Together we stand for Pride

The Many Ways McDonald's Shows Up for the Queer Community


Pride month is here, and queer folks of every background come together to celebrate and acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community's struggles, victories, and ongoing fight for equality and acceptance. For LGBTQ+ individuals, Pride month is a time of solidarity, visibility, and empowerment. It's an opportunity to express our authentic selves openly, without fear or shame, and to honor the diversity within the community. The celebratory parades are fun-filled extravaganzas, a glittery rainbow of festivities for queer individuals, friends and allies.

Beyond the vibrant parades and festivities, Pride month holds deep significance as a reminder of the progress made in LGBTQ+ rights and the work that remains. It commemorates the Stonewall riots of June 1969, a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history when members of the community stood up against police harassment and discrimination.

Since Pride was birthed in protest, many of us understand the importance of advocating for social and legislative change, addressing issues such as discrimination, violence, and healthcare disparities that disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ individuals. This Pride season we stand hand in hand to reflect, celebrate, and honor our resilience, inspiring hope for a future where all people are embraced and celebrated for who they are.

Fortunately for the LGBTQ+ community, McDonald's is a brand that understands what Pride means for its employees, restaurant crew members, allies, fans, and communities it serves. The company continues to work hard for shaping a culture of diversity and inclusion, and living out that truth with policies and practices that demonstrates how the Golden Arches shows up for everyone in the queer community.

In honor of Pride, here are some of the ways McDonald's shows up and lets the queer community be seen in every neighborhood across the country:

Building diverse and inclusive communities. Community building for diverse and inclusive individuals begins with values. At McDonald's, one key value (inclusion) is showing care for the unique needs of its LGBTQ+ crew members. As such, the company implements policies, procedures, and legal protections to demonstrate their commitment and bring community members together. In fact, these policies cover sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender individuals. To bolster these policies and community building efforts across the McFamily, "the company has received for nine consecutive years a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, the national standard that measures policies, practices and benefits relevant to LGBTQ+ employees," according to McDonald's. Additionally, HRC has given McDonald's "the designation of being [one of the] 'Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality in 2022.'"

A culture that celebrates our voices. McDonald's understands that an important way to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community is to amplify the many voices – artists, activists, leaders, and more – who lift up the community. In recent years, McDonald's has partnered with Revry, a streaming service focused on LGBTQ+ stories and artists. In fact, the company has been involved in "Revry Presents House of Pride brought to you by McDonald's," featuring celebrity appearances, musical performances, a first-ever virtual dance club, a tutorial on vogue dancing, and more. "We have brought together a community of the top LGBTQ musical artists, comedians, drag celebrities, and ballroom luminaries," said Revry's Chief Business Officer Christopher Rodriguez to Forbes.

Professional development and support. McDonald's strives to support its crew members across its thousands of restaurants with training programs like Hamburger University, Archways to Opportunity and English Under Arches – professional development programs that facilitate growth and career advancement. Likewise, McDonald's founded its Pride Network, an employee business network that brings together LGBTQ+ employees, offering professional development opportunities, social events, networking, volunteering and more.

As we celebrate Pride – this month and every month – we remember our struggles to build resilience for a brighter future. In doing so, we stand unified, stronger together and celebrate the community with festivals that are filled with hope, love, and acceptance. McDonald's helps to unify our community and plays its part in showing support through its many initiatives – not just during Pride Month, but all year round, which is the main focus with the Pride employee business network's theme of "Every Day Pride."

by Roger Porter

This story is part of our special report: "McDonald's Unity in Diversity and Mentally Strong Editorial Series". Want to read more? Here's the full list.

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