Cloudy with a chance of rainbows: Pride Flag hoisted at Starbucks HQ


By now it has become an annual tradition, a symbol of the LGBTQ movement and a celebration of Pride. Today, Starbucks raised its Pride Flag high above its headquarters at the Starbucks Support Center, as it has each June since 2014. At 19 by 38 feet, the rainbow banner is larger than the average Seattle apartment, and among the largest ever made to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion.

The Pride Flag is flown above the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle on June 24, 2019. Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks Stories

“I am so honored to be here today at the rising of our Pride Flag,” said Rossann Williams, who leads retail operations in more than 8,000 company-operated stores across the United States. “I’m so proud to work for a company where we are all seen and respected as individuals. This has been woven into the fabric of our culture for almost 50 years. That’s who we are.”

Pride flag raising
Up, up and away: the Pride Flag unfurls within the Siren’s crown above the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle on June 24, 2019. Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks Stories

Starbucks’ support for the LGBTQ community goes back decades, offering health benefits for same-sex domestic partners of part- and full-time employees since 1998. More than 10 years ago, Starbucks established Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines to support transgender partners and added coverage of gender reassignment surgery to the company’s health benefits in 2013, and expanded benefits in 2018. The company has also spoken out in support of marriage equality, helped create safe spaces for victims of anti-LGBTQ-related crimes and harassment, and urged equal treatment for the LGBTQ community.

Starbucks partners capture the moment as the Pride Flag is hoisted for the first time above the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle on June 23, 2014.
Looking back: Starbucks partners capture the moment as the Pride Flag is hoisted for the first time above the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle on June 23, 2014.

Starbucks partners have been powerful advocates for the LGBTQ community both inside and outside the company from the beginning. The Starbucks Pride Alliance Network, which held its first informal meeting in 1996, now includes thousands of partners in chapters around the world.

240 Starbucks partners, joined by friends and family, march through central London in the Pride in London Parade on July 8, 2017. aron kleinnn

Williams underscored the company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as a core part of its mission and values. “There’s never been a more important time for all of us to stand together however we self-identify. We’re all in this together,” she said.


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Collection of handwoven products by Rwandan women coming to Starbucks Reserve locations this summer