During the months of June and July, Sony took part in a variety of LGBTQ Pride festivities across different cities in the US and in London UK. Read on to see how employees in Culver City, CA, New York, NY, San Mateo, CA, San Francisco, CA and San Diego, CA and London celebrated the LGBTQ community!
On June 9 and 10, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) participated in the sold out Los Angeles Pride Parade and Festival, which hosted an estimated 350,000 people. Over 200 Sony employees, along with their friends and family, participated in the parade by celebrating Sony inclusion aboard a "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" themed float. Kids attending the Parade were elated to see their favorite Hotel Transylvania characters on the float!
In addition to participating in the Parade, SPE sponsored a Festival booth which promoted both "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" and the third season release of Sony Pictures Television's "One Day at a Time," set for 2019. Some of the activities at the Festival booth included an inspiration board, a photo booth, and a bean bag toss game, as well as fun giveaways of rainbow paper fans, snow cones, DVDs and mobile game registration cards.
On June 18, OutLoud, Sony's Employee Business Resource Group for LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly employees in the New York metropolitan area, celebrated Pride Month at its annual Pride Rooftop Party at Sony's New York headquarters at 25 Madison Avenue. Over 360 employees from Sony Corporation of America, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Sony Pictures Entertainment showed up for some fun in the sun. As a thank you for their support, attendees were gifted some cool summer swag from OutLoud and event sponsors, American Airlines and Japan Airlines.
The highlight of the night included a special live performance by RCA recording artist Leikeli47, who entertained the crowd with her singles "Wash & Set" and "Money." She also gave a heartfelt speech about Pride and empowering the LGBTQ community. Check out the videos below for a recap of her speech and performances.
Outloud also hosted a sweepstakes drawing at the event, where two lucky employees won a pair of plane tickets, which were generously raffled off by American Airlines and Japan Airlines.
This year was Sony Interactive Entertainment's first sponsorship of San Francisco Pride, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ parades and celebrations in the world. On June 24, 140 Sony Interactive Entertainment employees from San Mateo and San Francisco, California, along with their family members and friends marched and danced to music from Sony Music artists through the heart of the city in support of the LGBTQ community. Sony North Marchers handed out PlayStation-branded giveaways to enthusiastic spectators. The PlayStation parade contingency was even featured on CBS KPIX 5 News' Pride coverage, reaching even more people across the Bay Area.
During the Pride festival, PlayStation sold pride-themed t-shirts, hats, and keychains to excited PlayStation fans. A portion of proceeds from the sales went to Larkin Street Youth Services, a non-profit organization that provides services for young people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.
With a great turnout and successful collaboration between their Diversity in Action team, who oversee diversity-related activities, and their LGBTQ Employee Business Resource Group, Sony Interactive Entertainment made a splash in its first year of partnership with San Francisco Pride.
On July 14, over 315,000 participants and spectators hit the streets in San Diego, California for the annual San Diego Pride Parade, the largest single-day civic event in the region and one of the largest Prides in the U.S.
Among them were approximately 200 employees from Sony North America, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, donning their Sony Pride t-shirts as they marched down the streets celebrating equality, togetherness and acceptance. This was the Company's 9th year serving as sponsor for and participating in the San Diego Pride Parade. Equality ALLiance, Sony's San Diego-based LGBTQ Employee Business Resource Group, helped rally the energetic crew.
Employees continued to celebrate diversity with the San Diego community at the Sony-sponsored EDM Dance stage at this year's weekend Pride Music Festival, held on July 14-15. There was also a Sony booth, where guests could check out some of Sony's latest TV's, speakers and pick up Sony-branded swag, including earbuds, Sony Music CD's and PlayStation stickers.
Scroll below for some of our favorite photos of the event!
Saturday 7th July saw the SIEE LGBT+ Group and PlayStation EU team up to march in the Pride in London parade - an event which was attended by over a million people.
With 90+ marchers from Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), Media Molecule, London Studio and more, plus the incredible performers from Sink The Pink, we really showed the world that PlayStation is For ALL The Players.
We didn't just celebrate Pride during the parade, though! Hundreds of employees showed their support by visiting our 10 GMS Pride pop-up stall in the days before the parade. Through selling exclusive PlayStation Pride merchandise, we were able to raise an incredible £2,773, with every penny going to the Albert Kennedy Trust, a London-based charity that helps LGBT+ young people facing homelessness.
This year, we also refreshed our free Pride PS4 theme, which resulted in 40,000 new downloads over the Pride weekend. This brings the total number of Pride theme downloads to over 800,000 since it first launched last summer.
After the Parade had ended, it was also announced that our appearance had been awarded the Best Float award by Pride in London, out of a total of over 470 groups who took part in the parade.
Pride in London described our float as "the float that best celebrates LGBT+ life, fights for equality and challenges prejudice… and was the most creative, interactive and fun float in the parade."
Sony Pictures Entertainment(SPE) UK marked Pride with a fascinating lecture from Dr Clare Barlow, curator of last year's "Queer British Art" exhibition at Tate Britain, London. One year on from the opening of the exhibition, the first of its kind in the UK, Dr Barlow explored the definition of 'queer' art, and how people used art to express their gender identities in a time of prejudice and legal oppression.
SPE is also a member of Stonewall, Europe's largest LGBT charity, which supports organisations in their efforts to be LGBT+ inclusive. Their mission is for everyone to feel free to be who they are, wherever they are, through empowering individuals, transforming institutions, and changing hearts and minds:Our Priorities | Stonewall