Stonewall urges action from passive LGBT allies as hate crime surges

Stonewall has launched its first brand campaign in 10 years to reignite the fight for LGBT equality, as new research reveals that hate crime against LGBT people has risen nearly 80% in the past five years.

 The charity’s three-year initiative centres on a new slogan, "Come out for LGBT", and aims to move passive supporters of equality into action.  

The campaign comes as a poll conducted by YouGov finds hate crime against the LGBT community is on the rise, despite more legal rights being granted around the world. One in five LGBT people in Britain said they experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation in the last 12 months. The number of LGBT people experiencing hate crime has increased by 78% in the last five years, from 9% in 2013 to 16% in 2017. 

Ruth Hunt, the chief executive of Stonewall, said the prevalence of hate crime shown in the research surprised her. Yet there is a "huge degree of complacency" among people who stay on the sidelines rather than showing concrete support for LGBT people, she added. 

"We often encounter the idea that the fight is done now," she said. "But there are still significant portions of society that are homophobic." 

Mr President created the campaign for Stonewall, which will include a film running online and in cinemas, bus and print ads, and social posts from influencers such as TV presenter Sue Perkins and vocalist Ghostpoet. Ads feature supporters standing alongside LGBT people, such as a senior brigadier general with a gay man in his troop, with straplines including "Come out marching", "Come out playing", and "Come out sharing." 

Merchandise such as buttons and Oyster card cases will be sold to encourage people to become visible allies, and Stonewall will also have resources on its website with suggestions for taking action.

Stonewall has become known for its "Get over it!" campaign, launched in 2007 to tackle bullying.  "Come out for LGBT" will not replace that initiative but rather widen the charity’s message to a broader audience, Hunt explained.

The new campaign reflects the direction in which Stonewall is moving, Hunt said: "Previously we were focused on securing rights for individuals. Now, while that’s still a priority, it’s about making sure we build alliances and encouraging people to stand with each other." 

Lauran Jordan Bambach, the chief creative officer of Mr President, said the agency chose a campaign idea that was "the simplest and had the most impact." 

" ‘Come out’ is language you understand to belong to the LGBT community, so it makes it clearer. It is quite bold but it gets to that wider audience," she said. "We also wanted to be 100% positive and to talk about solutions."

The campaign was created by John Wilds and Rupert de Paula, and the film was directed by William Armstrong through Prettybird. Rocket is the media agency and secured £500,000 of free media space across the UK. 

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