gal-dem founder Liv Little is working together with Stonewall and Absolut Vodka to spread awareness on how to be a better LGBT+ ally.
The Absolut “A Drop of Love” campaign, taking place over LGBT History Month in February, provides an online guide that will encourage people to pledge their allegiance to equality in return for advice on how to be a better LGBT+ ally.
The campaign also sees the participation of other members of the LGBT+ community—including Pxssy Palace co-founder Nadine Artois, writer Shon Faye, voguer Jay Jay Revlon, UK Black Pride youth engagement officer Tanya Compas, and Bitch, Please!
Little, who founded the online and print magazine Gal-Dem, written by women of colour and non binary people of colour in 2015 as a response to a lack of diversity in the media, has a few ideas on how to address the issue.
“The fundamental thing is how you can talk about representation so that it’s not just a one off, but a holistic commitment,” she tells PinkNews, adding: “Give a platform to people to tell their stories.”
“Not assuming knowledge, being open to criticism—those are all things that all of us as human beings could do to make it easier for those who are part of a marginalised group.”
— gal-dem founder Liv Little
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Initiatives to reflect inclusivity within the LGBT+ community such as adding a black and a brown stripe to the LGBT+ rainbow flag have sometimes been met with resistance—a study conducted by BuzzFeed News last year found that the majority of queer people in the US were opposed to the new eight-striped Pride flag.
“It comes from a notion of fear,” Little says.
Becoming a better LGBT+ ally, she says, involves challenging others “to stand up, provide spaces or, importantly, just listen.”
“Not assuming knowledge, being open to criticism—those are all things that all of us as human beings could do to make it easier for those who are part of a marginalised group,” she adds.
The cooperation between Little, Stonewall and Absolut is part of the liquor brand’s continuing efforts to promote messages of love and support in the face of hateful behaviour, embodied in its limited-edition “Absolut Drop” bottle.
Absolut unveiled the “A Drop of Love” campaign last year in a memorable clapback to an anti-gay Facebook post from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is designated as a hate group by the monitoring organisation Southern Poverty Law Center.
During five months between 2017 and 2018, Absolut attended hate group rallies across various countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and Bulgaria, to collect as many signs as possible, extract the ink with which the racist, sexist and homophobic slogans were written and mix it in the ink Absolut used to print the writing on the bottle.
Little loved the concept of taking messages of hate and repurposing them and decided to join the Absolut Ally campaign.
“I’ve been asked to do campaigns in the past around similar topics and this is the first one were I felt the people involved, the organisations involved, made me feel confident it was something good to get involved in,” she says.