Canadians have been waiting to ‘come out’ during COVID—Egale can relate

Who: Egale Canada and Taxi, with School Editing, Grayson Music, Alter Ego and Fort York.

What: A new short film, “Coming Out,” that draws a parallel between the isolation experienced by people during the lockdown and that felt by members of the LGBTQ+ community who feel unable to “come out” as who they are.

When & Where: The campaign debuted last week and is running across Egale Canada’s social channels throughout the summer.

Why: It’s about raising awareness of the difficulty faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community in coming out. According to a recent study by Egale, more than 80% of LGBTQ+ individuals have felt distress related to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 54% have declined to come out for fear of being rejected or bullied.

How: The video is entirely constructed around user-submitted footage that shows the various ways that people have attempted to cope with being cooped up at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there are some lighthearted clips, there is an emphasis on the boredom and sadness people have felt at not being able to leave the house. The payoff comes halfway through the spot, with the super “Waiting to come out has been hard. Now imagine waiting your entire life,” before showing a series of LGBTQ+ couples and individuals, accompanied by the message “coming out should be safe for everyone.”

And we quote: “With the global pandemic putting a halt to in-person Pride events, it is crucial now more than ever for people to feel safe in who they are—this [film] is a step in creating that awareness with a broader audience. We hope it shines a light on important issues and conversations surrounding equality for our LGBTQI2S community in Canada and beyond.” —Helen Kennedy, executive director, Egale Canada.

Chris Powell