KharkivPride 2021: Information Campaign in The City

In 2021 the team of NGO “WA Sphere” organized the biggest LGBT event in the East of Ukraine, KharkivPride, for the third time.

Pride Week was preceded by an active information campaign, which was organized to increase the visibility of LGBT. Together with the creative agency Arriba!, Kharkiv Pride created several original ways to support the community in the information space.

Long before the Equality March itself, thematic posters with portraits of real participants of the LGBT community of Kharkiv and slogans of the upcoming march appeared in the city. The first posters were vandalized by the opponents of Pride within four hours — however, a sticker with the phrase “The More They Hate Us, The Louder We Become” appeared in place of each damaged poster. And soon, the information campaign reached a new level – one of the outdoor advertising operators in Kharkiv agreed to place the posters in the city. The city’s LGBT community got the opportunity to declare itself loudly and visibly.

The next realized idea was a video about hate speech and its consequences. The participants of the Kharkiv LGBT+ community and supporters of the movement took part in the filming. The metaphor was quite obvious: the video showed how offensive words, which are often said to LGBT+ people, appear on their bodies. Nevertheless, the overall message of the video was very optimistic, because none of the heroines and heroes were going to give up – and at the end, everyone was covered by the rainbow flag. The video demonstrated the idea that, despite hate speech and rejection, LGBT people continue to live and fight.

Also, a new series of radio spots were created, in which it was explained why, at all, people go to the pride march. If anyone had questions or doubts, it was a great opportunity to get the answers.

And, finally, on the eve of Pride Week, KharkivPride found an original and effective way to turn haters’ comments, which were becoming more and more frequent, into something useful. A mechanism was developed together with the agency Arriba! and it allowed to turn hate speech into… a donation to KharkivPride. This mechanism was used for some time by the community representatives themselves, and later other KharkivPride followers on social networks began to join it.

In general, all stages of the information company aimed to make the LGBT+ community more visible and convey the idea that pride is about rights, not about sex. And, thanks to the well-chosen creative methods, even those who did not plan to go to the March were able to understand it.

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