We first launched our Pride Compact in 2019 in partnership with Family Equality, the leading national non-profit organization advancing equality for LGBTQ+ families. All proceeds from the sales of the Pride Compact are donated to Family Equality. As we re-launch the Pride Compact this year, our goal is to highlight the ever-more critical work Family Equality is doing and to motivate our community to support their work through donations.
We’re re-publishing a blog post written by Rob, our VP of Product & Design, that was first published in 2019 with a new introduction that reflects the reality that the fight for lived equality for LGBTQ+ families is increasingly urgent and Family Equality continues to lead the way forward.
In 2018, when we were designing and producing the Pride Stroller for its 2019 debut, there were 41 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in states across the country. This year, there are over 300 bills threatening the rights of our LGBTQ+ youth and families. The most prominent bill is Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ which begs the question - what good is all this rainbow merch if our kids can’t be proud of our families or even talk about them in school? Though we’d love to see you and your family marching down the street in our Pride Stroller (we continue to donate all proceeds from our Pride Compact sales to Family Equality), the best way to celebrate Pride this June is to donate to Family Equality. By being one of the first organizations to sue the state of Florida in response to ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ they continue to stay true to their mission - to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.
Every June since I moved to New York, I wonder what would it have felt like to see Pride flags being flown by businesses in my hometown in East Tennessee when I was a kid in the nineties. I imagine the celebration would have had a profound effect on my life and the lives of others in my community. Would I have had the confidence and freedom to be my authentic self and to celebrate my sexuality instead of keeping it hidden for so many years? Now, as an out gay man who wants to have a family one day, I’m proud to have designed the Colugo Pride stroller in partnership with with Family Equality Council.
Inspiration for all of our products at Colugo always originates within our community, a new generation of parents who are redefining parenthood. Our one-handed fold, our magic magnetic carrier buckles, and our miraculous rain cover, just to name a few features, were all inspired by the day-to-day struggles parents face. But for our LGBTQ community members, myself included, simply becoming a parent or even being recognized as a family is the struggle. Driven to provide solutions for all parents, we designed the Pride stroller as a way to support the work that Family Equality Council does for our community. They have been championing LGBTQ families for 40 years and provide the real tools to achieve equality. I have looked up to them since I came out almost fifteen years ago. Today, I am proud that Colugo is donating 100 percent of the proceeds of the Pride stroller to them.
With our interpretation of the Pride flag, we are proud to be a part of Pride celebrations across our country this month and to be one of many organizations giving visibility to the members of our LGBTQ community. Still, there is work to be done. If you’ve seen our Pride stroller, you might notice that our rainbow has black and brown stripes. In partnership with Family Equality Council, we have included black and brown in our rainbow because every member of our community is important to us. And it’s a nod to the inclusive Pride flag designed in Philadelphia, the city where Colugo was founded.
The Pride stroller is a commitment to support our community — all families — all year. They’re on our Instagram, they’re on our website, they’re on our team — and maybe even in my hometown in East Tennessee. The Pride stroller is one more way our community is redefining parenthood. March or stroll, we hope you will celebrate Pride with us this June and beyond.