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.
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 previous year.
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, and increases in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes was identified as the top issue affecting LGBTQ+ people, along with prejudice and discrimination.
The campaign will consist of billboards throughout the whole of the city and radio ads 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.”
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.”