Who: Egale Canada, with Taxi for creative, strategy and production, as well as Rooster Post Production, Alter Ego, Oso Audio, Fort York VFX, and Regina Garcia Photography
What: “#MyPrideWontUnravel,” Egale’s Pride month campaign asking Canadians to do something about the troubling rise in anti-LGBTQ+ hate and violence, with the help of an unraveling Pride flag.
When & Where: The specially constructed (or, more accurately, deconstructed) flag will be at events across Toronto this month, but there’s also TV/online video, radio, out of home, and digital creative, with media provided by Rogers Sports & Media.
Why: According to Egale, there has been an “an alarming rise” in violence directed towards the 2SLGBTQI+ community, with Egale tracking 6,423 examples of anti-LGBTQ+ protest or hateful social posts in just the first three months of this year.
“The data is disturbing,” said Allen Kwong, group creative director, Taxi. “Hate crimes against the 2SLGBTQI community rose by 64% in 2021, according to Statistics Canada. We found almost three times the number of anti-LGBTQ+ protests in Canada during the first three months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.”
“Long before Pride was a celebration, it was a protest for the right to exist. It’s now 2023, and 2SLGBTQI people are still fighting against hate. If left unchecked, Pride will be pulled apart, one thread at a time,” said Mike Richardson, associate creative director at Taxi.
How: The core of the campaign is an actual Pride flag with 6,423 threads (one for every anti-LGBTQ+ act tracked by Egale this year) pulled from it, a metaphor for the ways violence and hate threaten to unravel the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community—which is most visibly and vocally celebrated during Pride month.
In a 60-second video, three prominent members of the queer community— drag queen/activist Scarlett BoBo, dancer/choreographer Hollywood Jade of Canada’s Drag Race fame, and trans comedian Al Val—react to the damaged flag symbolically attacked by anti-LGBTQI violence, and share some of their own personal experiences. “How do you not approve of someone peacefully searching for their best life?” asks Val.
“This idea immediately stood out for us,” said Kwong. “Every year for Pride month, many brands and organizations do the same thing: show smiling faces and rainbows. In that environment, we knew our idea would be disruptive and attention-grabbing.”
“Don’t let them unravel our pride,” reads a super as the film nears the end, followed by the Egale logo and #MyPrideWontUnravel, as well as a throw to a microsite at Egale.ca.
The microsite includes downloadable social shareables, a toolkit with information and resources to help community members to stay safe, and a report that provides details of just some of the 6,423 attacks that inspired the campaign. To make sure lawmakers get the message, they are being sent a copy of the report bound by threads of the flag.
And we quote: “The fight for equality has been going on for a long time, so the Pride flag has a lot of meaning and symbolism behind it. To show it unravelled, is to show how our sense of belonging is under attack. After all, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.” —Allen Kwong, group creative director, Taxi