Egale shuffles up gender norms with a new deck of cards

The non-profit's latest shows how outdated binaries can fly under the radar.

Egale Canada is reimagining a simple deck of playing cards to draw attention to ways traditional gender constructs can exclude people who aren’t part of a simple binary.

Launching tomorrow for International Non-Binary People’s Day, the campaign, “#DealThemIn,” challenges everyone to move past the gender binary across social media with static posts and short video that show off the deck of cards, which sets aside the gendered King, Queen and Jack imagery in exchange for non-binary representations of those characters.

The push will be supported by non-binary influencers, including Eric Radford, Priyanka and Brooke Lyn.

Playing cards have risen in popularity among younger demographics looking for ways to pass the time due to the pandemic, and the goal of this campaign is to turn what was already one of the most pervasive objects in culture into a symbol for greater representation – and all the ways outdated gender binaries can fly under the radar.

“Playing cards have been used countless times in today’s era to represent our culture,” said Alexis Bronstorph, global co-CCO at Taxi, which developed the campaign. “But they’ve always included outdated gender constructs that exclude so many people. #DealThemIn turns playing cards into a catalyst for cultural change.”

To develop the campaign video, Taxi and Egale partnered with Fort York VFX to handle animation, School Editing to edit and SNDWRx Audio for the original track.

The campaign is the latest effort from Egale – one of Canada’s leading rights organizations for LGBTQ people – to spotlight different, specific areas of queer rights that need attention. Last year’s campaign helped young people who feel more comfortable coming out online than in person to their friends and families, and it has also tackled blood screening and the isolation felt by older members of the LGBTQ community.