United We Stand – showcasing everyday queer British life

United We Stand Unilever Superdrug Pride 2021
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United We Stand is the a series of films commissioned during Pride month by Unilever in partnership with Superdrug to showcase everyday queer British life. Working with film-maker Jess Kohl, the series shares the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ people, not always shared in mainstream media.

The campaign United We Stand has been developed to support LGBTQ+ charity, Switchboard, who have been providing support, information, and a safe space for anyone to discuss anything including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing since 1974. This is ever important as this year has meant more of us have been in isolation, and consequently Switchboard saw a 15% rise in contacts to their services. Unilever and Superdrug have therefore donated £50,000 to Switchboard, and rolled out limited edition Pride products for Close-Up, Vaseline, Lynx, and Simple brands, which are available in Superdrug stores throughout the year. These products include the Switchboard logo and number, to raise awareness of the Switchboard service.

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At Vada we are acutely aware that many Pride campaigns by big brands are more rainbow-washing marketing aimed primarily at increasing sales. We are pleased to see a campaign such as this one, which focuses on supporting a LGBTQ+ charity and showcases everyday queer British life. Jess Kohl, speaking about the project said “The four films we have made cannot capture all the richness of UK queer culture but its a start at showing some of it.” Chris Barron, VP of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever said “The United We Stand series comprises four extremely powerful and moving films that share some of the experiences and barriers faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Britain today. By sharing these untold stories, we hope this series will inspire those looking to celebrate Pride this month, and all year round.”

The four short films (viewable below) feature:

  • Aamir and Amir, the first gay South Asian couple to be married in Bradford, who have found a way to integrate the different facets of their identities to create a path that celebrates who they are.
  • AJ and Kai – two young trans men in Liverpool, who grew up supporting one another’s journeys. Neither felt like they had any visible role models when younger.
  • Martina – When growing up it was never an option to be queer. Martina transitioned in later life, and now has become more comfortable being her natural self.
  • Millie – who proudly champions her identity as a lesbian, and strives to spread positivity and love in her neighbourhood.
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To find out more about the limited edition Pride products available at Superdrug, visit the special Superdrug webpage superdrug.com.

If you need to talk, call Switchboard on 0330 330 0630.

For anyone able to donate, text ‘SWITCHBOARD 5’ to 70085, and to find out more about volunteering at Switchboard, visit switchboard.lgbt.

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.