide schools across the UK with free LGBTQ+ workshops and literature. The Roadshow was created to help tackle LGBTQ+ bullying in secondary schools and to shine a light on the importance of diversity and inclusivity.
With schools closed, the need for support networks, role models and guidance for young people has never been more important.
Even today, young people still suffer from homophobic bullying and barriers to being their authentic selves. That’s why it’s great that Amazon is showing young people that being true to themselves is an enabler, not a barrier, to their future.
The workshop will feature a variety of activities, including LGBTQ+ terminology and definitions, real-life personal stories from inspiring role models and an open Q&A session that allows young people, parents and teachers to ask questions anonymously.
Learn more about Diversity at Amazon.