Words do hurt – we need more #LoveSpeech

APN MG ANZ LovespeechMardi Gras is the perfect time to celebrate all the unique ways in which our beautiful rainbow community express themselves. Historically, Mardi Gras has also provided a powerful platform for shedding light on deeper issues that affect LGBTIQ+ Australians and igniting important conversations both within the community and with the rest of the country.

As a principal partner of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and a major supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community, ANZ has launched #LoveSpeech – a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the negative impact this language has on the LGBTIQ+ community.

“Diversity, inclusion and respect is a part of who we are at ANZ,” said ANZ Executive Sponsor of the Pride Network and ANZ Chief Finance Officer, Michelle Jablko. “We hope this campaign helps people understand the impact of hurtful language, and promotes more #LoveSpeech online and offline so everyone can embrace their authentic selves.”

This comes as new research found that 78% of the LGBTIQ+ community has been the victim to hurtful, homophobic or transphobic language, with more than two thirds (69%) being called a derogatory name such as ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’ or ‘tranny’ in the past 12 months.

A group of young LGBTIQ+ people have loaned their voices for an emotive short film that demonstrates first-hand the negative effects of hurtful language on the community. Confronting in its honesty, the film resolves with a plea to stop the hate – appealing for a world with more #LoveSpeech.

In addition, ANZ has developed Your Guide to #LoveSpeech that includes definitions of terms associated with the LGBTIQ+ community and tips on how to use inclusive language. A Google Chrome extension, The Hurt Blocker, also empowers the LGBTIQ+ community by transforming offensive words online into celebratory emojis like rainbows, hearts and unicorns.

“Hurtful language can have a negative impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people, and that’s why ANZ has launched this powerful and insightful #LoveSpeech campaign, spreading beautiful messages of support for our community,” said Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Albert Kruger, “Our longstanding partnership with ANZ started 14 years ago, and their passion for Mardi Gras continues to extend to the broader LGBTIQ+ community and beyond.”

For more information about #LoveSpeech, visit: www.anz.com.au. The 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras continues to Sunday 1 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.

Image: #LoveSpeech (film still)

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