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SMIRNOFF, the premium spirit and flavoured vodka brand, has launched the next chapter of their We’re Open initiative. Bringing together leading non-binary artists and performers, together with LGBT Foundation, the campaign, which incorporates a TV advert, aims to spark conversation, create positive change in nightlife culture and lead a movement to make it a more open-minded and socially inclusive space.
After having conducted research, SMIRNOFF identified that whilst 12% of millennials identified as transgender or gender non-conforming, society at large still lacked awareness and understanding of the non-binary community, with a lack of positive role models in mainstream media. Furthermore, with 3 out of 4 trans people reporting being a victim of a hate crime they recognised a need to take positive steps to support those communities
The new film (below) by SMIRNOFF launched at the end of November 2017 for the We’re Open campaign stars DJ and producer Honey Dijon, French LGBTQ+ icon and leading figure on the Paris Ballroom scene Kiddy Smile, British transgender model and dancer Lucy Fizz, performance artist Xnthony and Le Fil. The ad celebrates the role that nightlife plays in inclusive good times, and its power to inspire positive change in the communities it represents. Through highlighting the positive stories of these forward-thinking artists and performers, SMIRNOFF’s We’re Open campaign aims to shift mainstream perceptions and understanding of under-represented communities. The ad features Honey Dijon’s original rework of Sylvester’s ‘Stars’, with vocals by singer-songwriter Sam Sparro. Honey Dijon said that “the dance floor was the place people of all ages, colours, genders and sexual orientations came together to celebrate and it was there that I first found acceptance. Those experiences shaped the person I am today. As a trans artist of colour I’m glad to be partnering with SMIRNOFF who recognise the important role that nightlife culture plays in providing a space for everybody to be their true selves”.
With this new film and We’re Open campaign, SMIRNOFF aim to support and give voice to the non-binary community, push the cultural conversation around gender equality and representation forward, and use our influence in nightlife culture to drive positive change in the communities it represents.
SMIRNOFF have also announced a partnership with LGBT Foundation. LGBT Foundation will develop guidance for the SMIRNOFF team’s bartender training programme to raise awareness of non-binary issues and build skills, knowledge and confidence to ensure that staff on the ground are leading the way in ensuring that nightlife remains a place for inclusive good times. “We’re very proud to be collaborating with SMIRNOFF to make nightlife a safer, inclusive and more understanding space” says Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation. “From providing insight and training to help the industry understand non-binary communities, to investing in grassroots initiatives that promote safety and inclusion in UK nightlife, this is a longstanding commitment to drive positive change. Our Village Angels have helped nearly 100,000 people since they were created in 2011. Thanks to SMIRNOFF, we now have a very real opportunity to grow this success outside of Manchester, by inspiring cities around the UK to kick start projects which help LGBT communities stay safe and celebrate their identities whilst enjoying a great night out”.