Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating

Marketing the Rainbow: BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable

Car brands have been targeting the LGBT consumer (especially the L and G) very early on – as buying a car involves quite a bit of money. Some brands focus on gay men, others typically on lesbians – but in recent years it’s mostly been ‘loading the brand’ with diversity, via lifestyle campaigns.

It is not only about convincing the LGBT to buy that car, but also to remain loyal to the brand (repeat purchases), and above all to recommend it to ‘relatives’ in the LGBT community (NPS, member get member). See also my articles A pink Cadillac?, Subaru – the ladies love it and Toyota, ally since 1992. Saturn was there early, and 20 years ago Mercedes also contributed. Their compatriot BMW started Marketing the Rainbow a little later, but has since shown a few nice campaigns. ‘Ride with Pride’, ‘Driven by Diversity’: the slogans write themselves.

Introduction

BMW is a German multinational company (est. 1916), which produces luxury automobiles and motorcycles in Germany, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the UK, and the US. They also own Mini and Rolls-Royce. The company has significant motorsport history, especially in Formula 1, sports cars and the Isle of Man TT: it’s all very masculine.

BMW’s corporate home page includes a section on Diversity, where they say: “For us, diversity means living a culture that is based on appreciation and respect, so that people of all origins can contribute and develop with their personality and identity. BMW Group PRIDE stands for exactly that. The network acts as the mouthpiece of the LGBT+ community where diversity, equality, trust, respect and inclusion come first. Together, we ensure a positive, tolerant and open work environment in which everyone is welcome regardless of their sexual identity.”

The beginning: a paradox

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 2

It started in 2006 with a paradox: BMW of North America came under fire from Gaywheels.com – for advertising in gay and lesbian magazines. They called BMW hypocritical by targeting “the deep pockets” of gays and lesbians in publications like OUT and The Advocate, but didn’t offer domestic-partner benefits to employees. Their sister brands Mini and Rolls-Royce were already steps ahead. This changed in 2008, when BMW followed the colleagues, after which Gaywheels endorsed them as gay-friendly.

Local initiatives

A year before, a local dealer in Texas, Classic BMW, had started to look at the gay drivers. One ad stated “Being Out Has Never Been So In”. Another aimed at lesbians with the slogan “Freedom to Go Where You Want and Be Who You Are”.  A third ad was more neutral and stated: “It’s about respect”.

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 3

Next steps

In 2007, they ran a teasing campaign which included billboards: the visual showed a convertible with the text “Hard Top. Firm Bottom. It’s so L.A.”, playing with words commonly known in the gay world. Another read: “When the top’s away, the car will play”. They were the work of David Morris Parson, who was rewarded with the Commercial Closet Award, for respecting diversity. However, the use of stereotypes was not appreciated by everyone. A market survey in Texas revealed that the target group found the ad, in particular the tagline, both offensive and insulting (sic.), because they used negative stereotypes, in this case the promiscuous gay.

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 4

BMW of North America was a top sponsor of the 2012 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair of the National LGBT Bar Association.

In California, Berkeley Motor Works listed itself in the GayPinkSpots directory as gay-friendly BMW auto repair shop.

In Palm Springs, the BMW Performance Driving School considered itself to be a Palm Springs Area Destination, possibly of the gay kind, by being included on the visitgaypalmsprings.com website. 

In 2015, the BMW 2 Series received the Pink Brand of the Year Award in Belgium. They commented: “The LGBT community really likes our BMW 2 Series. This week, we received the Pink Brand of the Year Award and we are proud of it. Because sheer driving pleasure is for everyone.”

A report conducted in China in 2016 showed that “if you were to stereotype members of the LGBT community in China, you’d come to find that China’s gay men have deemed BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi to be their top three auto brands. Meanwhile, lesbians picked Land Rover, Lamborghini, and Mini Cooper.”

In New York, BMW and Bleu Magazine organized an “ultimate brunch”, celebrating the vibrant culture of the LGBT community, similar to a Chicago event.

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 5

And now… “Thought Leadership”

In 2017, Hildegard Wortmann, Senior VP BMW, said: “To stay relevant to digital natives, who are more interested in smartphones than cars, automakers must be prepared to take more risks when positioning their brands and not shy away from edgy subject matter“. Since advertising no longer has the same reach, marketing executives need to be more willing to stretch the limits and be prepared to go directly to the customers and take a stance on key social issues such as gay and lesbian rights. She referred to it as providing “thought leadership.” Her team placed a specially designed BMW i8 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, making a connection with “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’  roll”. Taking the risk brought rewards as the social media impact was immediate with people posting pictures of themselves in front of the BMW i8. “We’re using their community in order to boost our message,” Wortmann said.

BMW i served as an official partner of the Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival more than once. The festival is not specifically gay or gay-friendly though.

Vanity…

The story behind the British vanity licence plate “YES I GAY” is a bit vague and might be a hoax, as it appeared on two different silver BMW’s. The plate was not issued by BMW though, and just happened to be attached to one. Or two?

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 9

Unexplainable

In the 2018 campaign “Unexplainable”, a 30-second beautiful lifestyle video features a series of kisses at the end: one kiss is shared between two men. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Prides around the world

Over the years, they were present at – or supported – pride festivals around the world.

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 10

WorldPride 2019

During the 2019 WorldPride in New York, there was an extensive program. BMW launched the #GoWithPride campaign: the programming included the creation of a custom wrapped BMW 8 Series, together with Jonathan Adler, who shared his journey to the WorldPride NYC Parade in the BMW 8 Series Convertible on BMWUSA’s Instagram page.

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 11

Also, there was a partnership with CNN, the “QUEER CITY: A CNN Experience”, a multimedia museum experience, which explored the real stories of people behind landmark moment in New York City’s queer history. At the location, BMW set up a photo booth, where visitors could take a picture expressing what Pride meant to them. These then became part of an exhibit wall thus including attendees into the festivities.

A fleet of #GoWithPride wrapped BMW 8 Series Convertibles carried the WorldPride Parade’s grand marshals. BMW partnered with GLAAD, outside of their NYC headquarters leading up to the weekend’s events. The company made a donation to GLAAD and provided food, beverages and giveaways, while a fleet of BMW X7 Sports Activity Vehicles delivered t-shirts to over 200 GLAAD volunteers.

2020 Driven By Pride

In 2020, while corona prevented Pride festivals to be celebrated “as usual”, BMW of North America launched a new campaign in celebration of Pride Month, entitled “Driven By Pride.” It featured various activations, including BMW’s support of The Trevor Project’s “Pride Everywhere” campaign, and communications across BMW’s digital channels.

NYC Pride hosted a special broadcast event featuring five custom-wrapped BMW 8 Series Convertibles. The vehicles featured blended rainbow colors that represent the entire Pride flag and LGBT+ community, as well as a special “PRIDE” BMW roundel design on the hood of each vehicle, replacing the BMW letters with PRIDE.  

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 12

Along with the car show, the event included live musical performances from Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Deborah Cox and Luisa Sonza. In addition, the broadcast features grand marshals from the LGBT+ community, including Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek. 

“While many of this year’s live Pride activities were cancelled out of necessity, BMW continues to stand with the LGBT+ community in this celebration of Pride and unity,” said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. “As the world continues to demonstrate for racial equality and justice amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more urgent time to celebrate togetherness and unity.” 

IDAHOBIT 2021

Through their employee platform, attention was given to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. 

2021 Driven By Pride

For the third year the Driven By Pride campaign was run. It featured designer LaQuan Smith rejoining forces with BMW to design original Pride vehicle wraps for the BMW 4 Series Coupe, following Smith’s role in BMW’s New York Fashion Week partnership.

The wrap was to be featured on five BMW 4 Series vehicles in the annual New York City Pride parade, which in the end only took place virtually.

For the same event, performer, activist and world-renowned drag queen, Shangela, joined BMW for digital content as part of the Pride campaign. She also joined GLAAD’s head of talent, Anthony Ramos, for an Instagram Live interview, sponsored by BMW.

Gay Games Munich

On Facebook the BMW Group PRIDE, together with “The Proud Wiesn”, one of the big LGBT+ Oktoberfest events – sponsored by BMW – rooted for their hometown Munich to be the host for the Gay Games 2026. Messages of support were also posted on Instagram. The honor went to Valencia.

Marketing the Rainbow BMW, from paradox to Unexplainable - on OutBuro LGBTQ Community Social Networking Online Gay Men Lesbian Woman Bisexual Trans Transgender Nonbinary Queer dating 14

Conclusion

A little later than other car brands, BMW joined the rainbow train. This was selective and always befitting their luxurious character. Often cars were decorated in Pride colors, activities around Pride were sponsored or even organized. Outside of these events, the brand doesn’t do much, although the casual kiss in a TV commercial does earn points. There were also collaborations with various charities. They therefore score a 7.5/10.

Transgender Conference Educates Community Focuses on Unmet Needs OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian queer bisexual nonbinary

Transgender Conference Educates Community, Focuses on Unmet Needs  

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Members of the transgender community gathered en masse for the first time since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to connect on several key issues, from employment opportunities and best practices to understanding the current legal status of key rights, such as the ability to self-identify or change names.


The Center for Transgender Care at Northwell Health and the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell kicked off Transgender Week by hosting the third annual Long Island, Transgender, Gender Non-Confirming, Non-Binary (TGNCNB) Conference on November 14 at Hofstra University. More than 100 participants attended the conference, which was supported by the Northwell Health Transgender Community Advisory Board and an ongoing contribution for transgender education from Steven and Stacy Hoffman.

“Northwell has treated more than 1,200 transgender individuals across Long Island since we began the Center for Transgender Care,” said David Rosenthal, DO, PhD, medical director of the LGBT Health/Transgender Program at Northwell Health. “Their needs are physical, mental and social, so it is essential that we create partnerships with community organizations who serve this community. This conference is created for, and by, the community here in Long Island.”

This year’s conference focused on medical care, social support and addressing unmet needs on Long Island for TGNCNB individuals both in adolescence and adulthood, as well as their parents and children. Educational workshops focused on community agencies and their services and highlighted topics regarding legal name change, an introduction to transgender vocabulary, health and wellness, loving yourself, positive parenting of gender expansive youth, physical fitness, education on assisting a transgender child post-COVID-19 and employment challenges and strategies in the trans community.

“This conference brought together medical providers from Northwell Health, community based organizations and our patients and their families to speak about issues of importance for Transgender Care in Long Island,” said Sundeep Boparai, MHA, operations manager for Northwell’s LGBT Transgender Program.

Several community-based organizations took part: LGBT Network, Pride for Youth, Transgender Legal Defense Fund, Camp Ga’avah, PFLAG Long Island, Thursday’s Child, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, The Out Foundation, Changing the Game and the NY Transgender Bodybuilding Federation.

The event also took time to commemorate the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is November 20. In 2021 alone, at least 46 individuals nationwide have been killed due to transgender violence.

“Trans folxs are regular people, and like each and every one of us, they need the same health care and family support,” Dr. Rosenthal said. “We cannot tolerate discrimination and hatred against people living their authentic lives.”

The Center for Transgender Care can be reached at CenterForTransCare@northwell.edu or 516-622-5195.

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 77,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Contacts

Jason Molinet

516-321-6705

jmolinet@northwell.edu

Groundbreaking Documentary “A Day of Trans” Explores the Experiences of Three Generations of Transgender Individuals in China OutBuro lgbtq professionals networking online community

Groundbreaking Documentary “A Day of Trans” Explores the Experiences of Three Generations of Transgender Individuals in China

In honor of the upcoming 2021 Transgender Day of Remembrance, filmmaker Yennefer Fang hopes her latest project will help move the needle of trans representation in China.

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ADayOfTrans–Independent filmmaker and LGBTQ+ rights advocate Yennefer Fang today announced the release of her latest equity-focused documentary, “A Day of Trans” (2021). This short film depicts the real lives of four Chinese transgender individuals – across three generations – and spotlights the unique challenges facing sexual minorities groups in the country. The documentary’s release comes in recognition of this year’s International Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 to honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Inspired by Fang’s own life experience, the short documentary uses an interview-style approach to describe to the audience how lives of the transgender group in China have been dramatically transformed as the country’s economy continues to grow. The documentary also focuses on the institutionalized imbalance and social barriers affecting transgender individuals of different ages, classes, educational backgrounds, and income levels.

Fang tries to dispel misconceptions through the documentary, including the perception that “transgenderism” is a contemporary or white, middle-class western term.

Fang says, “Transgender is not an exclusively western concept. Different generations of Chinese transgender people have been navigating their unique sets of economic and social challenges. They have different needs – from institutional protection to social welfare, from equal employment to health care. While the younger generations embrace more freedom of self-expression, systematic barriers remain for most transgender people.”

Fang also proposes critical questions about taken-for-granted gender assumptions in today’s mainstream culture, often intertwined with economic disparity and systemic marginalization.

“A transgender woman’s experience is different from a transgender man’s experience. It is inherently imbalanced due to the gender power structure, rooted in sexism, the dominant system that privileges men and masculinity. When women gain more equality, other sexual minorities also tend to achieve more equality,” said Fang.

On the screen, the four incredible individuals each offer a perspective that is rarely found in today’s social conversation: from the cultural revolution and the economic “opening-up” to the Generation-Z era that is underpinned by consumerism, each generation’s transgender individual chooses to define their identity with their own voice, or simply do not want to do so on non-binary terms.

Numerous local non-profit organizations supported the highly anticipated LGBTQ short film to increase positive awareness of the transgender community, which is often underrepresented or misrepresented in the motion-picture industry and foster more understanding and acceptance.

“We are proud to support Yennefer Fang as we believe that the best way to educate the public about the transgender community is by watching documentaries, movies, and TV shows that reflect the reality of trans lives. We hope that this powerful documentary will inspire dialogue, confront unexamined assumptions, celebrate the progress already made, and shed a spotlight on the unfinished work that still needs to be done in the fight for equality,” said He Tao, Head of Trans Projects at the Beijing LGBT Center, a non-profit, community-based organization empowering the LGBTQ+ community by providing social services and organizing advocacy programs.

The premiere was held at a local theatre in Beijing on November 18.

The “A Day of Trans” (2021) documentary is now available on Vimeo and YouTube.

About Yennefer Fang

Yennefer is a transgender independent filmmaker, producer, choreographer, dancer, and actress based in Beijing, dedicated to bringing more stories about LGBTQIA groups onto the big screen.

At the age of 16, Yennefer discovered her interest in the creative production field and her passion for defining how people interact with the mass media and how those interactions shape our culture and daily experiences.

She began her career by directing shows and performances about female empowerment in China. Later in the United States, she participated in numerous film projects centered around LGBTQIA groups as a producer and a cast member. In 2017, Yennefer worked as Second Assistant Director in The Eight Hundred, a Chinese historical war drama film directed by and co-written by Guan Hu and premiered in 2020.

She also co-led a destination commercial for China’s Liaoning Province and presented her work for the first time at Times Square in New York City in the following year. She later accumulated her experience in Hollywood by working as an Assistant Producer in Swimming (2017) and joined movements that support more Asian American and minority women representation in the motion-picture industry.

Contacts

Media Contacts
Kristofer Zhu: kzhu@golinmagic.com
Rhoda Adams: radams@golinmagic.com

Fenway Health brief shows anti-transgender bills harm the trans youth by curbing access to care and athletic activities, and contributing to stigma and discrimination OutBuro LGBTQ profeesionals

Fenway Health brief shows anti-transgender bills harm the trans youth by curbing access to care and athletic activities, and contributing to stigma and discrimination

BOSTON, Nov. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — In 2021, lawmakers from 33 state legislatures and assemblies representing every region of the country filed 98 bills that seek to restrict of the ability of transgender and gender diverse youth (TGD) to access health care, school facilities, and school athletics. A policy brief released by Fenway Health examines the potential harms to health that these bills pose to TGD youth—regardless of whether they are enacted into law or not.

“We are midway through National Transgender Awareness Month, which is a time to honor, celebrate, and advocate for transgender and gender diverse people,” said Carrie Richgels, lead author of the study and Manager of Policy and Advocacy at Fenway Health. “Despite the many barriers to health and well-being that transgender people face, many politicians are all too willing to play politics with the lives of transgender and gender diverse children and teenagers. We hope this policy brief can be used as a tool by health and legal advocates working to defeat these discriminatory bills.”

Approximately one-third of the bills filed in 2021 relating to TGD youth seek to prohibit or limit access to health care. The remainder seek to prohibit or limit the participation of transgender youth in school sports, with some also seeking to restrict access to public facilities such as school locker rooms and bathrooms.

“It is deeply concerning that at least six Arkansas TGD youth attempted suicide following passage of that state’s new law banning the practice of gender-affirming health care for youth,” said Julie Thompson, PA-C, Medical Director of Trans Health at Fenway Health. “Research shows that public debate about the rights of people who have been marginalized, including TGD youth, can have a significant negative impact on mental health, and these bills harm the health of TGD children and adolescents in three distinct ways. The first is by denying access to medically-necessary health care. The second is by subjecting TGD youth to government-sanctioned stigma and discrimination. The third is by denying access to educational activities and depriving TGD youth of the social, emotional, and health benefits such activities bring. Most troubling is that we now know that that lack of access to gender-affirming health care during childhood and adolescence can harm the mental health of TGD people over the course of their lifetimes, so the impact of these bills to the health of TGD youth will extend well into adulthood.”

“Without exception, these bills are based on bad science, and ignore the consensus of experts in medicine—including endocrinology, psychiatry, and psychology—in support of gender-affirming medical care,” said Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research at Fenway Health.

The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Endocrine Society, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health have each issued formal, public statements opposing passage of these bills.

“In stark contrast with states like Texas and Idaho that have enacted laws prohibiting transgender youth from participating in sports, the most elite athletic organizations in the world allow transgender athletes to compete in accordance with their gender identity,” Cahill added. “The National College Athletics Association adopted a policy in 2011 that allows transgender women to participate in women’s sports after one year of testosterone suppression. The International Olympic Committee requires transgender women to demonstrate that their total serum testosterone level has been below 10 nmol/L for at least one year prior to competition.”

“Lawsuits have been filed in state and district courts challenging the legality of the SAFE Act in Arkansas and other anti-transgender bills that have been enacted into law,” said Mason J. Dunn, JD, Deputy Director, Division of Education and Training at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health. “While this legal advocacy continues, it is incumbent upon school officials to remember that every child has a right to public education in this country and educators must create school cultures that support all youth, including TGD youth.”

The policy brief, titled “State bills restricting access of transgender youth to health care, school facilities, and school athletics threaten health and well-being,” outlines recommendations for clinicians, parents and other caregivers, school officials, and lawmakers. They include the following:

1. Medical providers have a responsibility to be familiar with the most up-to-date scientific and clinical information.

2. Parent and other caregivers should create a supportive home environment, connect their child or adolescent with gender affirming health care providers, and collaborate with school officials to create a plan to support your child.

3. School officials must:

  • Incorporate LGBTQIA+ history into the curriculum for all students.
  • Ensure that all students hear from LGBTQIA+ people, so that young people have a human face and experience to reference and relate to.
  • Establish firm policies around harassment to prevent bullying with clear procedures staff can follow.
  • Create space for kids to meet and interact with other kids like them. Gender-Sexuality Alliance programs allow LGBTQIA+ students and allies to come together in a protected space to share experiences.

“State bills restricting access of transgender youth to health care, school facilities, and school athletics threaten health and well-being,” is available online.

Media Contact

Christopher Viveiros, Fenway Health, 6179276342, cviveiros@fenwayhealth.org

SOURCE Fenway Health

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Your Voice Has the Power to Create Change - Rate Review Employer Anonymously Employer Feedback Branding OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

Your Voice has the Power to Create Change – LGBTQ+ Employees Rate/Review Your Employer

LGBTQ+ EmployeesReview/Rate your employers in support of LGBTQ Corporate Equality.

With a mask of anonymity, you can:

Any Company/Organization

Any Size – Large or Small

Any Location – Worldwide

Your Voice – Anonymously

Our Future

With the majority of US states not granting legal protections and rights for LGBTQ+ people along with this administration doing everything they can roll back the few protections in place, it’s left to companies to lead the charge by providing an LGBTQ+-friendly work environment through corporate policies and benefits.

OutBüro is a Glassdoor.com-like resource where you may share your experiences what it’s like working for your current and recent past employers – up to 5 years past

Why Rate Your Employer?

  • Studies have proven that the more diversity-focused a company is the more profitable they are 
  • Current measurements of Corporate LGBTQ+ Equality is Fortune 1000 level only and HR/Marketing department head SELF REPORTED with no/zero EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK.  
  • Your review may provide public accolades for progress already achieved by their current focus on LGBTQ+ Corporate Equality
  • Shine a light on problems – Is the company/organization not quite living up to LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality?  Let them know anonymously.  
  • You are making it a better environment for yourself, current and future co-workers  
  • You are providing a resource for job seekers to make informed decisions about where to work 
  • You are helping the company’s employer branding
  • You are helping it become a more profitable company improving shareholder value  
  • You are a SUPERHERO

OutBüro is striving to be a global resource for the LGBTQ+ community by empowering LGBTQ+ people with a voice to influence business, company and corporate culture to improve the work-life for all both now and in the future. It is a feedback system for companies to gauge their real progress toward full LGBTQ+ workplace equality.

Every company listing in the CompanyReviews Employer Listing is required to indicate if the company has the following policies, benefits, and programs in place or not.

  • Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Transgender-Inclusive Benefits
  • Has an LGBT Employee Resource Group
  • Public Commitment to LGBT Equality 
  • LGBT Inclusion Competency Training
  • If it operates in more than one country has the same policies and benefits globally 
  • Requires all vendors and contractors to have similar policies and benefits  Indicate the number of diversity in management
  • Indicate the number of LGBT in management 

Are LGBT-Friendly Policies Enough?

Simple answer – No.  Having LGBTQ+-friendly policies are wonderful and appreciated – but not the full picture. Remember, in the US Sexual Harassment policies have been in place since the late 70’s and still today it continues to happen. Just turn on the news. Now consider all the cases that do not make the news and those that go unreported. Discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ+ employees are no different. Just having policies is not enough. We must provide visibility and insight to make the change and ensure it is effective in its goals to protect.

Grab Your Spandex, Cape, and Mask 

Review your employer today

Healthline Media and BEAM Announce Black Trans Womens Wellness and Mental Health Grants OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

Healthline Media and BEAM Announce Black Trans Women’s Wellness and Mental Health Grants

Applications are now open for a new program that will award grants to Black trans women-led projects that support Black trans women’s mental health

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Healthline Media in partnership with the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) has today announced the Black Trans Women’s Wellness and Mental Health Grants. The new program will award three grants of up to $10,000 each to Black trans women-led projects that support Black trans women’s mental health.

Applications are now open, and winners will be announced in January 2022.

The grants are part of Healthline Media’s $100,000 investment in BEAM’s Black Wellness Innovation Fund, a series of innovative Black-led wellness programs designed to sustainably address unmet mental healthcare needs within Black communities and build a national movement dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of marginalized communities.

“Over the last 10 years it’s become more evident to the general public that dominant mental health interventions were not built with Black people in mind. This fund fills that gap by supporting innovative culture-based mental health interventions that invite Black communities across the country to heal on our own terms,” said Yolo Akili Robinson, Founder and Executive Director of BEAM.

“At Healthline Media, we are passionate about addressing disparities in access to health and wellness,” said Laurie Dewan, VP of Brand Insights and Communications at Healthline Media. “Through our partnership with BEAM and the Black Trans Women’s Wellness and Mental Health Grants, we are furthering our vision of a stronger, healthier world by centering Black trans women innovators and making direct investments in the well-being of Black trans women.”

Prioritizing the mental health of Black trans women

Black trans women currently experience the highest levels of violence and distress of any group and correspondingly high levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidality. This project aims to address disparities in mental health resources by supporting Black trans women-led projects that support Black trans women’s mental health through innovative approaches to healing and disability justice.

Winners will be selected by a panel of accomplished leaders in the Black trans community, including:

  • Dominique Morgan, Executive Director, Black and Pink Inc.
  • Aaryn Lang, Writer, Public Speaker & Media Personality
  • Valerie Spencer, Capacity Building & Social Services Specialist
  • Aryah Lester, Deputy Director, Transgender Strategy Center

“Disparities in mental health outcomes in the Black trans community deserve our attention. We are honored to continue our close work with BEAM to improve mental health outcomes by supporting leaders and mental health advocates within the Black trans community,” said Faye McCray, editor-in-chief of Psych Central, a Healthline Media brand. “Health equity is a top priority for Healthline, which is why we will continue to invest in the mental health of historically excluded communities.”

About BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective)

BEAM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to remove the barriers that Black and marginalized communities experience when trying to access or stay connected to mental health care and wellness resources. Through healing justice-based organizing, education, training, grantmaking and advocacy, BEAM envisions a world where there are no barriers to Black healing.

About Healthline Media

Healthline Media is the leading digital health and wellness property, reaching the most people on their road to well-being. The company delivers expert insights with a clear, human voice through its content, communities, and services. Healthline Media connects its partners with more than 94 million people each month (ComScore, August 2021) across its brand portfolio (which includes Healthline.com, MedicalNewsToday.com, Greatist.com, and PsychCentral.com), and connects its audiences with solutions to help them live fuller, richer lives. The company publishes more than 1,500 pieces of content a month, created by more than 250 writers, and reviewed by more than 125 medical experts, doctors, and clinicians. Every program and piece of content is purpose-built to make an impact and make wellness attainable for people everywhere. Healthline Media uses its platform to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable approach to wellness. Throughout its history, Healthline Media’s mission and vision have stayed constant: to make a stronger, healthier world. Healthline Media is based in San Francisco and owned by Red Ventures.

Contacts

Stacey Grimsrud

Bospar Public Relations

415.271.1028

Stacey@bospar.com

University of Phoenix Employees Celebrate Phoenix Pride Parade OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

University of Phoenix Employees Celebrate Phoenix Pride Parade

Employee Resource Group leads participation in Phoenix community event

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–University of Phoenix employees support the Phoenix Pride Parade, held November 6, the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community held in Phoenix, Arizona. University of Phoenix Employee Resource Group (ERG), Allies of Pride, with over 500 members, promotes the event to staff, students and faculty and provides volunteer support.

During the pandemic, many similar celebrations and in-person community events and support opportunities were cancelled or delayed.

“It’s important to remember that Pride is not just a parade or a specific month in which we celebrate. Pride is what we do every day. It’s what’s inside us, how we live our lives open and honestly and how we support each other. Pride is never cancelled,” shares Julie Fink, vice president of Human Resources at University of Phoenix. “However, we are excited to have a visual and in-person celebration of our community and support for each other, which is so critical as we emerge from a very difficult year and a half. This parade is an opportunity to celebrate, be together, and to support our loved ones, family members, and each other.”

The purpose of Allies of Pride employee resource group is to promote awareness within the University and community of LGBTQ understanding and acceptance. Additionally, the goal is to attract “allies” who support LGBTQ causes and rights to create a stronger support network both internally and externally of the organization.

“The University of Phoenix is dedicated to the work of advancing inclusion as part of its focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB),” Fink states. “It has received perfect successive scores on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This highlights the University’s willingness to review practices to make changes or adapt to evolving nondiscrimination views.”

The HRC Corporate Equality Index is a self-reported system that evaluates workplace equality in regard to specific criteria, including workforce protections, inclusive benefits, supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility, and responsible citizenship. University of Phoenix has received a perfect Equality Index score consecutively over the past four years.

Learn more about the Phoenix Pride Parade here.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACT: Sharla Hooper

University of Phoenix

sharla.hooper@phoenix.edu

New Identity Affirmation Project Helps Trans and Non-Binary People in the Name Change Process OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community transgender queer nonbinary

New “Identity Affirmation Project” Helps Trans and Non-Binary People in the Name Change Process

BOSTON, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A new student-led project has officially launched under the Center for Law and Social Responsibility at New England Law | Boston: The Identity Affirmation Project.

Learn more at www.nesl.edu/IAP.

Founded by law students Katharine Nakaue (she/they) and Greg Newman-Martinez (he/him), both in the evening program at New England Law, the Identity Affirmation Project aims to assist transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people in the process of legally changing their name or gender marker in Massachusetts, including probate court filings.

When a person identifies by a name or gender other than what was assigned at birth, they may seek to legally change their name or gender marker so official documents match their identity. The project’s mission is to guide people through often overwhelming legal steps at no cost.

After months of research, building community connections, and securing final approval from the Law Center’s Director, Professor David Siegel (he/him), the Identity Affirmation Project (IAP) is officially accepting participant inquiry forms from individuals who wish to start the legal name change process. For now, participants must be U.S. citizens, Massachusetts residents, and at least 18 years of age.

Co-founder Greg Newman-Martinez says they hope to expand services as the project grows. “We are so excited to be able to fill this need and provide some peace of mind for trans,  non-binary, and gender-nonconforming adults in Massachusetts. During the pilot phase, we successfully assisted several clients and also discovered that we would be able to take on more clients than originally anticipated. My hope, in addition to seeing this project continue to grow, is that similar services will be available across the country, and ultimately that these processes will become less burdensome.”

The probate filing process is often the most difficult to navigate. IAP participants receive assistance filing in probate court, and with name or gender marker changes on the following documentation:

  • Social Security Card
  • MA Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport
  • MA Birth Certificate
  • Other documents as needed

Fees associated with these documents may apply. Services through the Identity Affirmation Project are provided at no cost to the participant and volunteers can assist with seeking a waiver for court fees. Student volunteers guide participants through the probate and documentation processes with oversight from the project’s faculty advisor, Director of the Center for Law and Social Responsibility at New England Law, Professor David Siegel.

Siegel explained the importance of such work for the students as well as the individuals receiving assistance. “Fostering student-initiated, student-driven, and student-led projects like this is exactly why we created the Center for Law and Social Responsibility. Students who recognize critical legal needs and develop ways to meet them become lawyers who have impact.”

For more details, contact information, and an inquiry form for interested participants, visit www.nesl.edu/IAP.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND LAW | BOSTON
New England Law | Boston was founded in 1908 as Portia Law School, the first and only law school established exclusively for the education of women. Today, New England Law offers its co-ed student body flexible, convenient programs that combine rigorous academics, dynamic community, and early access to practical experience, as well as a diverse, global alumni network spanning 29 countries, 50 states, and 99 practice areas. For more information, visit www.nesl.edu.

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SOURCE New England Law | Boston

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Sams Club and Walmart to Launch First Eyewear Collection Created by the Legendary Elton John OutBuro lgbtq professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer

Sam’s Club and Walmart to Launch First Eyewear Collection Created by the Legendary Elton John

Elton John’s iconic style and famed music career comes to life through an exclusive new eyewear collection

Eyewear line gives fans access to high-quality, stylish products while benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Elton John Eyewear, a new line of stylish, accessible eyewear, is launching at Sam’s Club today and at Walmart later this week.

Elton John collaborated closely with the retailers on the development of the brand, with each pair inspired by his iconic style and famed music career. Each frame was given a name by Elton himself, like “Rocketman,” a nod to his chart-topping hit and most recent Academy Award Nominated film of the same name, “A-List” reflecting moments when he was at the peak of his career, and “Prodigy,” representing his rise from a shy piano prodigy in the UK to international celebrity. From their shapes and colors to their lenses, the goal of the collection was to ensure that there is a frame for every fan.

“Elton John Eyewear celebrates confidence, self-expression, and authenticity,” said Elton. “The line is designed to have something for everyone, so no matter who you are, you can always Look Yourself. It’s not just about glasses, it’s about changing the way people see themselves.”

The launch of Elton John Eyewear also furthers Walmart’s support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s mission. Walmart Inc. will donate a minimum of $1 million annually from the Elton John Eyewear collection to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation to increase HIV education and awareness and encourage individuals to take the first steps toward a healthier future.

“Our customers and members are going to love this collection. We’re thrilled to celebrate Elton John’s creativity and iconic style by launching a fun, on-trend eyewear collection that will help customers feel their best, all at an every day low price,” said Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer, Walmart US. “On top of that, we’re proud to shine a light on the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and donate a portion of the sales to their important mission.”

“We know Sam’s Club members and Walmart customers look to us for quality, on-trend brands at an amazing price, and the Elton John Eyewear Collection delivers just that,” said Megan Crozier, Chief Merchant, Sam’s Club. “We’ve created an eyewear line using materials, elements and contours across expressive silhouettes, making the brand feel like luxury at an affordable price, while also telling Elton John’s phenomenal story.”

The Foundations Collection

The exclusive, evergreen collection – The Foundations Collection – will be available for purchase nationwide in Sam’s Club Vision Centers and on samsclub.com today and at Walmart later this week.

The Foundations Collection includes 60 frames in total: 36 frames that are unique to Sam’s Club and 24 frames that are unique to Walmart. The frames will retail between $95-$100 and are available in prescription, non-prescription, sun and reader categories.

Each frame is embolized with a signature temple tip silhouette with “E” Star mark and Elton John iconic star brand detailing. All details were carefully planned and crafted, with frames featuring vibrant color attributes, elevated metals, and stones.

Elton John Eyewear Found Only at Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club will also offer its members two additional collections that celebrate Elton John’s confidence and self-expression. The Capsule Collection, designed for collectability, showcases Elton John’s musical journey. “The Formative Years” (Capsule I), represents Elton’s childhood and time as a student in music, so the eyewear reflects its most classic and conventional looks. “The Working Musician” (Capsule II) continues the story, showcasing the time when Elton John discovers Rock and Roll is his true calling. As such, the Capsule II offers next generation styles. Currently, five Capsule Collections are planned.

Finally, just in time for the holidays, Sam’s Club will launch The Master Collection. Drawn from Elton’s personal collection, Elton John Eyewear will recreate and reissue his most iconic looks with “collector” frames that are only available at samsclub.com. Each frame will be signed, numbered and sold in limited quantities, with retails starting at $350.

Next year, Elton John Eyewear is expected to offer additional frames, as well as expand its reach to additional locations across Walmart Inc. retail stores globally.

Walmart and Sam’s Club are committed to providing quality, affordable and accessible healthcare in the communities they serve. That includes offering affordable fresh foods and other grocery items, household essentials, and reduced-price prescriptions, along with a broad assortment of high-quality items at a great value, like Elton John Eyewear.

In addition to Elton John Eyewear, Walmart customers can also purchase the latest album by Elton John, The Lockdown Sessions, with an exclusive bonus track called Cold Heart (PS1 Remix) by Elton John & Dua Lipa. The CD is available for $13.97 in stores and Walmart.com.

About Elton John

Elton John’s career achievements to date are unsurpassed in their breadth and longevity. He is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 1 diamond, 40 platinum or multi-platinum, and 26 gold albums, over 50 Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. He holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind 1997”, which sold over 33 million copies. ‘Diamonds’ the Ultimate Greatest Hits album, reached the Top 5 of the UK album charts on its release in November 2017, becoming Elton’s 40th UK Top 40 album in the process. This release celebrated 50 years of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, having logged 67 entries, including nine No. 1s and 27 Top 10s. In August 2021, Elton achieved his 68th Hot 100 hit with single “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” featuring Dua Lipa. The wildly popular track marked his record return to the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 40, extending his run to 50 years. He now holds the longest span of Hot 100’s Top 40 appearances in history. In May 2021, he was honored with the iHeartRadio Icon Award in recognition of his incredible influence on music and pop culture.

In January 2018, Elton announced the “Farwell Yellow Brick Road” Tour at New York’s Gotham Hall. Encompassing five continents, and over 350 dates, the tour kicked off September 2018 and marks his retirement from touring after more than 50 years on the road. In 2019 it was named Billboard’s “Top Rock Tour” and Pollstar’s “Major Tour Of The Year.” To date, Elton has delivered more than 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries since launching his first tour in 1970. 2019 also saw the release of Rocketman and global bestselling autobiography, ME. An epic fantasy musical motion picture of Elton’s life, Rocketman has been a commercial and critical hit, taking close to $200m at the box office. The film has won an Oscar, two Golden Globe Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award and garnered BAFTA nominations. Its soundtrack was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award.

In 1992, Elton established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organizations and has raised over $515 million to date in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. In June 2019, President Emmanuel Macron presented Elton the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest award, for his lifetime contribution to the arts and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.

About Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club®, a division of Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Now in its 39th year, Sam’s Club continues to redefine warehouse shopping with its highly curated assortment of high-quality fresh food and Member’s Mark items, in addition to market leading technologies and services like Scan & Go, Curbside Pickup and home delivery service in select markets. To learn more about Sam’s Club, visit the Sam’s Club Newsroom, shop at samsclub.com, and interact with Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

About Elton John AIDS Foundation

The Elton John AIDS Foundation was established in 1992 and is one of the leading independent AIDS organisations in the world. The Foundation’s mission is simple: an end to the AIDS epidemic. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is committed to overcome the stigma, discrimination and neglect that keeps us from ending AIDS. With the mobilisation of our network of generous supporters and partners, we fund local experts across four continents to challenge discrimination, prevent infections and provide treatment as well as influencing governments to end AIDS. www.eltonjohnaidsfoundation.org

Contacts

Erin Hulliberger, Sam’s Club Media Relations

Carla Landon, Walmart Media Relations

1-800-331-0085 or news.walmart.com/reporter

AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the US Supreme Court OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian transgender queer bisexual nonbinary

AHF Files Brief Against CVS at the U.S. Supreme Court

9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier that HIV patients may make a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS for requiring HIV patients to use mail-order pharmacies or to go to a few of CVS’s selected specialty pharmacies, where patients say they are not getting full service

In 2018, AHF warned the U.S. Department of Justice that the then-proposed CVS merger with Aetna would create a monopoly-like behemoth that would harm patients, which appears to be the case here with pharmacy choice

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, filed a brief of amicus curiae with the Supreme Court of the United States earlier today in CVS Pharmacy, Inc. vs. Doe, a case set to be heard and decided by summer 2022.

In December 2020, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Doe vs. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. that people living with HIV can state a discrimination claim under the Affordable Care Act against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., for requiring them to use mail-order pharmacies to obtain HIV/AIDS medications or to go to one of a few designated “specialty” pharmacies that are little more than pick-up stations, as part of in-network pharmacy services for private insurance plans. CVS appealed the ruling and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. In its brief, AHF asks the Supreme Court to affirm the earlier judgement of the Ninth Circuit.

“For people living with HIV/AIDS, real specialty pharmacies and pharmacists that focus on HIV/AIDS and in-person treatment provide demonstrably superior care than do mail-order pharmacies and retail pharmacies. We believe that CVS’s denial of choice in pharmacy services for HIV/AIDS patients is both wrong and discriminatory,” said Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel — Litigation for AHF.

AHF’s amicus curiae brief focuses on three primary arguments:

  1. That U.S. Statutory Law Requires Courts to Protect People Living with HIV/AIDS from Disability Discrimination by Healthcare Providers,
  2. That Coerced Use of Mail-Order Pharmacies Is Highly Detrimental to People Living with HIV/AIDS, and
  3. That Coercing People Living with HIV/AIDS to Use Mail-Order Pharmacies Is a Disability-Rights Violation, by Both Intent and Impact.

“CVS said to people living with HIV that they can only go to a few of its selected pharmacies and/or be compelled to utilize its PBM’s mail order pharmacies. Patients asserted they weren’t getting full service there, which discriminated against them. They wanted to keep their current pharmacies which provide more comprehensive and specialty services,” said Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AHF. “We filed this amicus brief to support HIV/AIDS patients’ legal arguments in the case before the Supreme Court and to defend patients’ rights and choice in their pharmacy services.”

The December 2020 9th Circuit Court ruling validated AHF’s earlier warning of the CVS threat to the HIV response back in 2018. See AHF press statement (Nov. 28, 2018) “CVS-Aetna Merger is Bad for HIV Patients.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jonathan M. Eisenberg, Deputy General Counsel–Litigation for AHF +1.323.860.5361 w Jonathan.esienberg@ahf.org
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF +1.323.791.5526 [cell] +.323.308.1833 [work] gedk@aidshealth.org
John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy, AHF +1.202.774.4854 [cell] John.hassell@aidshealth.org