As June draws closer, the LGBTQ community is still anticipating Pride month, but it's clear that novel coronavirus concerns have drastically altered what celebrations are going to look like across the globe. Still, that's not to say that the Pride spirit has been crushed, there are countless virtual celebrations scheduled to happen in lieu of physical gatherings, as well as partnerships dedicated to celebrating throughout the month. In fact, that's what Barefoot Wine did to help keep the celebration alive through its limited-edition Barefoot Pride Packaging Collection rosé wine that will benefit Free Mom Hugs.
"We started to think and ideate and figure out how we can really make an impact and march for equality within our broad allyship using some of our packaging, and [we started] looking at charity partners," said Barefoot's Experiential Marketing Strategist Lead Emily Maynard. "Free Mom Hugs stuck out; they are incredible."
The nonprofit group has chapters across the U.S. that provide LGBTQ-inclusive support via hugs, high-fives and links to resources for people who might not have an affirming family or network of their own. Maynard said the Free Mom Hugs Founder Sara Cunningham was "over the moon" to hear what each of the packages represented.
"The titles are Marriage Equality, LGBTQ+ Trailblazers, AIDS Epidemic and Celebrate Pride. So, each package amplifies the march and movement throughout the community from the past 30 years that Barefoot started its proud allyship," Maynard said. "… They put a smile on your face, they sparkle and they definitely give you that Pride feeling."
A part of the LGBTQ community herself, Maynard said that the team at E & J Gallo Winery, who owns Barefoot Wine, teamed up with its internal LGBTQ employee resource group to develop each of the products' packages and the overarching theme of looking at the past, present and future of LGBTQ activism.
"We were really honing in on how we can make sure that this Pride season is one that is unforgettable. And the notion to look at the past, present and future, so that we can always remember the amazing, unique milestones and celebrate the uncelebrated that make up this inclusive [LGBTQ] family that we're a part of," Maynard said.
And though Maynard recognizes that 2020's physical Pride season will look much different than in past years, she's hopeful that this project will allow people to "bring their Pride home" during these trying times.
"LGBTQ Pride is not just one month, it's through the entire year. So although right now we might not be able to be together … it's a different way that we get to send a virtual hug," Maynard said. "And until we get to hug each other again, we're definitely still going to be putting our glitter on and doing a celebration."
Find out more about Barefoot Wines' collaboration with Free Mom Hugs here.