This year marked a momentous occasion with the celebration of World Pride along with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and a half-century of LGBTQIA+ liberation. From April through July, Sony employees around the world were out in force to honor their LGBTQIA+ communities! Read on to see how some employees celebrated.
From June 1-7, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), kicked off Pride with a week of events and activities hosted by SPE's Employee Group for the LGBTQIA+ community and fellow allies. During the week, the group partnered with the Studio Store and sold Sony Pride T-shirts, with proceeds going to Outfest Fusion, a program for LGBTQIA+ People of Color under the Outfest umbrella that highlights films and offers classes and seminars on filmmaking to ensure all voices are represented in our community. The shirts were sold out within days!
For the first time ever, SPE hosted a Pride Happy Hour to incentivize their OUT members and employees to show their support and solidarity. Additionally, 100 employees wore their Sony pride t-shirts as part of the Company's Wear-Your-Pride campaign.
On what appeared to be the hottest day of the year, employees from various Sony companies were joined by their friends and families at the 2019 Los Angeles (LA) Pride Festival in West Hollywood. Participating Sony companies included SPE, Sony Music, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), and Sony Pictures Imageworks. This dedicated crew distributed Men in Black (MIB) sunglasses and stickers, dressed in specially-designed MIB t-shirts with a rainbow logo that was visible and distinguishable to the 150,000 spectators along the parade route. SPE also set up an activation booth in the LA Pride Festival to promote their female cop drama LA's Finest. Employees also entered a double-decker bus promoting the release of Men in Black International in the Annual Parade.
New York was this year's official host of World Pride and the celebrations were in full swing! On June 19 bad weather couldn't stop NYC employees from celebrating Pride at their annual Pride Party at Sony's New York headquarters at 25 Madison Avenue. The celebration was hosted by Sony's Employee Group for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies in the New York metropolitan area. Over 300 employees from Sony Corporation of America, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and SPE were treated to food, drinks, and giveaways.
Guests enjoyed tunes by popular DJ and a jaw-dropping performance by American drag queen. The night was capped with some lucky employees winning raffle prizes which included roundtrip tickets to Japan and concert tickets.
Sony North America took a fun and inspiring approach to celebrate 2019 Pride with a series of videos from employees, including President and COO, Mike Fasulo, on what Pride means to them. (You can check out each of these videos below!)
Employees also celebrated Pride with a Lunch and Learn hosted by Sony's San Diego-based LGBTQIA+ Employee Group. Additionally, they hosted a fan decorating event, Pride Mixer, Pride-themed photo booth, and a t-shirt bedazzling event.
On July 13 and 14, Sony employees and their friends and families marched and danced at the San Diego Pride Parade and Festival in Hillcrest. There was much to celebrate as it was Sony's 10th year participating in the Parade! According to San Diego Pride, the parade is the sixth-largest Pride event in the U.S. and attracts more than 250,000 people each year. With this year's Pride theme being `A Legacy of Liberation,' employees were loud and proud representing Sony with pride!
On the San Mateo, California campus, SIE's LGBTQIA+ Employee Group hosted a party for its employees to kick off Pride Month, then brought in writer and producer, Matt Baume to speak to employees. During his presentation, Matt traced the decades-long evolution of Pride. The PlayStation®Store team also joined in the festivities by sharing this year's free US Pride Theme.
For the second year in a row, employee group marched in the San Francisco Pride parade, one of the world's oldest and largest LGBTQIA+ parades and celebrations. The first event resembling the modern San Francisco Pride parade and celebration was held in 1970—with a march down Polk Street and a small "gay-in" in Golden Gate Park. On Sunday, June 30, 170 employees, family members, and friends continued to honor the legacy of this celebration by dancing, moving, and marching through the heart of the city in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. The group celebrated behind an amazing PlayStation float with a DJ who entertained and energized the crowd.
In London, the first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held on July 1, 1972 (chosen to mark the anniversary of the New York City Stonewall riots in 1969). With more than 1.5 million people and 450 groups in the parade, this year's Pride enabled SIE employees to celebrate all players and be part of one of the largest events in London.
This past April, SIE attended the Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade for their second year. The first Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade was held 25 years ago in 1994 (It happened to be the same year PlayStation launched!). It consisted of 1,000 brave activists who marched from Shinjuku Central Park to the now-closed Miyashita Park in Shibuya. Now in 2019, LGBTQIA+ culture in Japan has the most exposure it's ever had. This year's theme is `I Have Pride,' a simple yet powerful statement to counter all the stigma and taboo that affect LGBTQIA+ people around the world. The event was sponsored by a record 223 companies and organizations, including Sony Corporation who has participated in Tokyo Rainbow Pride for the past two years. SIE also served as one of the Gold Sponsors at this event. SIE employees gave out free stickers at the Festival and visitors enjoyed a rainbow-themed photoshoot at the PlayStation booth.