Leading LGBTQ+ charity, Manchester Pride has announced its first ever campaign to prevent hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community. The campaign which will run throughout 2022/23 aims to raise awareness of the issues faced by LGBTQ+ people and encourage more people to report hate crime. It will also inform people how to recognise hate and support LGBTQ+ people and encourage Great Manchester venues and businesses to provide safe spaces.
The hard hitting and wide-reaching campaign launched on October 10th and is being supported by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Beverley Hughes and will encourage Mancunians to Choose Kindness over hate.
The need for this campaign comes as latest figures show that over the past 12 months (up to 30th June 2022) 2,100 people across Greater Manchester were subjected to hate crime because of their sexual orientation, up 23.7% from the year before. Further to this, 346 people across Greater Manchester were subjected to hate crime because of their gender orientation, a 69.6% increase from the year before. Therefore, a total 2,446 LGBTQ+ people were subjected to a hate crime because of their sexual orientation or gender identity*. With these stats increasing there has never been a more important time to launch this message.
In 2022 Manchester Pride conducted a consultation with Greater Manchester’s LGBTQ+ communities. ‘Pride In Our Future’ heard from over 3,000 people and key stakeholders including Manchester City Council, AKT, George House Trust, LGBT Foundation and The Proud Trust about the issues and challenges faced by the regions LGBTQ+ communities and the areas they wanted Manchester Pride to focus its campaigning. Increases in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes was identified as the top issue affecting LGBTQ+ people along with prejudice and discrimination.
To really hit home why this anti-hate campaign is so needed, Manchester Pride has developed an advertising creative that will be seen across the city and is based on some hard-hitting genuine hate crime messages that people have received online.
The campaign will consist of a billboard campaign throughout the whole of the city with the creative and is being supported by key landmarks/businesses including King Street, Axis Tower and a number of other sites. Radio ads will also run on Gaydio. Influential people across the city are asked to show their support via social media.
Individuals who show the message, ‘I Choose Kindness’ will be making a statement that they will not tolerate hate, and all businesses that show the message ‘I Choose Kindness’ will be making a statement that they are a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to truly be themselves with no fear.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Greater Manchester is a place where everyone should have the right to get on and feel safe, regardless of who they are. We celebrate diversity and the contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to our city region.
“Sadly, we know it’s the case that too many people suffer hate because of who they are, whether that’s because of their sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or another reason. “I hope campaigns such as I Choose Kindness will play a major part in raising awareness of hate, taking a stand and choosing kindness instead.”
Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “We need to respond and support victims and I welcome the work of Manchester Pride through this campaign in raising awareness. “I urge people affected by hate crime to report it. They will be supported by the police. “I also hope we can all come together as a community to stop hate crime from happening and to choose kindness instead.”
It will also be supported by an influencer campaign.
Manchester Pride CEO, Mark Fletcher said: “It was clear from the consultation with our communities that their main concern is the threat of hate; added to this the latest hate crime figures which show incidents increasing year on year. We have to act to end this. We ask everyone to come together and show compassion for their fellow Mancunians so we can all feel safe to be our true selves.
“We hope that by raising awareness of this issue, we will create a legacy campaign for Manchester Pride that will live far beyond the fantastic Pride weekend celebrations and have an impact for years to come. It’s never been more important to Choose Kindness.”