If it feels like this past month was the most colorful and celebrated Pride in recent years, well by engagement metrics, you’d be right. Not only was it the 50th anniversary of the riots at Stonewall Inn in New York City, but engagements in June for Pride have more than tripled since 2018. Jumping from a peak of 500k in 2018 to 5 mil in 2019, Pride was widely covered all month.
This year the top ten most engaged Pride stories reported during June had extensive coverage of a same-sex couple refusing to kiss on a London bus and getting attacked as a result. While Pride month is a celebration of love and being able to live life openly, this story broke the first week of June, serving as a grim reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
Lgbtqnation broke into the top ten most engaged publishers this month, as well as Pink News, “a brand for the global LGBT+ community and the next generation.” Both covered Pride extensively, featuring profiles and promoting events around the globe.
However, the most engaged platform by far for Pride this year was YouTube. Despite the company dealing with a controversy of their own early in June related to their handling of homophobic harassment claims by a content creator, several YouTube influencers came out during Pride month this year, drawing attention to the platform and racking up a combined 29 million views between the top three videos alone. Other YouTubers made their videos into campaigns, offering opportunities to donate to the Trevor Project to support homeless and at risk LGBTQI+ youth. Additionally, the videos that were posted to Facebook were highly shared and received the Love reaction more than any other reaction.
Reactions to the above YouTube videos posted to Facebook during Pride differed, but broadly illustrated that love is on the rise. While the comments devolved into distinct sides, much of the conversation surrounding coming out videos displayed a high Love to Angry ratio. The community showed up and showed out in droves for people willing to share a piece of their story, and prove that there is a place for those who might feel alone.
The top post during Pride for each year also reflected a change in not only engagement but the LGBTQI+ story. 2018’s top post came from Franklin Graham, praising the Supreme Court who ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. While 2019’s top post was Eugene Lee Yang’s coming out video, written, choreographed and directed by the man himself.
Pride on Instagram
Pride on Instagram was full of high profile celebrities and influencers wishing everyone a happy Pride in rainbow garb, and was used more as a place to showcase support, outfits and makeup, while Twitter was, as per usual, a hotbed for discussion. Highlights in Twitter timelines included sharing coming out stories, photos with partners and whether or not corporations and brands should be at Pride if their values don’t actually support the LGBTQI+ community.
Pride on Twitter
And finally, for brands considering content or campaigns for next year’s Pride, it’s crucial to align values with external communication and support. Do your values actually create a space for the LGBTQI+ community to thrive? Are your LGBTQI+ employees being listened to and valued in your workplace? Are you committed to upholding these standards year-round? Here are some tips for creating a more inclusive workplace and better support the LGBTQI+ community throughout the year.
While general acceptance and corporate support seem to be on the rise for the LGBTQI+ community, there is still work to be done, particularly outside the month of June. Be an ally and create safe workspaces year-round but remember to step back, and give people the opportunity to share their story, June is their month to shine.
Katherine is a Content Strategist working at the confluence of journalism + marketing. She's most interested in bridging the gap between business and editorial and exploring ways publishers can use data to inform their storytelling.
Email Katherine via firstname.lastname@example.org.