Pride at Microsoft is a grassroots movement created with and by LGBTQIA+ employees around the world. Our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet, and we believe that it’s our responsibility to work toward more LGBTQIA+ visibility, equity and equality. We do this year-round, during Pride and every day.
Our efforts to support and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community at Pride have grown from a few hundred employees marching in Seattle to engaging with billions of Microsoft customers each year by using our incredible platform.
A more inclusive, more immersive Pride
Our Pride centers on intersectionality of the LGBTQIA+ movements across race, ethnicity and geography. Through stories, products and metaverse events, it highlights the interconnected challenges LGBTQIA+ people face and calls for a unified global response. To mark the launch of our campaign, we’re contributing a total of $170,000 to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits around the world. That’s in addition to the $8 million we’ve donated together with our employees since last year.
We’re excited to uplift LGBTQIA+ voices year-round, not just at Pride. Today, we’ve launched Microsoft Unlocked – a new digital destination for stories from the heart and soul of innovation. Our inaugural edition is all about Pride. In the coming months, you’ll be able to explore more LGBTQIA+ stories and immersive experiences on an array of topics such as accessibility, sustainability, culture, science, radical tech and more.
Learn more about our campaign at unlocked.microsoft.com.
Pride has no borders – immerse into our metaverse Pride event on June 17
This year LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft invite everyone to join in our experimental “Pride has no borders” metaverse event. Experience Pride in VR. Learn about the state of LGBTQIA+ rights in a virtual world from activists, players and advocates from LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft, Team Xbox and organizations like the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) and OutRight Action International. Immerse yourself in a bit of Pride history in a metaverse space. Discover how we can bridge borders and bring about collective change for all.
Join us on June 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST. Tune in via AltSpaceVR on Windows or MacOS, your Windows Mixed Reality headset, HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. You can also watch the livestream on YouTube.
We hope you can join us. RSVP at aka.ms/talkpride
Pride has no borders – our most global Pride yet
Microsoft operates in over 120 countries, many of which still don’t provide legal protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals and even restrict or confine LGBTQIA+ identities.
When selecting the focus for this year’s Pride, members of the Global LGBTQIA+ Employee and Allies at Microsoft Employee Resource Group (GLEAM) reflected on the intersectionality of LGBTQIA+ communities, centered on the stories of Black and African American, Asian, Indigenous, Hispanic and Latinx LGBTQIA+ people from around the world and called out the interconnected nature of the global challenges we all face.
From Thailand to Kazakhstan to India to Ireland and more — our employees’ stories show that no town is too small, no village too remote to celebrate Pride. Their stories about protecting women’s rights, supporting Ukraine, achieving racial justice, protecting transgender lives and creating LGBTQIA+ visibility and equity on a global scale touch on universal issues through an LGBTQIA+ lens – and invite everyone to join in our global commitment to LGBTQIA+ rights.
In a time when some try to confine or legislate against LGBTQIA+ communities, Microsoft’s LGBTQIA+ employees proudly say that empathy, peace, equity and queer joy are universal. Through our campaign we invite everyone to join in the actions and calls for justice and equity across all borders – geographical, societal or ideological.
Lifting over 30 LGBTQIA+ communities — our most inclusive Pride expression
We’ve designed our Pride expression with, and for, LGBTQIA+ communities to celebrate their vibrancy and strength – and how closely they’re connected. We continue to be inspired by the diversity of gender identities, gender expressions, sexual and romantic orientations. The rich, varied, global and intersectional tapestry of the LGBTQIA+ experience is the inspiration for our design.
Last year, GLEAM embraced over a dozen community flags to drive recognition of expansive LGBTQIA+ communities. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our customers many note that they feel seen and appreciated by that approach.
This year, GLEAM is almost doubling the number of communities represented in our campaign aesthetic. Thirty-three flags representing LGBTQIA+ identities, one Ally flag and one Polyamory flag are at the core of this year’s work. This vibrant, energetic statement reminds us that by coming together across groups and bridging borders, we can make a difference for LGBTQIA+ communities and beyond.
A groundbreaking Xbox Pride controller
Last year, we shared a vision for an Xbox Pride controller. We produced a limited batch and shared them with LGBTQIA+ players and creators around the world. While the controller was received positively, many asked to make the design universally available. We listened and are expanding availability, because every gamer deserves the right to be seen and heard.
The Xbox Pride controller top case has been redesigned from the ground up by the LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft to evoke even more representation. It brings together 34 community flags in a striking, interwoven and unforgettable manner that celebrates the beauty, complexity and diversity of the LGBTQIA+ experience. It doubles the representation from last year’s design.
And because Pride is unique for everyone, you can make the controller truly yours with Xbox Design Lab, customizing every part with a broad color palette, metallic finishes, rubberized grips and even engraving.
Create your unique Pride controller starting June 9, available everywhere Xbox Design Lab is available. Share your designs with us using #Pride and #XboxPride.
But this isn’t just a controller. It’s a symbol of the LGBTQIA+ communities that inspired and built it, and a call to continue efforts toward inclusion and representation across all gaming spaces. So, we’re bringing together dozens of voices of LGBTQIA+ players, creators and Team Xbox members within an immersive storytelling experience. We hope that this experience will show why LGBTQIA+ representation and visibility matters, how it has already impacted the lives of so many, and how much more we can all do to make gaming a matter of Pride.
Our most inclusive Pride collection
Since the introduction of our first Pride products in 2018, they’ve been a visible celebration of the intersectionality and strength of the LGBTQIA+ communities. This year, GLEAM members worked with teams across Microsoft to create the most inclusive product release in our history:
- Xbox – Explore curated games, community stories, nonprofit partnerships and more – all created by and with LGBTQIA+ communities.
- Xbox Design Lab Pride controller – Customize the Xbox Wireless Controller with Xbox Design Lab and show your Pride with the new bold design. Available June 9 in all Xbox Design Lab markets.
- Xbox Gear – Wear your Pride with limited-edition T-shirts, totes and more.
- Xbox games– Celebrate Pride with LGBTQIA+ creators on Xbox.
- Microsoft Store – Explore collections of games and movies curated by the LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft.
- Surface – Break the boundaries with the limited-edition Pride Skin for Surface Laptop 13.5” and 15” and Surface Pro 8. Available in the U.S., Canada and U.K.
- Windows – Bridge borders with new Windows wallpapers inspired by the flags of LGBTQIA+ communities.
- Microsoft 365 – Turn on your Pride in select Microsoft 365 apps* and celebrate with special themes inspired by the flags of the LGBTQIA+ communities.
- Microsoft Teams – Show where you stand with over 50 new virtual backgrounds for Pride.
- Microsoft Teams mobile apps – Sprinkle in Pride in your Microsoft Teams mobile apps with a “Show your Pride” theme. Plus, new Pride themes are coming this fall.
- Outlook mobile – Embrace your Pride in Outlook mobile on iOS and Android with themes inspired by the Pride, Trans, Lesbian, Bisexual and Nonbinary flags.
- Skype – Celebrate Pride with virtual backgrounds and scenes inspired by different LGBTQIA+ flags.
- Microsoft Rewards – Join Microsoft Rewards to support OutRight Action International by simply searching on Microsoft Bing.
- Bing – Explore the stories of people who’ve contributed to the ongoing progress for LGBTQIA+ equality.
- Microsoft Unlocked – Explore the Pride edition of our new digital destination for immersive stories from the heart and soul of innovation.
- Microsoft Design – Unpack the stories of the designers behind this year’s Pride collection on Microsoft Design blog and social
- Microsoft Life – Explore the stories of our employees from around the world.
Acting on the message – donating a total of $170,000 to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits
We’re continuing our long-standing support of LGBTQIA+ organizations. To recognize the launch of our 2022 Pride campaign and products, we’re contributing an $170,000 to OutRight Action International, African Rainbow Family, National Center for Transgender Equality, Mermaids, Lavender Rights Project and Fulcrum UA to help in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equity and equality.
Standing up for LGBTQIA+ equity since 1989
Microsoft introduced sexual orientation into our non-discrimination policies in 1989 – and we’ve been driving toward LGBTQIA+ inclusion ever since. In 1993, we began offering employee benefits for same-sex domestic partnerships, making us one of the first companies in the world to do so. We stood as a public supporter for marriage equality even before it became legal in the United States – and we continue to advocate for every type of family. Microsoft has attained a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for 17 years.
Since its founding in 1993, GLEAM has honored Pride by lifting up LGBTQIA+ voices and used the reach of our products to share the messages of inclusion and support.
By supporting our employees through global advocacy, charitable giving and better workplace practices, we’re hoping to make a difference for LGBTQIA+ communities and beyond. Our drive for positive global impact continues.
We invite everyone to join us in the calls for justice and equity across all borders. Share your thoughts with us on social by using #MicrosoftPride and #Pride.
* “Show your Pride” theme is available in the following apps – iOS: Outlook, Teams, OneNote, Office, Word, Excel and PowerPoint; Android: Outlook and Teams; Mac: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. In Outlook, you can find the Pride themes in Settings > Appearance. In all other apps, you can find the Pride theme in Settings.
Tags: inclusion, LGBTQIA+, MicrosoftPride, Pride