The Times of India (TOI), India's iconic media house, launched the 'Times Out & Proud' initiative on International Day Against Homophobia (May 17) to carve out a mainstream space for members of the community who identify as LGBTQ to interact, share and collaborate with the entire Indian population.
Created in collaboration with FCB Ulka, 'Times Out & Proud' drives the LGBTQ community's one-point agenda - Acceptance. The initiative is conceptualised as a continuous series of multiple initiatives across print, digital, TV, radio and on-ground. Through various content, interactions and activations, the campaign aims to better integrate the LGBTQ community and raise awareness of their issues.
As part of the campaign, TOI invited members of the LGBTQ community to share their stories with the newspaper in 'Times Out & Proud Classifieds'. These will be carried across key metros at no cost during the tenure of the campaign.
The campaign film launched on TOI's digital platform, and portrays a captivating story of people from the LGBTQ community and their families who have been living with the hope of an inclusive world. The film offers a sneak peek into the lives of the people who have endured all societal discriminations as they pour their heart out in the classifieds columns.
Commenting on the Times Out & Proud campaign, Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI, said: "The LGBTQ community has always had a place in our hearts, now they also have a special place in our paper. Acceptance and inclusivity are the two biggest challenges for all those who are born different or choose to be non-conventional. Through this campaign, we aim to provoke the readers to debate archaic notions and adopt a progressive outlook towards modern living."
Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer of FCB India, said: "There is nothing like transsexual jealousy, heterosexual laughter, homosexual silence. If we all feel the same things, we must be the same. A classified column is the oldest part of the newspaper, one that concerns itself with life, death, birth, jobs, and issues that concern members of the LGBTQ community as well. This shall serve as a perfect reminder to humanity that there's more that connects than divides us."
Client: The Times of India
Creative Agency: FCB India
Creative Team: Fred Levron, Swati Bhattacharya, Keegan Pinto, Jason Samuel, Vishakha Khattri, Anindya Banerjee, Shailesh Khandeparkar, Nikhil Kerkar, Amol Annaldas
Account Management: Rohit Diveker, Raghav Mahendra
Production house: One Film
Campaign film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p8DFP1Tn1s
Background about the LGBTQ Community in India
On May 17, 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. But it was only on September 6, 2018, that the world's largest democracy took an iconic step to build a progressive and inclusive future when the Supreme Court of India de-criminalised the 158-year-old colonial law of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
With this landmark judgment, the gay community got a legal nod to sexual rights. Although laws have changed for the better, negative attitudes towards the LGBTQ people unfortunately persist with a majority of the LGBTQ community still living a life of discrimination and constantly worrying about how their choices may impact their loved ones.