#FreedomTo… be Proud

Besi Besemar June 17, 2014

Pride in London 2014 launches nationwide selfie campaign celebrating British Freedom & Equality.

London Pride

Pride in London, London’s annual festival championing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, has launched a new campaign “Freedom to…”, calling for Londoners to communicate what Freedom means to them in celebration of equality and diversity.

The campaign, which aims to reach millions of people through Facebook and twitter – as well as a two week advertising campaign across London – will encourage people to express what freedom means to them by writing a short message on a piece of paper or card, taking a selfie and posting it under the hashtag #FreedomTo.

The campaign has already secured engagement from celebrities such as TV presenter Graham Norton, BBC news presenter Jane Hill, Harry Derbidge (The Only Way is Essex), Angela Eagle MP (Britain’s first openly lesbian Member of Parliament), Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks), Peter Tatchell, Louie Spence, Sinitta and Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), all of whom have supported the campaign with their own ‘#FreedomTo…’ statements.

Graham Norton posted “#Freedom to … be camp!” whilst Jane Hill posted “#Freedom to … be a great wife” whilst standing next to her wife in her selfie. Harry Derbidge stated his freedom was to be equal, Kieron Richardson said freedom allowed him to kiss his boyfriend, whilst Sinitta stated “#FreedomTo… strut my stuff down Regent Street!” in reference to the annual Pride Parade through central London.

Graham Norton
Graham Norton

TV Presenter Graham Norton, said: “Right now we have so many freedoms and yet suddenly all sorts of weird issues are coming up – issues like transphobia or the idea that camp people are somehow betraying the gay community … and I just feel like, actually, no! There’s room for everyone. I just think you’ve got to let a diverse community be diverse.”

Angela Eagle, MP
Angela Eagle, MP

Angela Eagle MP, added: “It’s important for everyone to have the #FreedomTo be who they are and to live their lives free from the fear of bigotry and prejudice. A good society is about allowing people to reach their full potential and be happy in all areas of their life.”

Inspired by the current ‘selfie’ trend, the “Freedom to…” campaign provides a simple, fun but creative platform for individuals and community groups to celebrate the role freedom plays in their daily lives – the freedoms that make Britain the best country for LGBT+ people to live in according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

It is hoped the campaign will also draw attention to the millions around the world for whom freedom is denied, and act as a reminder of why the high-profile and inclusive celebration of Pride is still so important for the LGBT community – not only within London but around the world.

Michael Salter
Michael Salter

Michael Salter, Chair for Pride in London, said: “Pride in London is not just celebration of our capital’s brilliant diversity – it’s an opportunity to acknowledge how much we have achieved whilst also recognising there is still much work to do to win true freedom for everyone … not just in London, but around the world.

 “Our new campaign is about making sure that everyone has a chance to tell their story and be part of the celebration and campaigning of Pride in London. The ‘Freedom to…’ theme celebrates the freedoms that Londoners have fought for, enjoy, and campaign to extend, allowing people to make a really personal statement about what freedom is most important to them and why; Whether it’s freedom to campaign for international rights, freedom to continue changing attitudes in the UK, or the simple freedom to kiss their partner goodbye at a bus stop without the need to self-censor.

“It also gives us a reason to pause and be proud of London, the UK and the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis, remembering those around the world who can’t be themselves and live in fear in those 77 countries where homosexuality is illegal and in communities everywhere that are oppressive or intolerant of all kinds of minorities.”

You can get involved with the Pride in London #FreedomTo campaign in three simple steps:

· Step 1: Decide on your #FreedomTo message. What does freedom mean to you? It doesn’t have to be profound, but it should be something you care about.

· Step 2: Get a whiteboard or a large piece of A3 card and write your message in marker pen, starting with #FreedomTo…. Next, find a nice friend to take your photo.

· Step 3: Upload your photo to Facebook or Twitter. Add a little explanation of why this freedom is important to you, tagging it with #FreedomTo and then post it.

The ‘Freedom To’ theme will also inspire Pride in London’s first ever advertising campaign, which is set to be featured across London Underground and London Buses in the two weeks up to and throughout Pride Week. Through a combination of social media activity and live interaction with digital posters on the Underground, the campaign will highlight the diversity of the LGBT community and offer members of the public the chance to appear within the campaign.

Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell concluded, saying: “The #FreedomTo love and be loved is one of the most important of all human rights. Love and relationships are central to most people’s lives, yet no human rights agreement in the whole world, so far, acknowledges that right specifically. That has to change.”

Pride in London is a week-long festival celebrating all aspects of the LGBT community that takes place in the London from June 22-29, with the central London parade, festival in Trafalgar Square and activities in Soho taking place on Saturday, June 28.

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