NYC Pride faxes queer literature to lawmakers to fight anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation
A new campaign from NYC Pride and Havas New York targets US lawmakers responsible for recent anti-LGBTQIA+ bills, with the help of queer literature and fax machines.
The “#BurytheBills” campaign raises awareness of legislation that jeopardizes the rights of sexual minority groups. It kicked off on June 26, Pride Day, with outdoor advertisements outlining the bills and calling out the lawmakers responsible for them.
One, for example, reads “Rep. Ehrhart is trying to punish those who perform sex-related surgeries,” referring to Rep. Ginny Ehrhart’s Georgia House Bill 401. The billboards also included a QR code that, once scanned, would fax to lawmakers pages of queer literature, published by Penguin Random House.
Havas chose to target fax machines because they are the official mode of correspondence for state lawmakers, who are legally prohibited from turning them off. The expected result? Stacks of queer literature in the offices of lawmakers, physically and metaphorically “burying” anti-LGBTQIA+ bills and hopefully changing the minds of some of those lawmakers. According to Havas, on the first day of the campaign, nearly 600,000 fax pages were sent to 41 fax numbers of 50 targeted legislators.
“Sadly, years of progress in advancing LGBTQIA+ rights can be reversed overnight as homophobia and transphobia prevail in many state legislatures, especially down south,” Dan said. Lucey, Creative Director of Havas New York in a press release. “The purpose of this campaign is to speak out against the bills currently before Congress and give marchers a platform to take immediate action and make their voices heard in ways that politicians literally cannot ignore.”
Rep. Ehrhart, along with other targeted lawmakers including Rep. Wesley Allen (AL), Sen. Frank Niceley (TN), Rep. Timothy Dukes (DE), and Sen. Elaine Morgan (RI), did not respond. at Ad Age. request for comment.
The campaign has caught the attention of several celebrities and changemakers. USA Today photographed television personality Ts Madison holding a #BuryTheBills card. The “RuPaul’s Drag Race Thailand” genius tweeted about the campaign on Monday morning. Other notable influencers who have posted on “#BuryTheBills” include Sizzy Rocket, India Brooks, Holly Burt, and Blaze Brooks.
“Our mission as an organization is to work toward a future free of discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law,” added Bansri Manek, March Director at NYC Pride. “This activation does just that and fits perfectly with our 2022 theme, ‘Unapologetically Us’, which emphasizes the importance of LGBTQIA+ people standing together and proudly living their truth in the face of social justice issues. and legislation that directly attacks their community.”
Queer literature is taken from “Rainbow Milk” by Paul Mendez; “I Know You Know Who I Am” by Peter Kispert, “When Katie Met Cassidy: by Camille Perri”, “Boy Meets Boy” by David Levithan, “Ten Steps to Nanette” by Hannah Gadsby and “All the Flowers Kneeling” by Paul Tran, all published by Penguin Random House.
In addition to allowing the excerpts to be released, Penguin Random House also donated 400 copies of the aforementioned six books for distribution during the campaign.
The print aspect of the stunt might raise some eyebrows about its environmental impact, especially coming from an agency that achieved B-corp certification last year. To compensate for the damage, Penguin Random House partnered with One Tree Planted and donated $10,000 to plant 10,000 trees for paper lots used for faxes.
“At Penguin Random House, our authors and books have always existed at the forefront of cultural conversation, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify the work of these brilliant creators in an impactful new way. “said Carly Gorga, Brand Marketing Director at Penguin Random House. “By partnering with Havas New York and NYC Pride this year, we hope more people will see and truly understand the power of books to spark meaningful discussion and action that will move us forward into a better future.
The Bury The Bills website remains active after the conclusion of the Pride Parade.