Singapore Pink Dot SG, a non-profit movement for the LGBTQ+ community, and Virtue APAC, the creative agency powered by VICE, have partnered to launch an artistic collaboration project to turn messages of support into art pieces and drive conversations around LGBTQ+ issues well beyond Pride month.

Created by Virtue APAC, ‘Words of Change’ invites artists to transform heartfelt messages of hope, written by attendees of Singapore’s annual Pink Dot event for LGBTQ+ equality, into art pieces. These works will then be exhibited across a network of public spaces on the island, preserving the inspirational messages beyond the one-day event.

Pink Dot SG is a non-profit movement started by people who care deeply about the place that LGBTQ+ Singaporeans call home. The 14th edition of Pink Dot ran last weekend in Hong Lim Park after two years of online-only events.

Clement Tan from Pink Dot SG, shared, “Hong Lim Park may be the only place in Singapore that one can protest without a permit, but our capacity to effect change as individuals doesn’t have to be limited by the boundaries of the park. This project not only celebrates the inspiring words of our participants but captures their spirit of hope, their determined energy, and their hunger for progress. Change can only come through sustained dialogue and action, and we hope this project will spark just that.”

Virtue APAC, which has its regional hub in Singapore and builds brands from inside culture, has already signed up 32 artists and 20 businesses for Words of Change, but are calling on more to join this community initiative.

Nuno Dores, associate creative director at Virtue APAC, commented, “Pink Dot is a landmark event for the LGBTQ+ community and allies who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. Each year, messages of hope and love are written by participants at the event, but once the event finishes, they all go into storage, never to be seen again. We wanted to give these messages longevity, recognising that issues impacting LGBTQ+ people don’t end once the event or Pride month is over.”

Dores added, “Tapping into Singapore’s vibrant artistic community, we are encouraging all those with a creative flair to reimagine these words as art, with the pieces to be displayed across the island, preserving them and extending the conversation around equality for months to come. Virtue is delighted to be partnering with Pink Dot SG on this important initiative.”

The Words of Change artwork will be live in venues across Singapore from August to September. 

Manila, Philippines — TikTok, a leading destination for short-form mobile video, celebrates this year’s Pride Month by promoting inclusivity. The platform aims to champion individual expression while also spotlighting the strength of the LGBTQIA+ community.

To officially kick off the month of June, TikTok launched this year’s pride month campaign with the official hashtag, #PrideTogetherPH.

TikTok continues to serve as a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community where users can engage and build relationships with key figures and advocacy organisations. For interested users, they can join in on the discussion and catch the Sama-sama tayo #PrideTogetherPH live stream on June 15, 17, 22, and 24.

The live broadcast will compose numerous prominent LGBTQIA+ creators including Show Suzuki, Roanne and Tina, Rica Salomon, and Miko Esjay together with various music artists like Paul Pablo, SILVY, and Anne Marie.

In addition to the jam-packed events, anticipate a well-rounded discourse with a specially curated digital content series named #QueerTalk with OxfamPH and #ATBPride with LoveYourselfPH. Both are video series expounding more about LGBTQIA+, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression Equality Bill, and different gender identities in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Hong Kong – Virtual insurer OneDegree has launched its newest campaign for Pride Month, celebrating the diversity across the community as part of their endeavour to launch its home insurance offering to extend coverages to diverse families.

Conceptualised alongside Giraffe Hong Kong and distributed alongside Carat, is a deep-dived, unscripted 2min and 25sec interview video that featured 10 LGBTQ+ couples, including celebrity Kayla Wong and her fiancée Elaine Chen-Fernandez, where they expressed thoughts around their definition of ‘home’, a definition that might differ by person but in fact universal by nature.

OneDegree identifies the market gap and the need for inclusiveness for a diverse community, in addition to consumers’ need for a more personalised, nimble and most-valued-for-money insurance coverage. Therefore, its new home insurance package can be personally tailored and extends from the basic coverage for household contents.

Speaking on the campaign launch, Alvin Kwock, co-founder of OneDegree Group, said, “OneDegree believes all families are worth protecting and should share equal rights in the society. We believe that insurance is not only a written insurance on paper, but a promise that we give to protect all families out there.”

Meanwhile, Sean Lee, creative partner at Giraffe Hong Kong, commented, “To share a dream home with your beloved one should be something you deserve for, but not something you have to fight for. This is why we came up with the idea of simply asking all the couples ‘What is home?’, to show that LGBTQ+ and straight families are just the same. We share the same needs, thus deserve the same protection.”

Lastly, Polly Ip, business director at Carat Media Services Hong Kong, said, “We have two target segments identified, LGBTQ+ community and the Mass Audience. To accurately capture the right audiences, we leveraged multiple programmatic partners riding on vertical 3rd party data, contextual intelligence to reach out to LGBTQ+ community with combing audience and sentiment segments in real time. With advanced predictive cookieless solution, we are able to identify high value and discover new trending contents that resonates with our target audience to ensure campaign relevancy and drive on-target reach. This differed us from other typical insurance product campaigns.”

Ohio, USA Procter and Gamble-owned hair care brand Pantene has collaborated with Getty Images’ custom content photographers from around the world to produce #StyleWithPride, the latest edition of their ongoing #BeautifuLGBTQ+ campaign. Embracing the diversity of ways people express themselves, Pantene’s newest advertising campaign features a gallery of real-life depictions of people from all parts of the LGBTQ+ community. 

In addition, Pantene has teamed up with the Dresscode Project to ensure an authentic and inclusive depiction of the LGBTQ+ population, as well as to offer stylists from the LGBTQ+ community an opportunity to contribute to the program.

Pantene said, the representation of the LGBTQ+ community has made major strides in popular culture, especially in areas like film, television, and music. Yet, brands and agencies still lag the mainstream media in representing LGBTQ+ people in their advertising and brand communications. In fact, less than 1% of the most popular visuals at Getty Images feature an LGBTQ+ person and when they are included, those depictions are often stereotypical or one-dimensional. 

Outward expressions of identity including physical appearance, choices of clothing and sense of style, and even hair types, haircuts and hair colours can be an essential component of affirming identity for many LGBTQ+ people. Stereotypes that adhere to the gender binary or heteronormativity, exclude the diverse self-expressions of the LGBTQ+ community from today’s advertising and can have a profound impact on their experiences out in the world.

Brent Miller, Global LGBTQ+ Equality & Inclusion for P&G, said that marketing and advertising images surround us every single day, and so many members of the LGBTQ+ community can relate to not feeling seen or represented in these images,”

“Hair is such a powerful tool for self-expression, yet this often isn’t captured in traditional advertising which tends to often focus on stereotypes or visual shortcuts. Our goal with this campaign is to encourage brands to showcase the beauty in its many forms and celebrate all the ways hair can be used to feel like the best, most authentic version of yourself,” Miller said.

The aim of Pantene’s gallery is both to enable and to challenge the industry to follow their lead and demonstrate what beautiful looks like by accurately representing how LGBTQ+ communities #StyleWithPride. 

Tristen Norman, Head of Creative Insights for the Americas at Getty Images, shared, “Our ongoing VisualGPS research affirms that the most recalled depictions of the LGBTQ+ people are stereotypical, that’s if they’re even seen at all.” 

“This campaign provides an opportunity for us to play a part in celebrating the diversity of self-expression within the queer community, and ultimately help change the prevailing narratives to help fuel better, and more inclusive visual storytelling across all forms of media,” Norman adds.

Kristin Rankin, Dresscode Project founder, commented, “Traditionally the hair and beauty marketing industry has been based on stereotypes and biases related to the idea of gender is binary. This campaign allows us to shine a light on the diversity this community uses to express themselves while challenging stereotypes in the media. For many in the LGBTQ+ communities, their hair journey is immensely personal and being able to see themselves and all the different ways hair can be used for self-expression will allow them to feel celebrated and help break these biases.”

The #StyleWithPride gallery is now live on Getty Images and will be accessible for all brands to leverage. 

And finally, as a show of support for inclusivity and equality for all, Pantene will be donating $1 to Dresscode Project for every photo shared using #StyleWithPride to reinforce their commitment (*up to $100,000). This campaign is the latest in support of Pantene’s mission to represent, celebrate and make the LGBTQ+ community feel beautiful year-round.

Billund, Denmark — The LEGO Group has announced its launch of the ‘A-Z of Awesome’, an ongoing campaign which runs into 2023 using LEGO builds to celebrate inclusivity and embrace self-expression in the LGBTQIA+ community.

The A-Z will be developed in creative LEGO creations to help LGBTQIA+ families use play to have open conversations about their identities. For the alphabet to be created in the most authentic and meaningful way possible, the designs of each letter will be created by members of the LGBTQIA+ community, including LEGO fans, young and old, members of the community and LEGO employees.

Launching during Pride Month, the alphabet aims to build understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community and the different abbreviations used.

‘The A-Z of Awesome’ aims to present the community’s vocabulary more widely through a fun and playful medium. The LEGO Group is inviting submissions including an explanation of what the build means to its creator, which will be featured on a dedicated website.

Alero Akuya, VP of brand development of LEGO Group, said, “The wonderful thing about LEGO bricks is that they can be a powerful form of self-expression as you can build anything you can imagine. We can’t wait to see what fans will submit of amazing builds and beautiful stories.”

Akuya adds, “We hope their creativity and our A-Z of Awesome campaign inspire people of all ages and help build greater awareness and acceptance. We want to show people that with more love and understanding people can be their true selves.”

The creative inspiration for this campaign was born out of the insight from GLAAD that almost half of non-LGBTQIA+ people find conversations around gender identity confusion.

On the significance of Pride Month, Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, executive director of GLSEN, said, “All children benefit from learning about the diverse world around them, and positive representation of LGBTQ+ identities, whether in school curriculum or in play, helps young people feel prepared to meaningfully engage in their communities. We’re proud to support the LEGO Group’s ‘The A-Z of Awesome’ campaign as a powerful tool to build a more tolerant and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ families and young people.”

Meanwhile, Intersex campaigner and ‘A-Z of Awesome’ contributor Pidgeon Pagonis, shared, “Growing up I remember feeling this sense of shame, like oh there’s something wrong with me, or the things I desire or want. This project is important because there might be an intersex person out there who likes to build with LEGO bricks, and this can help them see themselves represented.”

The 2022 campaign for Pride month brings together the following; The A-Z campaign will serve as a call to action for members of the community to submit their builds and stories to complete the alphabet. Selected builds will be added to the A-Z, with the full alphabet being presented by the end of 2022. Additionally, The LEGO Group will donate US$1m to existing and new partner organisations in support of the LGBTQIA community.

Moreover, LEGO will participate in pride events as well as have their LBGTQIA+ Employee Advocacy Groups arrange activities for LEGO employees, as well as internal sessions will be hosted featuring external consultants from the community.

This campaign builds off the LEGO Group’s support for the LGBTQIA+ community in recent years where one such example includes supporting the LGBTQIA+ community by building a miniature pride parade within the family activity zone at Pride in London in 2019.

Sydney, Australia – In celebration of Carnival season’s Mardi Gras and Pride Month, the Australian retail chain of liquor stores, BWS, has launched its new in-store activation and content series, ‘BWYASSS Runway’.

The runway was developed in collaboration with members of The House of Silky and The House of Slé, music producer Mirasia, and a production crew within the ballroom community via marketing agency M&C Saatchi Sydney, and the media strategy and buying were managed by Dentsu’s media agency Carat.

BWS said that the runway, in ballroom culture, was pioneered by Black and Latinx trans women and queer people because the community needed a place to express themselves, without judgement. The BWYASSS Runway was created with the same intention, which is to remind people that BWS is a place where everyone belongs and all are welcome.

In 2021, BWS has rebranded its Oxford street store to ‘BWYASSSS’ during Mardi Gras, and this year, as a national show of support for the LGBTQIA+ community, it is permanently rebranding stores across every state. Moreover, BWS has also launched the ‘Loud & Proud’ drinks range in partnership with Pinnacle Drinks, in which 100% of the range’s profit will be donated to the Pride Foundation of Australia.

Meg Clark, the head of marketing at BWS, shared that at BWS, they encourage an environment of diversity and inclusion for their customers and team, and they also want everyone to feel welcome when they walk into any BWS store no matter how they identify.

“Permanently rebranding an additional seven stores nationally to BWYASSS is just one way we want to show our support of the LBGTQIA+ community,” said Clark. 

Meanwhile, Brendan Donnelly, M&C Saatchi Sydney’s creative director, said, “Ballroom is a vibrant subculture within the pride community. We wanted to celebrate that with The Runway and the shared value of acceptance and let people know they can express themselves freely at BWS.”

BWYASSS’ runway and ‘Loud & Proud’ range have been rolled out on Spotify, featuring their own Mardi Gras playlist, as well as in social, street posters, and influencer activity.

Mumbai, India – Mumbai-based digital-first advertising agency Chimp&z Inc showed utter solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community by launching the #PrideOfAdvertising campaign. Through the campaign, the agency did not just honor Pride Month but also raised the value of inclusivity in the advertising industry. 

The agency presented a candid yet meaningful ‘Q&A’ series on its social media pages, capturing the queer professionals’ coming-out emotions and reactions to homo/transphobic comments. These were then gathered and presented as inspirational stories on Chimp&z Inc’s FB and IG pages.

Onir, national award-winning filmmaker

Despite rapidly growing cultural acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is still evident. With this, the agency initiated a campaign that will inspire and empower the community. 

Archit Ambekar, the marketing manager at The Red Pen

The campaign featured professionals including Sumitro Sircar, the group account manager at Chimp&z Inc, Archit Ambekar, the marketing manager at The Red Pen, and freelancer Priyesha Nair, as well as film-maker Onir, who is known for being one of the earliest advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights in India, among many others.

Chimp&z Inc’s CEO and Co-Founder Angad Singh Manchanda commented that coming out is a challenge for the LGBTQIA+ community, not just personally but professionally and psychologically as well. 

Manchanda said that urban LGBTQIA+ activism has created space for individuals to defy societal norms and perceptions and choose to live as per their will. With this, the list of Pride-themed campaigns taking over the internet in June keeps getting longer and more meaningful. 

“We wanted to do more than just tell stories. We brought out the perspective of each individual and their experience in the industry after coming out professionally. This digital campaign sets out a virtual pride parade that honors LGBTQIA+ members of the advertising community. I trust it will evolve and adapt to the changing society in the coming years. On behalf of the team at Chimp&z Inc, I thank all the mavens of the #PrideOfAdvertising. We celebrate you with pride,” said Manchanda.

Manila, Philippines – As the month of June draws to an end, the observance and celebration of Pride Month is still on a roll in the country, a society that despite the growing movement to recognize the LGBTQIA+ community, still experiences stigma due to the conservative Catholic nature in the country. As a result, many in the LGBTQIA+ community tend to say ‘sorry’ for who they are.

Such is the message the Philippine arm of e-commerce platform Lazada aims to put across in its latest campaign in celebration of Pride Month.

Released as part of its newest short film series ‘Apology’, the first campaign shows three separate instances of members of the LGBTQIA+ community being stared down or perhaps misjudged, prompting them to say ‘sorry’. Then, on a positive note, the campaign shifts to its core message of understanding others, self-acceptance and love.

The film series is directed by esteemed filmmaker, Pepe Diokno.

“We at Lazada Philippines believe that Pride represents values such as inclusion and unity that should be embraced every single day. For 2021, we wanted to continue encouraging Filipinos to do their part in nurturing a culture where diversity is celebrated, inclusion is valued, and respect is championed,” said Neil Trinidad, chief marketing officer at Lazada Philippines.

As part of its Pride Month celebration, Lazada Philippines will bring together and spotlight talented artists from the LGBTQIA+ community through a series of live streamed events with ‘Pride is Alive’ from 23 to 27 June. From a live fashion and drag show to a make-up tutorial session and live talk sessions, consumers can enjoy a series of celebrations with film director Antoinette Jadaone, writer and actor Juan Miguel Severo, chef and author Clyde San Pedro, Cebu fashion designers, and drag queens Eva Papaya, Ms. Letket, Precious, Eken, Turing & Bench.

In addition, Lazada Philippines also teamed up with platform LoveYourself, Inc., to showcase a special Milkwear x LoveYourself Pride Month capsule collection where all proceeds from the sale will benefit LoveYourself, Inc.’s HIV awareness and free-testing projects.

Noel Evasco, head of partnerships at LoveYourself Inc. adds, “We are grateful to have this partnership with Lazada that allows us to not only be able to expand our reach to more people but to also continue spreading the message that now more than ever, we need to do our part in nurturing a culture that allows people to thrive authentically as they are.”

Manila, Philippines – To commemorate Pride Month this June, creative agency Dentsu in the Philippines has launched – a website that aims to teach people how to appropriately converse and speak with people from the LGBTQIA+ community – one with respect and sensitivity. 

We’ve come so far in terms of where the society stands towards the LGBTQIA+ community, with different platforms adapting their views and stands to become a more inclusive community. We have been seeing governments declaring the first-ever LGBTQIA+ officials, and also bills being passed for the greater good and welfare of the community. 

In terms of the baseline on the other hand – the everyday conversations and dealings we have with people from the community – there is still so much to learn and be more of. Companies and even common individuals have taken it upon themselves to practice the appropriate use of pronouns in accordance with a person’s identified gender – but there is so much more to it. On Twitter, we hear normal people and celebrities alike still share incidents of microaggressions, and this is what dentsu Philippines aims to solve. 

‘The Unlimited Love Language’ website presents a list of various hyperspecific statements often heard among people when conversing with those that identify as LGBTQIA+. Examples are “I support lesbians. But why do you look like a normal girl?” or some Tagalog statements like “May boyfriend ka? Respect, pare. But I have to say ‘di ko akalain. ‘Di ka naman mukhang bakla!” which in English, translates to “You have a boyfriend? Kudos, bro. I have to say it doesn’t look like it. You don’t look gay!”.

When visitors click on each statement, they will be directed to an expanded explanation of why such is a microaggression and provides insight on how it ought to make an LGBTQIA+ individual feel and what can be said instead if one wants to send across their ‘unlimited love’.

The website is Filipino-dedicated with a mix of English and Tagalog statements. On the right, it translates, “So you are apparently a lesbian? Good for you! But sucks for us guys. It’s a pity, you’re beautiful.” Just one of the examples of microagressions thrown at lesbians.

In addition, the website also provides free Zoom or video call backgrounds for people to further show their support to the community.

Dentsu Philippines’ Connections Strategy and Research Lead Roki Ferrer shared that about 48% of LGBTQIA+ people experience some form of discrimination within the family.

“People think that not being bluntly homophobic makes them supportive. But tolerance is not acceptance. That’s why we need to condition people’s minds towards unconditional acceptance by heart,” said Ferrer.

Meanwhile, JC Catibog, the country CEO at Dentsu Philippines, commented that they believe that true acceptance is only possible when there’s empathy, that is why showing how LGBTQIA+ people feel, and having a two-way conversation is so important. 

“As our own Dentsu Consumer Vision 2030 trends show, sexuality and gender will soon be less determined by birth. Hence, if we aren’t already, we need to start learning how to love unlimitedly,” said Catibog.

The website is now live and provides an option as well for people to be ‘teachers’ of the love language.