Established LGBTQ+ labels are facing the threat of extinction in the wake of the “Don’t say Gay” bill and legislation restricting schools from teaching children about sexual orientation or gender identity. On behalf of our own employees and the community at large, Digitas was determined to use design as a force for progress in this space, ensuring identities aren’t censored but literally seen as a part of everyday conversation. Because you can’t, and shouldn’t, quiet pride.
“Trans” is not a bad word. Gender should never feel taboo. De-normalizing sexual identity isn’t normal. When these identities are oppressed or marginalized, people are compelled to speak up and speak out. Can’t Quiet Pride gave the queer community a way to visually shout and literally spread the word.
The execution of the campaign was straightforward: It began with a simple empty speech bubble template that was shared with a wide range of queer and allied artists, designers and creators, as well as agency employees. Participants were asked to populate the speech bubble with any LGBTQ+ label, identity, nickname or term they wanted, and in any visual style of their choosing. And there was no limit or obligation to the number of entries any person could submit; it was free reign for freedom of expression.
Every non-agency contributor was paid for their work (what good is an awareness campaign if it takes advantage of the community it aims to support) and promoted through the CantQuietPride.com website; simultaneously spotlighting LGBTQ+ identities while also providing a platform to highlight LGBTQ+ artists.
Final designs were made freely available as digital downloads and social stickers. Plus, to culminate the campaign, 20,000 physical stickers were distributed at Pride events throughout the country (San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and NYC). Each sticker included the CantQuitePride.com URL where users could learn more about the artists and the cause.
The final, eclectic collection of shareable works represented individuals across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, giving them and their supporters a striking way to feel seen, and more importantly, heard. Because every person and every preference should be celebrated, not silenced.
While the campaign generated 32,000+ social impressions and raised awareness for dozens of LGBTQ+ artists, Can’t Quiet Pride’s greatest success—and primary intent—was the individual moments of recognition, affirmation, appreciation and validation of those who experienced the designs in the world.