Holding the hand of the one you love is the most basic gesture of affection there is. Yet in 2017, this simple celebration is still difficult for many members of the LGBTIQ community.
So this year as part of our ongoing commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion and respect, and our continuing support of both Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the Auckland Pride Festival, we have launched #HOLDTIGHT.
Launched across both Australia and New Zealand #HOLDTIGHT celebrates one of the most basic display of human affection - holding hands.
We’re aiming to highlight what is a gesture that is difficult for many in the LGBTI community and turn it into a celebration of love and by asking people to ‘hold tight,’ when they feel like letting go.
The campaign began with us commissioning a study across Australia and New Zealand, where we spoke with people about the concept of holding hands. Among the findings was that the vast majority of people agree that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, should feel comfortable showing affection in public by holding hands. However, the research found this was not always the case in reality.
We also reached out to our staff from every level of the business and asked them to discuss the idea of holding hands with a partner.
As part of the campaign we have also developed a piece of wearable tech - a custom wristband, which will be distributed exclusively at Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Auckland Pride Festival.
The wristband is a first of its kind and uses infrared to detect proximity between two wearers, lighting up when their hands come together and hold tight.
Our GAYTMs will be returning, with our two Oxford Street machines themselves ‘holding tight’. As in previous years, all transaction fees from the GAYTMs will go to support Twenty10.
In New Zealand there will be two GAYTMs, one at 45 Queen St and one at ANZ Ponsonby along the Auckland Pride Parade route. We’ll be donating 50 cents for ever transaction on the GAYTMs to support OUTLine.
As much a celebration of holding hands, #HOLDTIGHT is also a message of our support for the community and their ongoing campaign for equality.
It is recognition that equality has come a long way, but that it still has a way to go, and is a message to the community to stay strong.
As part of the campaign, we are encouraging people to share images on social media of them holding hands with someone special with the hashtag #HOLDTIGHT. When #HOLDTIGHT is used on Twitter, a custom emoji will also generate.