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Atlanta Pride Turned Up the Love

Atlanta Pride Turned Up the Love

And so did AT&T this year. Here’s why that matters.


More than a quarter-million people showed up for Atlanta Pride, capping off a month of events in the Southeast’s largest Pride celebration (not to mention the city’s largest parade). From bi-bar crawls to the closing tea dance, from Taylor Dane to MAX, and mini-marches (trans, dykes, bi and pan), the nearly-month long series of events had the city throbbing with eclectic queer energy. AT&T’s Turn Up the Love salon was a fan favorite, delivering Pride-inspired glam to thousands of festival-goers.

As usual, nonprofits, groups, and corporations turned up in droves with company LGBTQ+ employees adorned in logo tees and rainbows. AT&T, went further, capping off a year of community outreach (which has seeded real change, particularly for trans and queer youth) to celebrate National Coming Out Day. The telecommunications company presented a private concert with bisexual musician Kesha (of “Tik Tok” and Kesha’s Weird and Wonderful Rainbow Ride cruise).

AT&T Atlanta Pride

The AT&T National Coming Out Day concert benefitted The Trevor Project, an organization that offers lifesaving (and life-affirming) services to LGBTQ+ youth, including a 24/7 suicide prevention hotline. AT&T is also powering The Trevor Project’s free crisis intervention initiatives, to help spread the message that mental health care is critical and help is in reach around the clock via TrevorText (a texting hotline) and TrevorChat (an instant messaging service).

Concert attendees and salon visitors successfully used social media to promote the hashtag #TurnUptheLove, which helped spur more donations to The Trevor Project — an organization AT&T has already given more than 1.5 million dollars as part of a three-year partnership.

The innovative company that started with a patent for the inventing the telephone back in 1874, and then grew and morphed into the AT&T we know today, continues to lead the way, helping to uncover and transmit the voices of LGBTQ+ people around the globe.

Are you listening?

AT&T Atlanta Pride

#TurnUptheLove is more than a hashtag.

In many ways, the company’s latest outreach is just a continuation of a commitment that AT&T made to its LGBTQ+ employees 44 years ago, when it added “sexual orientation” to its nondiscrimination clause. Since then the company has been a leading Fortune 500 company in embracing LGBTQ+ people, being one of the first in the nation to offer trans-inclusive health care benefits, domestic partner benefits, and an LGBTQ+ employee resource group. (Earlier this year, AT&T also signed onto HRC’s groundbreaking Business Coalition for the Equality Act, lending its support to the House bill that would ensure equal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.)

AT&T launched the Turn Up the Love campaign in 2018, to celebrate LGBTQ+ people, promote allyship, and raise the visibility and financial security of The Trevor Project. Atlanta Pride and National Coming Out Day were the latest iterations in an effort that has also included partnerships with GLAAD, OutFest, and the LOVELOUD Foundation. Founded by Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds the foundation produces the annual LOVELOUD music festival. This year’s fest brought headliners (Reynolds, Kesha, Kalen Allen, and Daya) together with beloved queer influencers (including Miles McKenna, Tyler Oakley, Jose Jimenez, and Savannah Skyler) in support the LGBTQ+ youth community.

Any Time, Any Place

This National Coming Out Day, AT&T unveiled another Turn Up the Love project, a video series called Anytime, Anywhere, which features LGBTQ+ youth talking about their own mental health experiences. YouTube star Tyler Oakley and The Ellen DeGeneres Show correspondent Kalen Allen are featured in the first two iterations of the series, while the latest features 24-year-old trans YouTuber Miles McKenna. 

McKenna’s Turn Up the Love: Young Heroes series the influencer meeting and profiling young queer people who are making a difference in their local communities. For example, Savannah Skye talks about coming out as lesbian (at 12 years old) to her Mormon church — a video of which quickly went viral. The budding activist now reaches audiences far from her Utah home.

Anytime, Anywhere is helping to reassure LGBTQ+ youth that we are everywhere — and that someone is always here to help (for example through Trevor Project’s 24/7 suicide prevention resources). Young queer and trans folks talking about how they came out and persevered through difficulties is also inspiring to other youth facing their own struggles around identity.

Loving Loud and Local

AT&T has also launched a LOVELOUD miniseries. The first two episodes bring the festival to  those who couldn’t make the Salt Lake City event and spotlight some amazing moments, including incredible performances by the hugely popular lesbian band Tegan and Sara as well as Dan Reynolds and Kesha.

When AT&T set out to sponsor 2019 Pride festivities they not only wanted to host amazing and engaging events that raised money and awareness around The Trevor Project and LGBTQ+ suicide prevention. It also wanted to focus on geography. To paraphrase pioneering lesbian literary icon Gertrude Stein AT&T wanted to make sure there was some there there. Through events in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, they recognize that LGBTQ+ people don’t just live on the two coasts, but also in the Southern and Western American heartland.

The Turn Up the Love, LOVELOUD, and Anytime, Anywhere video series go further, bringing Pride, queer music — and the stories of youth coming out, finding love, and thriving — directly into the homes where America’s LGBTQ+ youth live. The message is the queer community’s welcome mat, helping hands, sense of belonging  — and yes, even the Pride celebration, can be found in your own home (or wherever you hold your phone).


A Note from Editors:

What if You Need Help Like Right Now?

Hopeless, bluesy, or just plain bummed, you aren’t alone. The Trevor Project has three ways to reach out, totally free and completely anonymous. The Trevor Lifeline, the only national 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ young people, can be reached by calling (866) 488-7386. TrevorChat is a secure instant messaging service found at, where you can message with counselors in real time (best used on a computer, not a phone). And TrevorText is a confidential service where you can talk on your mobile phone to a trained counselor for support simply by texting START to 678678.

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Pride Editor