Egale dons its gay apparel for a holiday campaign

Christmas can be stressful and isolating for LGBTQ2S+ people, so the non-profit is getting people to donate outside of Pride.


Egale Canada is challenging a holiday season status quo with a new campaign that conveys a clear message: this has always been one of the queerest times of the year.

The campaign was developed with agency partner Taxi, and draws upon the simple realization that a lot of the iconography, decorations and music that is abundant during the holidays is at least a little bit queer-coded.

“I’m a queer person myself, and when we were brainstorming and looking at Christmas pictures, we thought: how has nobody thought of this before?” explains Allen Kwong, a CD with the agency. “Look at the ornaments. There’s glitter everywhere. And listen to all of that Mariah Carey!”

In spite of those obvious parallels, and even though most charities activate during the holidays and many people opening their wallets to give to their favourite causes, “nobody really thinks about the LGBTQ community,” says Kwong. “Really, it only comes up around Pride.”

Egale wants to change that – especially since LGBTQ+ people have been disproportionately impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and the holidays are a difficult time of year for the community. In fact, the organization’s own research found that almost two thirds of LGBTQ+ feel unsafe to be their authentic selves at this time of year, fearing familial rejection and isolation.

In a new, digital spot supported by social, CRM and wild postings, the organization showcases a number of campy holiday scenes set to a cover of “Deck the Halls,” contrasting the bright colours and cheerful music with the stark and sobering image of an ostensibly LGBTQ+ person standing outside a home decorated for the holidays and looking in.

image003“This is a particularly difficult time for 2SLGBTQI people. So this year, it was important for us to build in an element of awareness about the issues that continue to impact our 2SLGBTQI communities and inspire allies and broader audiences to learn about how they can support,” explains Jennifer Boyce, director of communications and PR for Egale Canada.

By focusing primarily on digital advertising, Egale was able to convert a limited budget into a broader, national reach, where the organization “has seen the highest engagement rates from our audiences previously.”

“We want to meet people where they are and make it easy for them to support a cause close to their hearts,” Boyce adds. “The most cost-effective way for us to do that on a national scale is through social media.”

With files from Christopher Lombardo.