Australian Same-Sex Couple Advertisement Delivers Powerful Message

The #HoldTight ad campaign speaks directly to LGBTQI community in sign of solidarity

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Australian Same-Sex Couple Advertisement Delivers Powerful Message

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ANZ, an Australian and New Zealand banking group, recently released an ad in support for the LGBTQI community featuring the hashtag #HoldTight.  The ad showcases the struggle LGBTQI couples face in the eyes of the public for one of the most basic gestures known to human intimacy — holding hands.

The banking group has long supported LGBTQI rights, having implemented inclusive policies and partnering with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 2007.

The ANZ banking group actually funded research looking into holding hands in public and the impacts on the LGBTQI community within New Zealand.

ANZ Managing Director Retail and Business Banking and ANZ New Zealand Pride Network sponsor Antonia Watson says that the unease within the community is demonstrated in the research.

“Holding hands is a very simple and public way of declaring love, but, sadly, not everyone in our community feels comfortable,” Ms Watson said.

The findings were both saddening and not surprising — showing that New Zealand’s LGBTQI community is more than twice as likely to feel uncomfortable holding hands in public at 39% than the non-LGBTQI community, at 18%.

The research also found that among the 504 New Zealanders who participated, 48% cited a “negative response from others” as the leading reason for feeling self-conscious holding hands.

These findings were part of the inspiration that launched the #HoldTight campaign.  “We’ve launched this new #HoldTight initiative so we can get behind our LGBT+ staff, customers and community to share our support for equality,” Ms Watson said.

In the video above, staff members for ANZ banking group tell why they are behind the campaign.  Their stories are powerful and demonstrative of how simple acts of affection are taken for granted by non-LGBTQI folks and sources of stress for those within the community.

“It also sends a powerful message to our staff that we want them to be true to themselves at work,” Ms. Watson said.

It is heartening to see an international banking group and several other corporations around the globe take a stand with their LGBTQI customers and employees.  One can only hope more companies follow suit in the stand against bigotry and discrimination on the global scale.

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