As LGBT+ History month comes to an end, we’ve looked back at recent campaigns and content that have championed equality, sparked conversation, led to changes in UK law and society and inspired us the most.
For more than 50 years the LGBT+ community has campaigned for change. Here are some amazing campaigns that made the UK sit up, take notice and unite to drive action.
World’s First Blood Bank For Gay and Bisexual Men – LADbible & Freedom to Donate
Until this year, gay and bisexual men couldn’t donate blood unless they were abstinent for three months – even if their blood was completely safe to use. For many years equality campaigns had called for changes to the law and in December 2020 new policies were finally announced in the UK. From this summer, gay and bisexual men can give blood if they have been in a relationship for more than three months.
In 2019, LADbible together with FreedomToDonate created the world’s first illegal blood donation clinic to challenge the government on their discriminationatory laws against gay and bisexual men. It was a bold campaign that opened up the conversation on why the law was in place and how it could be changed.
Every Name Is a Story – Starbucks
For people who identify as trans, non-binary or non-gender conforming, Starbucks’ Every Name Is A Story campaign shone a light on a big problem.
Most of us wouldn’t assume someone’s name, pronoun or gender identity without asking. But some people and businesses do.
This campaign explored the challenges of changing your name and the way businesses can support their customers through a transition. When you think about Starbucks, one of the first things that comes to mind is the personalised cups. The brand turned this into a powerful message about calling people the name they’ve chosen for themselves.
The U=U (Undetectable = Untransmitable) campaign
The “U=U” campaign message started back in 2017 and has helped inform the public that people with HIV can lead long and happy lives. It addresses stigma and misunderstanding that grew over decades following the global HIV pandemic in the 1980s.
Last year, a powerful U=U video was produced for World AIDS Day 2020. The short animation fights stigma with knowledge through the ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable’ message that people with HIV on effective treatment can’t pass on the virus.
Time for Equality – Love Equality
Until January 2020, Northern Ireland was the only region of the UK that hadn’t legalised same-sex marriage. It was a decades long battle to make change happen.
Campaigns like Time for Equal Civil Marriage by Love Equality built up huge support at pride events and marches all over the UK. The hard work, passion and dedication of grassroots campaign teams secured public support and resulted in legislation change.
It’s a Sin – Channel 4 & Red Production Company
It would be a sin (pardon the pun) if we didn’t shout out about It’s a Sin by Russell T Davies. Since it aired in January, the programme exploring the lives of young gay people in the 1980s and early 90s has captured the hearts and minds of TV audiences around the world.
The show has also been used as a platform by its young cast to bring the darkest days of British LGBT+ history into the mainstream and address the ongoing challenges facing the queer community today. We won’t give you any spoilers but it’s incredibly powerful stuff.
As well as bravery, realism and empathy, all this game-changing content shares the determination and drive of courageous individuals, brands and communities to get us all talking, challenging perceptions and championing diversity and equality for all – and thanks to that courageousness, we’re a better society for it.