It's Pride Month! That means city centers slathered with color. And as more ways of being enter the mainstream, we celebrate the rainbow that is also humanity.
For the month, Mars Wrigley's Skittles has scaled the color of its packaging down to grayscale. In addition to renewing its partnership with GLAAD, it's also partnered with historian, author, educator and influencer Blair Imani to spotlight other artists and creators with Skittles QueeR Codes—like QR codes, but queered: in drag, glittered up, sporting makeup and a beard, bearing proud scars, vogueing, whatever helps members of the LGBTQI+ community showcase pride in their hard-won identities.
Supporting art appears all over the country, with a special focus on communities where Mars Wrigley operates. Newark, New Jersey, for example, is where Mars Wrigley North American headquarters lies. The murals will be up through June, and each features a QueeR code that takes users to the website linked at the top of this article.
Here's a mural from ARRRTADDICT, created in Atlanta:
"When Skittles came to me with this idea, I was so excited to be a part of something that's focused on shining a spotlight on the wide range of backgrounds and experiences in the LGBTQ+ community," Imani says. "As a Black, bisexual and Muslim woman, I'm always celebrating and educating others about topics like intersectionality and visibility, and to get to work on a campaign that's focused on those topics while partnering with so many great LGBTQ+ artists and creators was something I was honored to participate in."
GLAAD, the world's leading LGBTQIA+ media advocacy group, is working with Skittles to provide resources on how community members and allies can better educate themselves to support each other during Pride, and all year round.
This marks the second year that Skittles has released its limited-edition gray Pride Packs. Every pack purchased will send $1 back to GLAAD, up to a total of $100,000. The special packs are available on Walmart.com, Target.com, and in-store at Walmart, Target, Kroger, Albertson's and other retailers.
"With our QueeR Codes program we've focused on increasing visibility around the intersectionality of artists and creators within the LGBTQ+ community, to help shape a world that is connected, caring and celebratory," says Fernando Rodrigues, senior brand manager at Mars Wrigley.
"We're very proud to be able to use our voice and our platform to shift the focus during Pride month to celebrating and elevating LGBTQ+ voices and experiences, creating better moments and more smiles through the focus on visibility."
Here's a video with even more artists and creators, describing who they are, how they express themselves, and what Pride means to them today:
Mars Wrigley also plans to spend this month sharing stories about diversity and acceptance through its PRIDE! Associate Resource Group (ARG), which helped develop the Skittles QueeR Codes program. Some associates are also featured on the website.
From a corporate standpoint, Mars has committed to ensuring that LGBTQIA+ members aren't just heard, but also supported with policies and benefits, including non-discrimination protections, partner healthcare coverage, transgender healthcare benefits, parental leave, and adoption assistance.