This post was written by Joseph Huff-Hannon a campaign manager with All Out. All Out is a new international campaigning organization dedicated to building a movement to accelerate full equality for LGBT people.| G87A9FHYCZT5
At no other time have global LGBT issues been making headline news so frequently—from the continuing controversy over the proposed “Anti-Gay” bill in Uganda, to the marriage equality law recently passed in Argentina, to the historic repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the United States. The struggle for LGBT equality is the civil rights movement of our time—a movement that is increasingly global.
That’s why last month, when we introduced All Out, a new international campaign organization dedicated to accelerating full equality for LGBTQ people around the world, we did so with a short video. As fans of Witness well know, video is a powerful tool, and for us it proved to be the right medium to tell a very big story in a very brief amount of time (under two minutes).
With a modest budget, but much enthusiasm from volunteer photographers and LGBT activists around the world, we coordinated parallel photo shoots in eleven cities—Barcelona, Beirut, Buenos Aires, Capetown, Delhi, Kathmandu, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Tokyo. Among our collaborators and models were Sunil Pant, the only openly out legislator in all of South East Asia (Nepal), Aya Kamikawa, the first transsexual person to seek elected office in Japan, Sridhar Rangayan, Director of the Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, and many more.
With our partners at Found Object Films we developed a powerful script to complement the compelling portraiture of LGBT people around the world we’d collected. We wanted to frame the issue as a truly global human rights crisis—in 76 countries it is still a crime to live and love as an LGBT person—while also presenting simple, personal statements that speak to a universal demand for equality and freedom. The ultimate message, we hope, is one that encourages and celebrates people stepping up to become participants, not bystanders.
In 2011 and beyond All Out will campaign on a variety of issues important to LGBT people around the world—speaking out against the often unsolved and under investigated murders of trans people, highlighting inequity in multinational hiring policies, and challenging the role of US Evangelicals who foment hate and homophobia in Africa and beyond, as well as organizing people and resources to defend hard-won victories for equality.
Video storytelling will undoubtedly continue to be part of that campaign mix—highlighting the work of activists around the world, who are often working under challenging circumstances. Video will also likely play a crucial role in documenting and sharing moments of celebration with a global audience, and will continue to be a creative part of All Out’s toolkit in working to shift the needle on political and popular discussions of LGBT equality around the world.
As a global movement, how else can we use video to communicate with each other, and to draw attention to this urgent campaign for LGBT equality? We’d love to hear your ideas. Please share them in the comments section below and/or drop us a line at: info @ allout [dot] org.