New York-based Absolut, a brand of Pernod Ricard USA, announced that as a steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ+ community for more than 40 years, the launch of Absolut Ally, is the next evolution of its commitment to safer spaces across bars and restaurants for 21-plus adults.

A multi-pronged, global initiative, Absolut Ally will provide educational resources and monetary donations to champion creating safer and more inclusive spaces for the 21-plus LGBTQ+ community, as part of a broader effort to help more people and more places be better allies, it says.

“In the early ’80s, Absolut became one the first brands to engage with and represent the LGBTQ+ community. We are incredibly proud of our history and continued track record of supporting and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community,” said Pam Forbus, senior vice president, chief marketing officer for Pernod Ricard North America, in a statement. “We know the bar for allyship has been raised, and to meet the moment, we have created the Absolut Ally platform. This is an ongoing and future commitment that is taking shape globally to inspire action and education for people and businesses alike.”

As part of Absolut Ally, the vodka brand is encouraging and empowering consumers to further educate themselves on how to be an ally with The Absolut Ally Guide developed in partnership with GLAAD.

The online resource guide is for anyone 21-plus, LGBTQ+ identified or otherwise, to learn best practices to create safe and inclusive spaces for the most vulnerable and at-risk members of the community, the company says. As the needs for the LGBTQ+ community is ever-evolving, so too will this guide, it adds.

Absolut is dedicated to continuing to listen and learn and will be updating and adjusting this guide over time with support from community experts, it notes. According to GLAAD's Accelerating Acceptance 2023 Report, 91% of non-LGBTQ+ Americans agree that LGBTQ+ people should have the freedom to live their life and not be discriminated against, which this guide stands to support, it says.

Taking allyship education a step further, Absolut Ally also will provide training seminars and tools for local businesses. Absolut Ally Trainings are operated by Safe Bars Inc., an organization that helps bars and restaurants create safe spaces for their 21-plus patrons and staff, it says. Attendees will learn LGBTQ+ allyship fundamentals and guidance on creating safe and inclusive hospitality spaces in order to receive Absolut Ally Certification, an official seal from the brand that can be showcased on-premise and on social channels to signify to patrons that their establishment is an inclusive space for members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community, the company notes.

Additionally, to punctuate this exciting program and to celebrate Pride, Absolut has partnered with VICE News on a special report, Out Loud. The documentary-style, one hour special shines a light on the role LGBTQ+ venues have played in shaping culture and providing a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community — giving way to incredible art that enriches lives, the company says. Narrated by Big Freedia, Out Loud follows three groundbreaking LGBTQ+ artists on their respective journeys to redefine their genres and voice how physical spaces, such as bars and restaurants, have helped shape them into the artists they are today. 

Out Loud premieres June 15 on VICE News TV and YouTube channel for a 21-plus audience, it notes. In a continued effort to highlight how safe spaces have shaped the lives of many and must be protected —Honey Dijon, DJ, producer and designer joins as an Absolut Ally Ambassador to pen a love letter to the bars and restaurants that have played a critical role throughout her illustrious career, it says.

Anchoring Absolut Ally is the Absolut Ally Initiative, a grant program operated by CenterLink, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ community-based nonprofit association, whose mission is to strengthen, support and connect LGBTQ+ community organizations, the company notes. Absolut is donating $250,000 to CenterLink to support their work through the creation of the Absolut Ally Initiative, a grant program aimed to support the growth and success of CenterLink’s nonprofit member organizations and foster inclusivity, empowerment, and support for the 21-plus LGBTQ+ community members they serve, it says.