Stonewall celebrates 30 years of fighting for LGBT equality

Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, Friday 24 May 2019 marked 30 years since the organisation was founded to oppose Section 28.

Back in 1989, the newly introduced Section 28 effectively banned conversations about same-sex relationships in school.

It ushered in a dark era where homophobic bullying flourished, and young LGBT people were left to suffer in silence. This devastating legislation also forced LGBT teachers into the closet or out of a job.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘Our 30th birthday is a hugely exciting milestone, where we get to look back at how much we’ve achieved. Britain’s LGBT movement has won major victories on employment rights, parenting rights, partnership rights, serving in the military and equal age of consent. But we can’t be complacent.

‘The divisive debates we’ve seen recently around LGBT-inclusive education have echoed the conversations that took place when Section 28 was introduced. We fought long and hard against those dark times, but two years of debates about trans people’s existence in the media and online have put us in danger of going backwards.

‘When we question one group’s right, we expose the rights of everyone to be questioned and debated. Now more than ever, we need everyone who cares about equality to show their support to make the world a better place for every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person.’

Creative agency Mr. President launches Stonewall’s 30 Star Moments’ campaign, featuring new film from Aardman. For the past three years, their work with Stonewall has been pushing people to be vocal allies for LGBT rights. With this campaign they wanted to surface more of this active support by showing the brutality of the legislation that Stonewall has fought so far. By celebrating the victories Stonewall has won and is still winning, they aim to inspire others to step up and lend their support to the ongoing battle for equality.

Mr President said:

“We used the famous Stonewall star to highlight 30 of the charity’s most-notable moments of equality over the last 30 years. From the famous female same-sex kiss on Brookside in the 90s, to overturning the rules against LGBT people serving in the military, the campaign contrasts the brutality of past anti-LGBT legislation with the reality of the comparative equality we enjoy now. Everyone who features in the images was a volunteer and is either LGBT or actively champions LGBT equality in their community.

The incredible Sir Ian McKellen, Stonewall co-founder, showed his support by narrating an emotional spoken-word piece serving as a call-to-arms for everyone to join the fight for acceptance without exception. Enhanced with visuals by Aardman, the piece will be played out on radio, in cinema, and on Channel 4. In OOH the campaign will achieve over 13 million impacts across Britain promoting overturned legislation from the last 30 years. The OOH was shot by Sophie Mayanne, best known for Mothercare’s latest campaign, #BodyProudMums.

The campaign launched on 24 May, Stonewall’s 30th birthday, in Picturehouse Cinemas before the premiere of the new Elton John biopic, Rocketman, and between Gogglebox and The Last Leg on Channel 4 just before 10pm on Friday evening. It will feature on TV, cinema, radio, OOH, and online. Businesses and organisations that Stonewall works with, including Channel 4, the Military and The Premier League will commemorate the 30th anniversary and lend their support by sharing birthday wishes through their channels. The campaign will run until the end of October 2019.”

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