This Pride Flag Helps LGBTQ+ Travellers See the World

What if each bar on the pride flag could tell the story of the place it was flying? That’s the idea at the heart of “Destination Pride,” a new digital platform developed by​ ​PFLAG Canada in partnership with FCB/SIX

In a world where gay marriage is legal in one place and homosexuality punishable by death in another, the stakes for LGBTQ+ travellers have always been high. is a step toward helping the community better navigate the planet.  

“Since it was created by Gilbert Baker 40 years ago, the pride flag has been a symbol of welcome,” says Louis Duncan-He, National Director of Marketing for PFLAG Canada. “No matter where members of our community go, the flag says safety, hospitality and love.

“But for LGBTQ+ travellers today, that welcome is not equal across all destinations. Even the relatively simple act of choosing a place to visit can be the difference between sunsets and stare-downs, or worse. There’s never been a single, searchable tool that makes this volume and type of data so accessible.”

Duncan-He says the Destination Pride platform is a natural extension of PFLAG Canada’s promise of support and inclusiveness for all, enabling the organization to reach its constituents in an entirely new way.

Discover the data behind the destination

The heart of the platform is – a data-driven search tool designed to help travellers understand LGBTQ+ laws, rights and social sentiment around the world. The tool works by measuring and aggregating global data across six key metrics of acceptance, including marriage equality, sexual activity laws, and civil liberties (e.g., blood donation and adoption). The data are then indexed across the six bars of the pride flag – like a bar graph – to create an informative and arresting data visualization for each destination on Earth. The tool then uses the data to assign a single Rotten Tomatoes-style score out of 100 to each destination. 

“A big part of our agency’s work involves using data to create individual experiences,” says Ian Mackenzie, Executive Creative Director of FCB/SIX. “That’s what makes Destination Pride so powerful. There are millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world having unique travel experiences, both positive and negative, as a result of factors like marriage laws and public sentiment. Our vision is to make the data behind those experiences visible for this community and its allies – helping inform travel choices while  progress.

“In addition to measuring slow-moving data such as marriage law, Destination Pride also measures social media chatter. This data sits on the purple bar of our graph, and can make a destination’s score change in real time.”

Charting new territory

Given the stakes of the topic, there has been relatively little conversation about the realities of travel within the LGBTQ+ community. That’s why the platform includes a commenting hub that allows visitors to the site to discuss the results and share their perspective on every destination. Videos on the site also feature actual interviews with travellers from the LGBTQ+ community, set to animations designed to visualize their story and the data behind it.

What’s clear is that whether it’s a lesbian couple getting engaged in Paris, a gay man hooking-up in Kuwait, or a trans person’s first flight as a woman – all real stories recounted by actual LGBTQ+ travellers within Destination Pride – the experiences are as diverse as the community itself.

The platform is launching globally, with Facebook video ad units running in some of the lowest and highest-scoring cities – including Moscow (35), Mumbai (15), Kampala (8), Kingston, Jamaica (27), Macau (51), Toronto (67), San Francisco (69) and Sydney (72).

“The ad units we’re running in Moscow feature high-scoring destinations that are short flight from Moscow,” adds Mackenzie. “The LGBTQ community in that city is being unfairly persecuted, so we’re thrilled that our platform can provide hope – and viable travel destinations– for its members.”

​There are three launch videos on the site – 

  • First Flight as a Woman​
  • Equal Under the Eiffel
  • No Man’s Land

Seven more videos, showcasing the stories of travellers from the LGBTQ+ community, will be added over the next eight weeks. There is also digital out of home running across Canada. 

About the data

The tool starts by aggregating global data from three sources: the LGBT knowledge base Equaldex, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and the social analytics tool Netbase. Our algorithm then assigns a numerical score to each of our six key measures (see below), and indexes those scores across the six bars of the flag. 

From there, the data is calculated into a single numerical score.

Key innovations:

  • Dynamic flag visualization based on real-time data.
  • A single numerical score for every destination.
  • Implementation of city-level data.
  • Traveler-friendly visual interface.
  • Platform built to integrate new data.

Destination Pride will continue to grow. The vision is for it to be an ongoing platform with improving data, a rich map function, and that the user comments contributed to each destination will enrich the overall picture of LGBTQ+ acceptance for every place on earth. Our dream is a world where every destination can raise a full flag.

About PFLAG Canada

PFLAG Canada is proud to be Canada’s only national organization that offers peer-to-peer support striving to help all Canadians with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. We support, educate and provide resources to anyone with questions or concerns. We promise to offer local, practical, and emotional peer-to-peer family support for individuals and their loved ones challenged by gender/sexual identity.

About FCB/SIX:

FCB/SIX is a specialist agency that creates individualized brand experiences at scale. We built our agency at the leading and bleeding edge of SIX key disciplines, each working together to solve some of the most complex problems known to modern marketing. Our vision is to create a world where no two humans experience a brand the same way. Our sweet spot is smarter, faster, hyper focused, digitally led work. FCB/SIX is part of the FCB Canada group of companies.


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