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Starting with the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969, Pride Month both commemorates and celebrates LGBTQ+ activism and culture through the years. Here’s what Brown Thomas did to celebrate this year…

For over 20 years now, the month of June has been officially recognised as Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. But the celebrations actually began decades before that, after the 1969 Stonewall riots inspired a Gay Pride March the following year. Since that time, June has always held special significance for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

And as Pride month comes to a close, it is important to take the time to reflect on this symbolic time of year. Pride is not just a celebration of LGBTQ+ voices, culture, and experiences — it also creates visibility for under-represented groups and encourages us all to be our authentic selves. A value that is at the core of Brown Thomas. Although we have relished in the Pride celebrations throughout June, for us, being proud is part of our culture all year round - not just in June.

Doing the right thing is one of our key values as a business, and that means ensuring that everyone’s voice is valued. We work to weave inclusivity into everything we do, from ensuring that we attract talent with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and views; to fostering a welcoming and inclusive culture across our business.

Embracing different perspectives, welcoming different voices, and leveraging our collective strengths has been the secret to our success for almost 200 years. We exist to imagine and create a sustainable future for our people, customers and communities. So much so that we are committed to a workplace where equal opportunity and unbiased treatment forms the foundation of our Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

We stand for a diverse and inclusive workforce and are committed to fostering an equal, diverse and inclusive culture, where all of our team members are treated with the utmost respect and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Donald McDonald, Managing Director, Brown Thomas Arnotts.

For Pride Month this year, it was just as important as ever to show our support for Diversity and Inclusion. From becoming proud sponsors of Dublin Pride 2021 to wrapping the Brown Thomas bridge with Pride flag colours, here are just some of the ways we celebrated Pride Month…

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Creating awareness and showcasing visibility is a key part of what Pride Month is all about. With this in mind, we decided to do just that by wrapping the iconic Brown Thomas bridge at our Grafton Street store with Pride flag colours. Furthermore, we displayed the Pride flag directly outside our Brown Thomas stores as well as creating Pride coloured logos for our social media avatars.

In 2021 we became Certified Proud. Certified Proud is a membership accreditation body for businesses across Ireland committing to make a safe workplace where #WeAllBelong and Positive Environment for LGBTQ+ team members and customers, embracing differences and supporting the LGBTQ+ community all year round.

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To celebrate Pride Month, we decided to share our platform and shine a spotlight on some of the leading artists in the LGBTQ+ community. Aptly named ‘Friends of Brown Thomas’, the series ran across our social media platforms. We heard from a wide variety of artists including contemporary pop artist, Tim Chadwick; designer and creative director, Kyle Cheldon Barnett; singer-songwriter Bobbi Arlo and photographer Niamh Barry. In it, each opined on what Pride means to them and how art influences their identity. What’s more, on June 26, to celebrate the official day of the Pride parade, we had two live performances from Chadwick and barabArlo air on our social media pages. Don't worry if you missed it, you can watch back their live performances and catch up on the entire 'Friends of Brown Thomas' series here...

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The aforementioned ‘Friends of Brown Thomas’ campaign also featured artist, Emmalene Blake and drag artist, Viola Gayvis. The two paired up for a piece of street art commissioned by Brown Thomas on Clarendon Street. As painted by Blake, The mural, painted by Blake, depicts a portrait of Viola Gayvis with the words ‘Our words have consequences, speak with pride’ emblazoned on the wall.


You can learn more about our diversity & inclusion strategy here.