Celebrate Pride, Uplift LGBTQIA+ Communities and Creators with Team Xbox – Xbox Wire
In celebrating Pride this year, we invite LGBTQIA+ communities and allies to unite in their support for justice and equality, and to amplify voices that combat discrimination around the globe. Team Xbox shares our support for the LGBTQIA+ communities within gaming, while raising awareness of current issues impacting these communities.
With more than half of video game players (52% ) agreeing that “my gaming identity is a better reflection of myself than my real-world identity,” video games are an important outlet that gives players – especially those who are LGBTQIA+ – the chance to be who they want to be. At Xbox, we continue to work on creating safe spaces in gaming where all LGBTQIA+ people are welcome and belong, where everyone is invited to play as their authentic self and enjoy a community that welcomes self-expression.
This is also our chance to be truly intersectional by celebrating the vast array of people and identities that make up the vibrant Xbox LGBTQIA+ global gaming communities. It is more important than ever to recognize that systems of inequity based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class, and other forms of discrimination intersect and ultimately affect us all. The global issues that LGBTQIA+ communities face are interconnected and we must seek to address them together. We are inspired by those who are using their voice and actively collaborating across groups and inequities to drive change for and beyond LGBTQIA+ communities.
Xbox will continue to champion a wide array of content and creators, so that games can better represent players from all communities and identities. We also support organizations that are driving change for issues that impact LGBTQIA+ communities, in particular those fighting for transgender equality. This year Xbox, along with Microsoft, is thrilled to continue these efforts with a $170K donation to multiple LGBQTIA+ organizations, as well as feature an increased number of Pride-themed products and designs which can hopefully inspire conversations and rally community actions.
We will help drive these conversations and amplify diverse LGBTQIA+ voices at Xbox as we continue to embrace and uplift the power of voice and identity. Here are a few ways that Team Xbox will be supporting LGBTQIA+ communities and celebrating Pride this year:
Microsoft is donating a total of $170,000 to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits
Microsoft is continuing our long-standing support of LGBTQIA+ organizations. Together with our employees, Microsoft has donated over $8M to organizations that support LGBTQIA+ communities in the last year alone. To recognize the launch of our 2022 Pride campaign and products, we’re contributing an additional $170,000 to OutRight Action International, African Rainbow Family, National Center for Transgender Equality, Mermaids, Lavender Rights Project and Fulcrum UA to help in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equity and equality. Learn more.
Gaming and Impact with Microsoft Rewards
Microsoft Rewards members in the United States and the United Kingdom can earn and donate points to organizations supporting LGBTQIA+ communities with Xbox. The organizations below will be featured on console throughout June:
- Mermaids – Mermaids is one of the leading LGBTQ+ charities in the UK. Since 1995, the charity has been supporting trans, non-binary and gender-diverse young people and their families. (US and UK)
- OutRight Action International: OutRight Action International fights for the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. OutRight works at the international, regional, and national levels to research, document, defend, and advance human rights for LGBTIQ people around the world. (US)
- National Center for Transgender Equality – The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender and non-binary people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice. (US)
Xbox gamers can earn Microsoft Rewards points in various ways, such as playing or purchasing games after downloading the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox. Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Join us today and donate through Xbox.
Get the Gear
Xbox Design Lab Features New Controller Inspired by Pride Available June 9
Last year, Xbox shared a vision for a Pride controller. We produced a limited batch of Pride controllers and shared it with LGBTQIA+ players and creators around the world. While the response to the controller was very positive, many asked us to make this design universally available. We heard you, and we’re expanding availability by making this year’s Pride controller customizable through Xbox Design Lab, specifically underscoring the uniqueness of the LGBTQIA+ experience.
This year’s Pride top case design brings together 34 community flags in a fine, interwoven manner to celebrate the nuance, complexity, intersectionality, and strength of the many LGBTQIA+ communities. You can customize all other parts of the controller with a broad color palette, metallic finishes, rubberized grips, and even add engraving to make your Pride controller unique to you.
But this isn’t just a controller. It’s a symbol of the LGBTQIA+ communities that inspired it, and a call to continue efforts toward inclusion and representation across all gaming spaces. So, we’re bringing together dozens of voices of LGBTQIA+ gamers, developers, content creators and Microsoft employees within an immersive storytelling experience. We hope that by interacting with this experience, people will see why LGBTQIA+ representation and visibility matters, how it has already impacted the lives of so many, and how much we can all do to make gaming a matter of Pride.
Create your unique Pride controller starting June 9, available everywhere Xbox Design Lab is available. Share your designs with us using #Pride and #XboxPride. Discover and learn more here.
Get Your Xbox Pride Gear!
The Xbox Gear Shop celebrates Pride Month with a new 2022 Pride collection from Xbox and partnering Xbox Game Studios.
Show your support with limited-edition t-shirts, bags, and more — all created by and with LGBTQIA+ communities. This year’s collection is packed with even more Xbox Game Studios designs and eco-friendly options. Shop Pride gear now.
XGS Publishing: Tell Me Why Available for Free in June + Charity Livestream
Tell Me Why, the award-winning narrative adventure from Dontnod Entertainment and Xbox Publishing, will be available for free on Xbox consoles, the Microsoft Store, and Steam for the entire month of June 2022. To acknowledge that this year has seen a sharp rise in anti-trans sentiment in the United States, Xbox Publishing is accompanying the free period with donations of $25,000 each to Transgender Law Center and Trans Lifeline, two non-profit organizations offering resources and support to trans, non-binary, and genderqueer people.
Xbox Publishing is also hosting a livestream of Tell Me Why to fundraise for Trans Lifeline on Thursday, June 23. We hope to see you there! Watch here.
343 Industries Celebrates Pride with New “Unity” Emblem and Nameplate!
343 Industries celebrates Pride with a brand-new emblem and nameplate! During the month of June, any players logging into Halo Infinite will receive the “Unity” nameplate and emblem, created for any Spartan who wants to show their true colors!
The Forza Franchise Celebrates Pride
Coming soon in June, an exclusive Forza rainbow livery adorning the 2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster will be gifted in-game to players in Forza Horizon 5 and Forza Horizon 4, as well as Forza Motorsport 7. Keep an eye on the Turn 10 Studios Twitter to see when it’s been delivered to your in-game Message Center.
Microsoft Casual Games Is Showing Our Pride
Celebrate Pride Month with a new, limited edition Microsoft Casual Games t-shirt and a chance to win a $25 Xbox Gear Shop Gift Card! Join the fun by sharing your love of games in the Microsoft Solitaire Community. View the new shirt here and click to enter the Sweepstakes June 13 – 20 (Editor’s Note: ‘Entry’ links will be live starting June 13). Must be 18+ and reside in an Xbox Gear Shop supported shipping region. Rules can be found here starting on June 13.
Discover Games Curated by LGBTQIA+ Communities at Microsoft
From GLAAD and the Gayming Awards to lesser-known hits, Microsoft Store on Xbox or Windows visitors and Xbox Game Pass members can easily access some of the most inspiring games making LGBTQIA+ history than ever before and play with pride at any time! Content experiences have increased to over 27 additional regions today as we continue our missions to expand Pride beyond borders and build empathy and belonging through gaming content.
Check out a few highlights from the Xbox games and Windows games reflecting the experiences of and resonating with LGBTQIA+ communities including creators, leads, relationship options, and character creation options.
Unsighted (Available with Xbox Game Pass) – Created by Tiani Pixel and Fernanda Dias, who are both trans and Brazilian, this LGBTQIA+ inspired, stylish hack and slasher features lesbian robots in a postapocalyptic world full of choices.
No Longer Home – Based on Cel Davison and Hana Lee’s life, this game is about two non-binary people, Ao and Bo, who must leave London because Ao is obliged to go back to Japan. This game is about letting go of the life you’ve built due to circumstances beyond your control.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderland – Tiny Tina is your disorderly guide through an extraordinary tabletop realm where rules rarely apply in her own fantasy spin on the Borderlands world. The game explores LGBTQIA+ stories, includes non-binary character creation options, and contributing writer, Sam Maggs, identifies as bisexual.
Dead by Daylight (Rated M and Available with Xbox Game Pass) – The latest chapter of the game, Tome 11: Devotion, explores David King’s backstory as the first openly gay character in this survival horror game.
View the collections in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Visitors to both the Xbox and Microsoft Store on Windows can find picks from LGBTQIA+ communities by searching for “LGBTQIA+” and related terms. Content is subject to availability by country.
Xbox Ambassadors Feature Stories about LGBTQIA+ Representation in Gaming
Throughout Pride Month, we will be spotlighting stories about representation in gaming from LGBTQIA+ Xbox Ambassadors within the communities. These are their stories.
Bethesda Roundtable with Arkane Austin and Gay Gaming Professionals (GGP) Scholars
The team at Arkane Austin recently sat down with students within LGBTQIA+ communities for a conversation on mentorship within the gaming industry. The students are aspiring game developers, and scholars selected by Gay Gaming Professionals in partnership with the ESA. You can read more from their Q&A on Bethesda.net.
New Pride Gamerpics, Profile Theme, and Avatar Items
In partnership with LGBTQIA+ communities at Xbox, we’re introducing a new gamerpic, profile themes, and avatar items! The gamerpic and profile theme will be available on console and the Xbox PC app. Get your avatar items here. Content is subject to availability by country.
Xbox Plays Celebrates LGBTQIA+ Communities
In celebration of Pride Month, Xbox Plays will be dedicating our livestreaming content in June to LGBTQIA+ communities, featuring streamers/content creators, developers and nonprofits! Follow us on our Xbox Twitch Channel and don’t miss any of the action!
Xbox Podcast Talks Pride, Self-Expression, and Equity for LGBTQIA+ Players
Xbox’s Major Nelson will be joined by Kate Rayner, Vice President, Technical Director at The Coalition and Member of Team Xbox LGBTQIA+ on the Official Xbox Podcast for a special Pride month episode discussing the significance of intersectionality, the power of gaming and identity, and celebrating the diversity of LGBTQIA+ communities. Also, Elliott Hsu, Principal Designer of Devices at Microsoft, will join to talk about the design story behind this year’s Pride controller, which included partnering with LGBQTIA+ communities at every stage. The episode will cover how Xbox is supporting LGBTQIA+ communities to play as their authentic selves and experience the joy of play with a community who values self-expression. Listen to the podcast.
Xbox UKI + DIGIPRIDE Events
The UK’s leading LGBTQIA+ video game event, DIGIPRIDE, is back this summer celebrating all things Pride from June through August on gaymingmag.com. As a presenting partner, Xbox UKI will be serving up major moments over the next 3-months of fun including giveaways, Let’s Play streams, special guests on the Gayming Podcast and even more still to be revealed! Learn more.
For more details about how Xbox is celebrating Pride, please visit our Unlocked Pride gaming experience, centering on voices of LGBTQIA+ players and allies through the lens of our new Xbox Design Lab Pride controller. You can also join us by exploring the Microsoft campaign at unlocked.microsoft.com.