Snickers and Gay Star News have launched a campaign to help LGBTI people ‘be who you are’.
Gay Star Support, a new part of the Gay Star News site, will provide resources for anyone in the community who is struggling.
It will tell stories of LGBTIs who have been through tough times and now want to help others.
Snickers is sponsoring Gay Star Support and will use its online advertising to send the message to everyone that they should ‘be who you are’.
Mitch Oliver, UK Vice President of Marketing for Mars Chocolate UK, said:
‘We want to promote friendship and the support network we all give each other. That’s what the Snickers brand stands for; good friendship, camaraderie and being the best version of yourself.
‘We all know Snickers tells us “you are not yourself when you are hungry”. Now it will tell us “your friends will accept you whoever you are, in all your colors”.’
Tris Reid-Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Gay Star News, said:
‘LGBTI people face specific issues like coming out or overcoming hate. And like everyone else, we have relationship ups and downs, problems at school, work or home, body issues and more.
‘Gay Star Support will provide inspiration from people who have gone through this, useful advice and a list of places to turn if you are struggling.
‘If our work with Snickers and Mars helps just a few people be their true selves, it will be worth it. But our dream is to inspire everyone to support their friends. That way we can make a real difference not just to LGBTIs but to the whole community.’
With LGBTI mental health now a major concern in the community, the initiative has been welcomed by the Equalities Minister and the Mayor of London.
‘Hubs such as Gay Star Support play such an important role in society’
Minister for Women, Equalities and Early Years, Caroline Dinenage, said:
‘No one should be held back simply because of their sexuality or gender identity. We want a society where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow. This Government is committed to tackling historic injustices which have affected far too many people.
‘Hubs such as Gay Star Support play such an important role in society. I am thrilled that it will give people a place to feel supported, share experiences and ultimately celebrate their identity.’
Sadiq, Khan, Mayor of London said:
‘I’m am proud that London is home to one of largest, most visible and diverse LGBT+ communities in the world, and I want the city to be a place where LGBT+ people feel truly valued, healthy, happy and safe.
‘I have met with many people from across the capital’s LGBT+ communities and I recognize the need for better and more considered mental health provision.
‘I’m pleased to see Gay Star News launching this great initiative, helping people to share their own experiences and break down the stigma around mental health.’
“We love the idea we can support LGBTI people to be themselves. It matters to our Snickers brand, our business and to me personally.
I volunteered for years as a Samaritan. And they are at the real hard edge of what happens if people’s mental health isn’t looked after.
It’s no surprise mental health is a huge issue in the LGBTI community too. How can you be mentally healthy if you are hiding an element of yourself – even if it’s you’re out at home and not at work? Living with that tension damages you.
So we need to do everything we can to encourage people to ‘be who you are’.
We know that’s not always easy, for LGBTI people or anyone. Our campaign and Gay Star Support won’t solve all your problems.
But we can give people inspiration and encouragement, especially when they are going through tough times. And we can send a message to look out for your friends and to ask for help when you need it.”