Amidst what has become a very bizarre existence, pandemic life has put a stop to all major public gatherings this summer with events cancelled across the world. But it’s Pride month and where there’s Pride, there’s a way.
Whilst the streets of towns and cities across the UK will miss the Pride street celebrations, a new campaign, Pride Inside, has been created to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community can still be visible and have its voice heard.
With a massive marketing reach, 1,000 digital billboards have been donated by Clear Channel to be filled with photographic images created by and featuring members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrating Pride from their homes – a huge achievement considering that everything has had to be produced within lockdown guidelines.
From today and for the next two weeks, the images will appear across the country with the potential to reach in the region of 10 million people. The marches and parties might have to wait until next year but Pride Inside is making sure that its message will be out there, loud and clear, social gatherings or no social gatherings.
More details from the press release here:
PRIDE WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS THIS SUMMER AFTER ALL – WITH A NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF QUEER LIFE
New grassroots campaign Pride Inside will see queer people take over digital outdoor screens in all four nations of the UK with stunning images of what Pride means to them to ensure their continued visibility this Pride month.
The initiative – the brainchild of writer, performer and drag star Ginger Johnson – is supported by Out of Home media and infrastructure company Clear Channel, which has donated 1,000 digital billboards the length of the country from Glasgow to Southampton, including iconic Storm sites on Lambeth Palace Road and Hammersmith Tower in London.
The campaign aims to represent the full spectrum of the diverse LGBTQ+ community, with more than 120 queer contributors and photographers teaming up to create images from their homes or local public spaces, all socially distanced of course. They include the lead singer of a Belfast queer punk band – together with her pet rat, a Newcastle drag king, an NHS nurse in south London, original members of the Gay Liberation Front and an award-winning engineer who came to the UK as a refugee and went on to be named one of the BBC’s top 100 influential women in the world.
Pride Inside hopes the campaign will inspire other queer people across the UK to carry on the Pride celebrations at home and create their own images, posting them online under the #PrideInsideUK hashtag.
This unique opportunity will also raise awareness of the work of grassroots LGBTQ+ charities, with Pride Inside partnering with LGBT+ Consortium to collect donations to be distributed to organisations across the UK who provide vital services for the queer community. A specially designed website will feature resources to allow people to learn more about Pride, those taking part in Pride Inside and how they can engage with each other.
The not-for-profit campaign was pulled together in less than a month after the Covid-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of Pride events across the country. The photography was co-ordinated by award-winning music and events photographer Corinne Cumming, who said: “We’ve managed to source photographers and subjects from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, throughout the UK and from many different ethnicities which is so exciting and unique. For LGBTQ+ photographers and their subjects to be able to choose how they want to be represented via their art on a national platform, that’s really special.”
Paul Roberts OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT+ Consortium, said: “Covid-19 is having a real impact on our LGBT+ communities. Pride would ordinarily be a time for the visibility and increased awareness of issues facing our communities. This campaign offers a digital alternative and Consortium is delighted to see the diversity and intersectionality of our communities captured through these photographs. I hope this campaign let’s LGBT+ people know you are not alone and there is support out there.”
Clear Channel’s Chief Marketing Officer Martin Corke said: “As part of Clear Channel’s ongoing commitment to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, we are proud to be partnering with Pride Inside this year to showcase people from all parts of the community celebrating at home. While Pride events may not be happening on the streets, we hope to create a sense of shared experience and bring that community spirit Out of Home with our very public medium.”
Ginger Johnson, resident MC at Sink the Pink, the UK’s biggest LGBTQ+ collective, and co-presenter of breakfast TV show Wakey!, said: “Usually we take to the streets for Pride. We take to stages, demos and dancefloors. We climb onboard floats or walk shoulder to shoulder with our families and friends but this summer that just isn’t possible. So it’s crucial that LGBTQ+ people from all walks of life are visible and proud in our public spaces even if we can’t be there together in person!”
Ginger added: “Pride is also a chance for our community to reach out to the people who haven’t found pride in their lives yet, who don’t feel safe, who are hidden. It’s our chance to say to them, ‘You are not alone, we are here and we are proud of you.’ Pride has always been an opportunity for us all to learn about each other – to honour our shared experiences, our differences and our collective resilience. It’s taken the combined efforts of a whole team of amazing queer people from all over the UK to get this project off the ground and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
Check out Ginger’s video here and share to promote the campaign with the hashtag #PrideInsideUK
You can follow Pride Inside on Twitter / Instagram / Facebook for updates and more photos; head to their website for more information and opportunities to get involved
Intro by Siobhan – all press details and photos above are used with permission from Pride Inside, big thanks to Leigh Holmwood for helping us with this
15th June 2020