For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 26, Toronto, ON — Today, Toronto Ouest Secondary School and The Get REAL Movement launch the LGBTQr Code in support of LGBTQ+ community members’ right to feel safe and secure in school. The code will appear on T-shirts, stickers, pins and more, which will be handed out to students. When the code is scanned, it leads to a microsite that educates students on important LGBTQ+ issues. In this way, students are able to take LGBTQ+ education into their own hands and spread a message of inclusivity. This campaign is a response to the Ontario government’s repeal of the 2015 sex ed. curriculum and its wavering on whether LGBTQ+ issues should be included in school curriculum.
“This year, the government has questioned the validity of supporting LGBTQ+ students in Ontario, many of whom are already facing bullying and a lack of acceptance,” says Chris Studer, Executive Director and Founder of Get REAL. “We are proud to give students back their power and launch the LGBTQr Code Campaign at École Ouest, a school that cares deeply about supporting the well-being of all its students.”
The Get Real Movement is launching this campaign at Toronto Ouest with a workshop that will cover several key issues, including the importance of inclusive education that recognizes the challenges LGBTQ+ youth face and the importance of building a community, through the sharing of personal stories and experiences. It will culminate in the introduction of the LGBTQr Code and the handing out of T-shirts emblazoned with the specially designed QR codes.
LGBTQr Code T-shirts will be available for purchase at www.wegetreal.ca. The shirt is a tool for students to help educate other students on LGBTQ+ issues. There are two stylish tees, each displaying a QR code on the front. A quick scan with a student’s Android phone or iPhone will unlock terminology unique to the LGBTQ+ community and address questions such as the following: Is being gay a choice? How can I deal with bullying at school, stemming from my identity? When is the right time to come out?
“We’re so excited to share what we’ve built, how it works and how it will impact Ontario students for the better!” —Anton Michener, Grade 11 student at Ouest.
The LGBTQr Code campaign was created in partnership with the Toronto advertising agency UNION and aims to showcase the importance of LGBTQ+ education, acceptance and support in schools by sharing education, terminology and real stories of LGBTQ+ students from across Ontario.
“The LGBTQr Code effectively turns students into teaching tools,” says Adam Thur, Creative Director at UNION. “The goal of the campaign is to encourage more kids to talk about LGBTQ+ issues and to provide a resource for kids looking for help.”
About Get Real
Founded at Western University in 2011, Get REAL is a non-profit organization that combats LGBTQ+ discrimination and bullying in schools, summer camps and workplaces across Canada. National in scope, its programming focuses on providing positive LGBTQ+ role models, creating allies and combatting prejudice and stereotypes through education. Between its high school after-school programs, its university chapters and its inclusivity workshops, Get REAL has impacted over 250,000 young people to date, and the demand for its work is only growing.
UNION is an integrated advertising agency that specializes in manufacturing ideas that help make its clients’ brands more useful to consumers. It creates lasting unions between brands and consumers by finding ways to become a welcome, valued part of their lives at precisely the right times. Launched in 2012, UNION is part of the MDC Partners network. UNION has done work for a range of clients including INFINITI, Tetley, Kraft Canada, Best Buy, Canadian Real Estate Association and pro-bono clients such as The Power Plant, Interval House and Stop Gap. For more information about UNION, visit unioncreative.com.
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