One Equal World

Planned Parenthood Toronto Introduces ‘Send the Right Message’ Campaign

Posted on: September 14, 2017

An image of a rainbow-colored rose with the words, "Stop homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia" above it.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Planned Parenthood Toronto is on a mission. Via their project, the LGBTQ Youth Initiative, they are out to improve the lives of queer youth. And with the Send the Right Message campaign, they’re targeting straight and cisgender youth to do their part: to stand up and be the force of the solution.

With a slogan of “Think of your impact. Rethink your words,” the poster and postcard campaign challenges all youth not only to remove anti-gay and anti-trans pejoratives from their casual language, but gives them scripts to speak up when company uses slurs or passes along stereotypes.

For example, one shows a skateboarder texting.

“Sure she came out as bi, but we both know she’s a lesbian,” says a text they’ve received.

“I love you, but I think that she knows her identity better than you do,” is their response.

The lessons focus on transphobia, gender essentiallism, biphobia, and identity policing with short, lightweight text exchanges. They call out microaggressions that might be easily dismissed, and that is what they want their youth targets to do.

Many young people want to be good allies, but where do they learn how? It’s more than going to Pride or wearing a rainbow pin. Being a good ally is about removing a burden from your LGBTQ friends, and one of the largest burden is that of educating others.

When a queer person challenges someone’s use of a slur or a stereotype, they get accused of beating people over the head with their identity, and their concerns brushed off. But if greater and greater numbers of people, cisgender, straight, and queer made it clear that these microaggressions were unacceptable, they would fade from common use.

It’s worth taking a look around Send the Right Messages’s website: it features a Privilege 101 FAQ that is written very kindly, and they want feedback on it from the LGBTQ community.

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