A new poster campaign from LGBTQ advocacy group Toronto PFLAG is sharing a positive message of inclusivity with the flash of a smartphone camera. The interactive posters have been shipped to approximately 120 middle and secondary schools and will start appearing in hallways this week.
At first glance, the posters spell out the LGBTQ acronym – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Straight, Queer and 2-Spirited – against a rainbow background. When students use the flash on their camera phones to take a picture of the poster, new words are revealed: partner, teammate, buddy, friend, ally, supporter, and BFF. Students are encouraged to share the photo using the hashtag #WhatMatters.
“From outright bullying to casual homophobia and transphobia, school can still be a very difficult place for LGBTQ young people,” said Toronto PFLAG president Anne Creighton. “Our new poster takes an interactive and creative approach to sharing an important message: LGBTQ students are people you know, respect and love. We’re very pleased to be working with the Toronto District School Board to get this message into school hallways.”
The poster was created by advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Canada, which donated their services to the project. A donation from BMO Financial Group covered the printing costs to get the posters into schools. A specialized printing process was required for the poster’s interactive effect.
“Many partners came to the table on this project, and we’re so thankful to all of them for supporting safe and positive school spaces for LGBTQ young people,” said Creighton.
The posters are available for individual sale on Toronto PFLAG’s website: torontopflag.org. The organization is also accepting online donations to help provide posters to more schools.
Part of an international PFLAG network, Toronto PFLAG is a volunteer-run charity that provides support and resources for LGBTQ individuals and their families, advocates for LGBTQ rights, and offers educational workshops in schools and workplaces.