How Apple supports LGBTQ+ during Pride Month and all year long

iPhone 11 Pro Apple Pride logo
iPhone 11 Pro Apple Pride logo (Image credit: Lory Gil / iMore)

Tech fans come in all shapes, sizes, gender preferences, and identities. The thing that brings us together is our love of gadgets and gizmos. We celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the month of June with Pride. It's when flags fly, parades fill the streets (though not this year), and we share our stories of love, understanding, and acceptance. Celebrating diversity and acceptance isn't something to be relegated to the middle of the year, however. Diversity and inclusivity is fostered in a culture that has an unwavering commitment to supporting its ideals. Apple has it in spades.

From its openly gay CEO to its yearly special edition Pride Apple Watch bands, Apple preaches about diversity and inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community and backs up those words with everyday actions. Support for diversity in the workplace is on display with its Pride parades, commitment to workers' rights, employee networks, and more.

Apple's vast number of employees are able to connect through its Diversity Network Associations, which supports employee-led groups that foster a culture of belonging through education, leadership programs, and networking. More than 25,000 Apple employees belong to groups like Accessibility@Apple, Amigos@Apple, Black@Apple, Pride@Apple, Women@Apple, and a range of faith-based groups.

Outside of its workforce, Apple is lauded for its commitment to diversity. Apple has received a score of 100% every year on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)'s Corporate Equality Index of the report's 18-year long existence. Today, there are a number of companies that score 100% in this report, but Apple has been at the top of this list since 2002 when only 5% of Corporate Equality Index companies had non-discrimination policies in place for gender identity and zero percent had transgender-inclusive health care benefits. Apple also participates in Pride parades every year, walking the parade route with a banner showing off its rainbow logo. Thousands of employees participate in these marches every year and the first Apple Watch Pride Edition band was actually a giveaway to employees who registered for the Pride Parade in San Francisco in 2016. It wasn't even available for public sale until a year later.

Today, the Pride Edition Apple Watch bands are hugely popular with a new one (or two) released every year. Since 2018, Apple has also designed Pride watch faces for Apple Watch, and this year, there are additional rainbow-themed customizations for the Numerals Mono, Numerals Duo, California, and Gradient watch faces.

Apple donates regularly to LGBTQ+ organizations and this year supports GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and ILGA World.

In 2019, Apple CEO Tim Cook received the GLSEN Champion award for his commitment to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

I am grateful to GLSEN for this honor and for all their work to ensure the LGBTQ community is treated with dignity and respect. At Apple, our commitment to inclusion helps us do our best work, each and every day. Innovation depends on openness to new ideas, a culture of curiosity and a climate free from shame and stigma — that's true not only true for Apple, I believe it's true for everyone. -Tim Cook

Last year, Apple joined 206 businesses to fight for LGBTQ+ workers' rights at the U.S. Supreme Court with a Title 7 amicus filing.

These businesses are committed to creating workplaces that afford lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ("LGBT") employees the opportunity to earn a living, excel in their professions, and provide for their families free from fear of unequal treatment.

In March, Apple — along with 39 other companies — signed an HRC letter opposing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being introduced in a handful of states that would take away rights, support, and medical care for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

If you haven't already seen the docu-series "Visiable: Out on Television" on TV+, this is a good month to sit down and binge-watch the entire mini-series. It dives into the LGBTQ+ community through interviews with entertainers and celebrities and covers historical events, portrayals in media, and more.

June is an important month for the LGBTQ+ community because it represents a time to celebrate what makes everyone unique. All year long, Apple maintains that ideology of celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and supporting diversity. Apple has Pride.

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Pride 2020

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).