A few years ago, I had lunch with our chief marketing officer, Cammie Dunaway, and posed the question, "How could Yahoo! better serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, both inside and outside of the company?"
Shortly after that lunch, I founded Yahoo! Pride, the company’s LGBT employee stakeholder group. This group now includes over 150 LGBT employees in more than 13 Yahoo! offices around the world. We’ve worked with HR to solidify Yahoo!’s progressive employment policies and benefits. We organize educational, community outreach, and recruiting events. We hang a rainbow flag in Yahoo!’s headquarters for special occasions. And yes, we get our "family" together for a cocktail party every once in a while.
It's June and that means it's the peak of Gay Pride season. Our group is celebrating by unveiling our second annual Yahoo! LGBT Pride site. We have some fun in store and some hot debates lined up. Perhaps best of all, we’re calling on the LGBT community to help Yahoo! donate money to a charity that grants college scholarships to promising, but disadvantaged, LGBT youth.
Highlights of this year’s Yahoo! LGBT Pride site include:
- Yahoo! Answers: Notables from the LGBT community ask burning questions on topics ranging from mentoring gay youth to outing closeted celebrities for the millions of Answers users to weigh in on. These notables include celeb blogger Perez Hilton, former NBA player John Amaechi, “Ugly Betty” star Judith Light, PFLAG President John Cepek, and local SF favorites, Fernando & Greg, who host the nation’s only all-gay radio morning show.
- Flickr: See Pride photos on a world map. For each photo uploaded to our Pride photo pool, Yahoo! will donate $1 to the Point Foundation (up to $25,000).
- Yahoo! Avatars: The newest fashions, for a (stereotypically) fashionable audience. PFLAG shirts, pride shirts, rainbows galore, leather outfits, and a “Gayborhood” background. Oh, yes, we did.
- Upcoming: Pride event listings from around the world.
- MyBlogLog: Community-building tools for gay visitors and bloggers.
- And, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! Personals, and a LGBT charity-finder.
I’m also pleased to announce that Yahoo! will make our return to San Francisco LGBT Pride this year, on June 24. We had a float in the SF Pride parade years ago, and we’ll have a fabulous booth at this year’s festival. Yahoo! will also sponsor San Diego LGBT Pride for the second year in a row — stop by and see our booth on July 21-22.
That lunch with Cammie sparked a chain reaction of meetings, friendships, policies, events, and product launches that has positively impacted thousands of employees at Yahoo!, and has the potential to reach tens of millions of LGBT consumers around the world every month. It’s pretty incredible to work at a place that not only encourages employees to bring our passions to work each day, but also enables us to connect to our passions and communities on a massive, global scale.
Check out our 2007 LGBT Pride site at http://events.yahoo.com/pride
Director, Product Marketing & Founder of Yahoo! Pride