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Jonathan Van Ness & Smirnoff Celebrate Pride w/ the House of Pride Event

What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot than to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. With a long-standing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community, Smirnoff and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness hosted a House of Pride event toasting to World Pride and Pride Month. The House of Pride event, which also celebrated Smirnoff’s 2019 “Welcome Home” campaign, featured a home-inspired, immersive pop-up experience features six insta-worthy rooms; each painted one of the colors of the pride flag.

The “red” room boldly stated “My Bed. My Business” and featured a giant bed with room for many; an orange room which featured a vintage kitchen; a yellow room which promised makeovers and playing dress-up; and a green room with a garden of Eden-like swing.

The event featured so many stunning drag queens who sprinkled utter fabulousness throughout the entire event. Forgive us for not getting all their names but once the Smirnoff started flowing…you know how that goes.

Numerous cocktails flowed as Fashion Designer and Celebrity DJ, Timo Weiland, kept the crowd moving with some of the most iconic songs by LGBT+ loved artists old and new. The “blue” room featured international cocktails, almost all of which were made with the classic Smirnoff 21 “Love wins” vodka.

As the event was underway, host Jonathan Van Ness made his entrance in epic pride fashion, arriving in a rainbow taxi. sipped on specialty Smirnoff cocktails while toasting to Pride Month and the LGBTQIA+ community with guests. Check out Jonathan Van Ness’ Welcome Home speech on our Instagram.

Jonathan Van Ness and Smirnoff celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and ongoing fight for equality with House of Pride pop-up on June 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Smirnoff)Driving home the global celebration of Pride, and Smirnoff’s Welcome Home campaign, were the bottles of Smirnoff vodka which boasted the word “welcome” in various languages including English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

The revelry continued well into the night as the Jonathan Van Ness and Smirnoff House of Pride event was the place to be. When we left, the party was still in full swing and the vodka cocktails still flowed.

We’re GLAAD That These Brands Exist: How 5 Companies Have Supported Pride Month

In an effort to create a more inclusive world, it’s thanks to big businesses that many consumers hear about LGBTQ+ issues for the first time. It’s because of their efforts through media, marketing, and special products that even the most isolated individuals are able to tune in to what’s happening throughout the world. Today we highlight a few brands that continue to support inclusion efforts. Check out what Absolut, Sally Hansen, Bud Light, ASOS, and Express has available for Pride Month.

Through partnerships with GLAAD, a non-governmental media organization promoting LGBTQ+ advocacy and equality, the following brands deserve special recognition for their nation-wide support during Pride Month. Check these five brands out when you want to show your support.

1. Express

Express Pride Month

When you want to look good poolside, Express has got you covered (literally). The clothing brand recently launched its Love Unites Campaign in partnership with GLAAD to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The campaign unveiled a completely new collection of 25 pieces of gender-fluid clothing options. For every piece of clothing purchased from the collection through July 15, Express will also donate 25% of its net income to GLAAD up to $100,000.

2. Bud Light

Bud Light Pride Month

No celebration is complete without a great beer. When you want to celebrate Pride this month, why not choose Bud Light’s new rainbow-inspired bottles?

But the Beer company isn’t simply releasing a new print for its boxes; partnering with GLAAD, Bud Light has released its first-ever rainbow aluminum bottles. Studies have shown that adding or changing a sign can benefit a business’ sales by up to 7%. For every case sold between May 27 and June 30, Bud Light pledged to donate $1 to the advocacy group for up to $150,000 in total donations.

This is in honor of the company’s 20-year anniversary working with GLAAD. GLAAD Chief Programs Officer Zeke Stokes recognized the importance of their partnership following their debut.

“For twenty consecutive years, Bud Light has partnered with GLAAD in its mission to accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ people,” Stokes noted. “Bud Light stood with the community at a time when many brands did not, and their continued outspoken support sets the bar for other global brands.

3. Absolut

Absolut Pride Month

If beer isn’t your cup of, well, beer, you can always invest in Absolut instead. The vodka powerhouse was the first spirits brand to throw its public support behind LGBTQ+ rights more than 38 years ago. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Pride, Absolut has teamed up with a number of organizations, local festivals, and activists in the community to accelerate LGBTQ+ acceptance.

Along with their social appearances, the vodka brand has also showcased a new bottle featuring a hand-painted rainbow flag design. To prove that their devotion to LGBTQ+ issues will last long after Pride Month, Absolut will stock your favorite store’s shelves throughout the rest of the year.

Best of all? The brand is also working to raise awareness and start a conversation about LGBTQ+ issues through its digital hub. Not only will this promote understanding, but the company also hopes that this conversation will inspire future endeavors for Absolut. Though the company undoubtedly relies on the help of the world’s 700,000 consulting firms on projects and manufacturing locations, getting this user feedback is vital for the company’s future success in sociopolitical movements.

4. ASOS

ASOS Pride Month

Express might be leading the charge for the middle class, but ASOS is truly a fan favorite among frugal fashionistas. As an online retailer, its managed to tap the global market of consumer spending where more than $2.86 trillion is spent each year online alone. Partnering with GLAAD for the third time, the online retailer has unveiled a collection of 50 new pieces in honor of Pride Month, including ASOS Curve and ASOS Plus styles.

ASOS notes that their collaboration with GLAAD has raised more than £200,000 in their efforts to date (more than $252,600 U.S.). This year, 100% of their net profits garnered from the collections will be donated to help GLAAD and their efforts.

5. Sally Hansen

Sally Hansen Pride Month

Sally Hansen knows that good drinks and good outfits aren’t photo-ready without beautiful nails. In its newest collaboration with GLAAD, Sally Hansen has released its Pride Collection. The collection features six Xtreme Wear shades in strikingly bold colors that represent the colors of the rainbow.

Sally Hansen Pride Month

You can order the colors online or from your local Walgreens or Ulta locations. At the Ulta locations, you can also invest in the entire collection as a gift set for only $16.99.

Celebrating the organizations who do it right is essential during Pride Month. Since 50% of all customers enter a business because of its signage, it’s expected that similar numbers will buy a product because of its packaging. If we want to encourage corporations to continue making strides for LGBTQ+ rights and advocacy, recognizing organizations that are doing it well is just as important as calling out the corporations who are getting it wrong.

Free Dad Hugs

Man’s Free Dad Hugs Shirt At Pride Parade Sparks Viral Reaction

When we think of novelty t-shirts, a strong majority are pretty terrible. We make t-shirts for every other event out there and they’re cool for a day, then disappear. More than 14.3 million tons of American textiles help clothe people around the world, many of which are event apparel of some sort. Dads are especially renowned for making and wearing some of the best/worst shirts ever. We could list them, but the general concept is seeing your Dad wear some shirt he finds clever and you shake your head.

One Dad heard his friend was going to the Pride Parade in Pittsburgh wearing a shirt that said free Mom hugs and decided he wanted to join. Scott Dittman, inspired by his friend Deanna, didn’t know how much they were about to mean to the LGBTQ+ community. The organization Deanna was attending with is called Free Mom Hugs, an LGBTQ+ ally group that aims to help build a better tomorrow, literally one hug at a time.

Free Dad Hugs

Photo Courtesy of Howie Dittman/Facebook

“My first thought was, I’m thinking the rate of rejection from fathers is probably higher than mothers,” Dittman said. “I can give dad hugs.”

So he got his free Dad hugs shirt and joined the parade. There are technically three categories of high-visibility safety apparel out there, but the free Dad hugs shirt was about to become the fourth. He was about to learn too many people hadn’t felt safe in the arms of their own father’s in a long time. The first person he hugged was standing in front of him, with tears in her eyes. He said she just thanked him over and over again. The next hug was a gay man who had been abandoned by his parents at 19 years old because of his sexuality.

“He just sobbed and sobbed and thanked us,” said Dittman. “He just melted. It was an honor to be involved in that, but it was terrible at the same time.”

Lots of hugs were exchanged that day, with more emotions than Dittman admitted expecting. Never really thinking himself as an LGBTQ+ ally other than having a heart for human beings, he was distraught with how something as seemingly small as hugs impacted so many people.

“You could tell they hadn’t had something as simple as a hug from their dad in a long time. That broke my heart,” he said.

Afterward, he was righteously upset. So he let it fly, telling the story of the day briefly, complete with how it impacted him and admonishing parents who have all but disowned their kids because of who they are.

“Imagine that, parents. Imagine that your child feels SO LOST FROM YOU that they sink into the arms of a complete stranger and sob endlessly just because that stranger is wearing a shirt offering hugs from a dad. Think of the depths of their pain. Try to imagine how deep those cuts must be. Please don’t be the parent of a child that has to shoulder that burden. I met WAY too many of them, of all ages, today,” the post said.

Other than venting, he didn’t expect his post to make any waves. With his message and the number of mobile search users slated to hit 221 million by 2020, the post quickly went viral. Approximately 248,000 shares and 341,000 likes later, the post made big waves. He reported receiving over 1,500 responses from parents around the country who were broken by his words because he was speaking directly to them.

“I’ve had so many parents reach out to me saying they’ve been crying for days, saying they’ve been those parents, and they’ve reached out to their children they haven’t talked to in years,” said Dittman.

He reported that one young person reached out to him saying that he’d saved their life that day with his post. Stirred, he isn’t planning on ceasing with being an active ally and free Dad hugs. That day helped so many people and, before he went there, he’d merely assumed his shirt would get some smiles. That day changed him and his perspective.

“It’s humbling, but it’s sad,” he explains. “It’s sad that some guy in some small town western Pennsylvania is having that much of an impact when that impact should’ve been made and when they shouldn’t have even needed it because they weren’t abandoned in the first place.”

As we age, more than half of adults over 50 agree that our smiles remain our most attractive physical features. Dittman didn’t know he’d cause so many smiles that day. The point to which it humbled and angered him, marks the internal shift that more people need to feel. A little anger and a lot of love go a long way.

 

Kiehl’s Celebrates 15 Years of New York City’s Pride Parade

To honor their 15 years of celebrating Pride, their 7th year as an official sponsor of the Pride parade, and supporting LGBTQ rights and equality in New York, Kiehl’s held their annual NYC Pride Kickoff Party at their historic flagship. The wonderful event was hosted, as always, by Kiehl’s President, Chris Salgardo, with a special performance by Canadian indie pop singing duo Tegan and Sara, and a music set by go-to party favorites, The Misshapes.

The Kiehl’s flagship location was packed corner to corner as guests enjoyed delicious cocktails, some great music, delicious eats from original Filipino Taqueria, 2ND City, who kept the crowd sated with their Bi-Curious Tacos (a choice of any two out of the available chicken, “fresh catch” fish, and short ribs), and Phin & Phebes Ice Cream kept the overheated crowd cool with their decadent flavors, like Pistachio Honeycomb, Peanut Butter Mallow, Vanilla Malt Cookie Dough, and Dark Chocolate Salty Caramel.

As they generously do every year,  Chris Salgardo and Kiehl’s made donations to some very wonderful charities. Actually, in honor of 15 years of Kiehl’s pride, he made several donations, four donations to be exact, each totaling $5,000.00.

The lucky donation recipients included the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBT community center helping LGBT homeless youth in the US; The Hetrick-Martin Institute, the leading professional provider of social support and programming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; NYC’s LGBT Community Center, a home and resource hub for the LGBT community, NYC residents and visitors where they can connect and engage, and find support; and The Tegan and Sara Foundation, a foundation that works for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women. After the check presentations, we were treated to a wonderful performance by Tegan and Sara, who collaborated with Kiehl’s on a Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream, and Limited Edition Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, where 100% of Kiehl’s net profits from the sale of these products benefited the Tegan and Sara Foundation (see above check for $5,000).

The Ultra Facial Cream is Kiehl’s best-selling 24-hour daily face moisturizer. It helps reduce moisture loss while drawing and absorbing moisture from the air, to continuously replenish moisture throughout the day. The Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream provides 24-hour hydration for normal to oily skin types. This non-greasy hydrator moisturizes and conditions skin with a fresh texture.

Some of the Kiehl’s NYC Pride Kickoff Party attendees include Orange is the New Black’s Kelly Karbacz, Fashion Designer Timo Weiland, Miss Jay Alexander of ANTM fame, smoldering UK import Cameron Moir, Exquisite, Miss Queens Sateen, and famed transgender model, celebutante, singer, and performance artist, Amanda Lepore (pictured below in the middle).

We have a great time dancing the night away at this great charity event. How did you celebrate Pride?

Kapten & Son Limited Edition PRIDE Watch to Celebrate LGBT Pride Month

In case you didn’t know, tomorrow, June 1st, marks the beginning of LGBT Pride Month.  This month honors the Stonewall riots, which happened in Greenwich Village, at the end of June 1969. This month commemorates all who celebrate, fight for, and love the LGBT community. To celebrate this impactful month, Kapten & Son, the affordable luxury brand that offers adventurous and stylish accessories, is launching a Kapten & Son Limited Edition PRIDE watch to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

Each Kapten & Son limited edition PRIDE watch features a custom rainbow nylon band and stylish stainless steel 316L casing (rose gold or silver), a white or black watch face, and is available in two sizes – Campina at 36mm and Campus at 40mm diameters. This limited-edition watch not only looks very fashionable, it does great work as well (and we’re not referring to its precision timekeeping). 15% of proceeds from the sale of each watch benefiting Heritage of Pride, the non-profit organization that produces New York City’s official LGBT Pride events each year.

“We are grateful to Kapten & Son for their support of our efforts and community,” said Chris Frederick, Managing Director of Heritage of Pride. “The Pride watch is a great way to show your pride and support, through continued visibility for the community, and the funds raised will help support our programming.”

Other features of the Kapten & Son Limited edition PRIDE watch include 7 MM case size,  Ronda 762 quartz movement, and 5 ATM ~50M water­proofness.

Founded in 2014 by three college friends, Artjem Weissbeck, Fabian Deventer and Johannes Theobald, Kapten & Son offers watches and sunglasses designed to be the perfect companion for the global wanderer, celebrating today’s generation and each individual’s unique journey.

The Kapten & Son Limited edition PRIDE watch will be available exclusively online at www.kapten-son.com, ($149.00 for Campina, $159.00 for Campus) starting tomorrow, June 1st. The rainbow watch strap by itself is available for only $19.00 and easily fits other Kapten & Son watches. More than 700 global retailers, including Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Need Supply, and more carry Kapten & Son watches.