The first Pride marches were held in June 1970, a year after the Stonewall Uprising in New York City. But of course, those events were a direct result of many decades of prior organizing by LGBTQ+ activists. For more than 50 years since Stonewall, Pride marches and gatherings have taken place each June in the United States and across the globe—and often extend throughout the year.
Queer and trans people have always existed, but the journey to achieve basic LGBTQ+ rights has been long and complicated. Throughout its history, the queer community has faced violence, incrimination and ostracization. We’ve made incredible leaps forward in recent decades, but now we’re seeing a backlash following that progress.
This year, observing LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations is more important than ever in light of the recent upsurge in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the US and elsewhere. In the last few years alone, US states have advanced nearly 500 bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights. In 2022, violence against LGBTQ+ people in Europe reached its highest point in the past decade. And in most countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the LGTBQ+ community is criminalized and unprotected.
Our community members are sad, disappointed, angry and concerned for their safety. Sometimes, we feel like people are trying to invalidate our existence and our families. But we also know that elevating queer joy is a powerful act of resistance. Individuals, advocacy groups and multinational companies like Equinix can do a lot to support and strengthen the LGBTQ+ community. To that end, in our PrideConnect community at Equinix, we’ve chosen the theme of elevating queer joy for Pride 2023.
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Equinix PrideConnect: Who and why we are
Inclusivity is a keystone of our culture at Equinix, and we’ll be celebrating Pride this month and all throughout the year. Our PrideConnect Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECNs) create a safe, supportive, positive space for dialogue, learning and allyship at Equinix and in our communities. The group brings people together to connect, have conversations and learn from each other—and to ensure that Equinix is a leading employer for the LGBTQ+ community.
Importantly, PrideConnect is a space for the queer community to be truly celebrated for who we are. Tolerance and acceptance aren’t enough—so we’re cultivating a culture where LGBTQ+ employees can be fully supported and show up as themselves, including in countries where being queer is illegal or punishable.
For Pride 2023, PrideConnect will host celebrations in Ashburn, Toronto, Redwood City, New York City, Madrid, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Sydney. These events include historic tours, panel discussions on the current sociopolitical landscape for LGBTQ+ folks, watch parties, Pride parades, happy hours and more.
What does “elevating queer joy” mean?
We chose the theme of elevating queer joy this year to empower our LGBTQ+ employees to be their full selves at Equinix. In the face of attacks on our community, unapologetic queer joy can be a radical act of resistance. We will continue our commitment to the work of advocacy and activism on behalf of the community, and at the same time, we will celebrate our queer family and embrace queer joy.
Queer joy is: Blossoming outside of rigid gender roles and norms, seeing LGBTQIA+ people in leadership roles, knowing I can be myself without fear of violence, expressing myself freely through clothes, being surrounded by a diverse and powerful community.”— Oxfam International
To us, queer joy means giving space to LGBTQ+ people and allies to be themselves, to love who they love, and to express themselves authentically. It’s about equal treatment and access to everything heterosexual and cisgender people have.
In 2023, PrideConnect is elevating queer joy with a fun creative design competition called FASHUN. We invited the PrideConnect community to submit apparel designs for our company store. The winning designs will be selected for Equinix branded apparel and made available to all employees for purchase.
How Equinix advocates for the LGBTQ+ community
Thanks to the work of the PrideConnect community, Equinix has received external recognition for our work on LGBTQ+ rights: In 2022, Equinix scored 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index and was designated one of the HRC Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality. We were selected as a Stonewall Top 100 Global Employer and a Bronze winner of the 2022 Global Workplace Equality Index. And we’ve received regional accolades too: Equinix Japan was awarded the gold from Pride Index 2022.
We recognize that support for marginalized groups like the LGBTQ+ community requires more than just words and rainbow brand logos. It’s about actions that make a tangible difference in the lives of queer people and the health of our workforce.
Here are some of the concrete actions we’ve taken at Equinix to support and uplift our LGBTQ+ community:
1. Creating a workplace where LGBTQ+ employees are celebrated year-round and globally.
We’re committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture at Equinix, and our EECNs are essential to that. Equinix strives to be a place where every employee can say, “I’m safe, I belong, and I matter.”
2. Ensuring representation for the LGBTQ+ community in positions of leadership.
Representation matters, and the visibility of queer leadership is an important part of creating an inclusive culture. At Equinix, we’ve more than doubled the number of leaders who self-identify as LGBTQ+ in our senior leadership team in the last 5 years.
3. Providing workforce protections for sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
Our company policy includes vital workforce protections for sexuality and gender across all operations.
4. Providing inclusive benefits to same-sex partners and families.
In most countries, same and different-sex spouses, domestic partners and families receive equivalent medical and soft benefits, and transgender individuals receive equal health coverage without exclusion for medically necessary care. We’re actively working with local HR to review these benefits in all countries where we have employees.
5. Educating our broader Equinix workforce through our SOGIE curriculum to increase allyship.
Equinix launched a sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) curriculum and hosted workshops on SOGIE with leaders across the company. SOGIE training increases knowledge, tools and resources for allies of the LGBTQ+ community.
6. Using our platform to raise awareness, provide education about LGBTQ+ issues and celebrate the queer community.
As a company, Equinix continues to show support at external events, join campaigns to support LGBTQ+ rights and partner with like-minded organizations to further LGBTQ+ equality.
Elevate queer joy with us, today and everyday
Equinix and the PrideConnect network are steadfast in our commitment to celebrating Pride and making our company culture as inclusive as possible throughout the year. Diversity benefits all of us and helps us deliver greater creativity and innovation. We hope you’ll join us this month in uplifting the LGBTQ+ community and elevating our queer joy, even as we face new and demanding challenges.
Explore opportunities to join the vibrant Equinix community by visiting our careers webpage.
 The Library of Congress, The History of Pride: How Activists Fought to Create LGBTQ+ Pride.
 ACLU, Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures, May 19, 2023.
 Learn more about global anti-LGBTQ laws: Human Rights Watch, LGBT Rights, #OUTLAWED: “The love that dare not speak its name”.