TBWA\London has developed a social awareness initiative called #OutAndProudParentsDay to support parents who are struggling to come to terms with their child coming out as LGBTQI+. The initiative and campaign have been developed in partnership with Naz and Matt Foundation, the charity that tackles religion-induced homophobia to help parents accept LGBTQI+ children.
#OutAndProudParentsDay launches on 30 July 2019, a poignant day for the charity because it marks the fifth anniversary of the loss of Matt’s fiancé, Naz, who took his own life two days after his deeply religious family confronted him about his sexuality.
The social awareness initiative and promotional campaign aims to spread a message of acceptance across social media through a film showing mothers and fathers ‘coming out’ as parents of their LGBTQI+ child and talking about how proud they are of them. Collaborating with LGBTQI+ groups to target relevant families, the film will be pushed out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
By creating social buzz, the initiative creates a calendar moment for parents of LGBTQI+ people to reflect on the bravery of their child and ‘come out’ themselves. The goal is also to create an inspiring and highly visible community of accepting parents who share their own videos and images using the #OutAndProudParentsDay hashtag to counter the negative peer pressure that can often come from staunchly religious communities.
The project was led by TBWA\London’s head of data, Tim Noblett, who also co-chairs OPEN Pride UK. Tim said: “At a time of high-profile protests against LGBTQI+ education at religious schools, it’s crucial that we drive positive conversation and encourage acceptance. This is why our #OutAndProudParentsDay initiative aims to inspire and support the parents of LGBTQI+ children who fear community backlash.”
Naz and Matt Foundation’s founder, Matthew Mahmood-Ogston, added: “Five years on from losing Naz, we are thankful to TBWA\London for helping us give this tragic moment a more positive meaning. We hope this day will establish itself as an annual event that will help support parents struggling to understand or accept their LGBTQI+ children.
“'Coming out’ to parents is one of the hardest things any LGBTQI+ person will ever have to do. Parents with traditional conservative views or strong religious beliefs often lack the right information and positive guidance to understand what it truly means to be LGBTQI+. We are encouraging parents, who are already accepting and proud of their LGBTQI+ children, to ‘come out’ and share their stories publicly with the hashtag #OutAndProudParentsDay. We hope this will positively inspire other parents who may so far be struggling on their journey to find acceptance.”