This is our Pride pledge. Will you join us?By Joe Nicholson
New York. June 28, 1969. The early hours.
Police officers march in to the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Lower Manhattan. They grab customers, arresting them – all because they were LGBT+. In the harsh society of the 1960s, harassment like this was all too common.
But that night, the LGBT+ community decided to fight back.
It all started with a brick, thrown at police by Marsha P. Johnson – a black trans woman. Since that iconic act, which sparked four nights of riots, the LGBT+ rights movement in the US accelerated ferociously.
Today, we celebrate Pride month in June in honour of the Stonewall riots, where queer people fought for a safe, inclusive world for everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender.
We’ve sure come a long way since then. But the fight for LGBT+ rights is not over. Whether it’s increasing homophobic violence, the media’s grotesque transphobia, or the fact that same-sex couples still can’t get married in Northern Ireland, there is so much to be done.
That’s why we think Pride should be more than rainbow-coloured logos and themed sandwiches. And the fight for LGBT+ rights should be all year round.
It’s why, following the example of people like Marsha P Johnson, we’re taking a stand.
Ultimately, we want to recognise the power we have as an agency to change attitudes towards LGBT+ people – and to use it.
Every one of us here wants to do better by the LGBT+ people in our audiences. So, as an agency, we’ve agreed some important principles that we’ll follow this Pride – and all year round.
We pledge to:
Reflect the real world.
The world isn't just made up of straight, cisgender people – so why should our campaigns be? We’ll make diversity central to everything we do, from audience research to creative.
Stereotypes are lazy at best, offensive at worst. We pledge to portray people authentically, in all their dimensions.
Let people tell their own stories.
We believe the best stories come from the source, so we’ll let LGBT+ case studies tell theirs for themselves.
Take a stance.
When we make a decision that does better by LGBT+ people – whether it’s for our clients, or internally – we’ll stand by it.
…and we’re still learning.
Sometimes, we’ll talk about topics that might be unfamiliar to some, but we will always try to be accessible. Because we’re still learning too.
We won’t achieve everything overnight. But we’re working towards it, because it’s too important not to.That’s our pledge.
Fellow agencies, charities and universities – we challenge you to join us.
It took us a while to find the right copywriter to add to our team. But we knew Joe was the one straight away. As a writer, he’s both incisive and blessed with the ability to paint vivid images with words. We think that’s the perfect blend for an agency like ours, read more about Joe on our blog