A thousand digital outdoor screens across the UK will display people celebrating “Pride Inside” after the coronavirus pandemic saw celebrations cancelled across the country.
The billboards will show pictures of more than 120 queer contributors and photographers, with images of them celebrating Pride from their homes, or socially distanced in public spaces.
The campaign was pulled together in less than a month after the Covid-19 pandemic saw all Pride events cancelled.
Contributors include the lead singer of a Belfast queer punk band alongside her pet rat, a Newcastle drag king, an NHS nurse in south London, original members of the Gay Liberation Front and an award-winning engineer who came to the UK as a refugee and went on to be named one of the BBC’s top 100 influential women in the world.
The images will appear from June 15 and run for two weeks, potentially reaching 10 million people.
Billboards will appear in a number of major cities, including Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Manchester and Nottingham.
The initiative, from drag star Ginger Johnson, is being supported by Out of Home media and Clear Channel, who have donated billboards the length of the country, including on Lambeth Palace Road and Hammersmith Tower in London.
The campaign hopes to inspire people across the UK to carry on Pride celebrations at home, posting their own images online under the #PrideInsideUK hashtag.
It will also raise awareness of the work of grassroots charities, with Pride Inside partnering with the LGBT+ Consortium to collect donations for organisations across the UK who provide vital services for the LGBT+ community.
Johnson said: “Usually we take to the streets for Pride. We take to stages, demos and dancefloors. We climb on board floats or walk shoulder to shoulder with our families and friends but this summer that just isn’t possible.
“So it’s crucial that LGBTQ+ people from all walks of life are visible and proud in our public spaces even if we can’t be there together in person.
“Pride is also a chance for our community to reach out to the people who haven’t found pride in their lives yet, who don’t feel safe, who are hidden. It’s our chance to say to them, ‘You are not alone, we are here and we are proud of you.’
“Pride has always been an opportunity for us all to learn about each other – to honour our shared experiences, our differences and our collective resilience.
“It’s taken the combined efforts of a whole team of amazing queer people from all over the UK to get this project off the ground and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
The photography was coordinated by award-winning photographer Corinne Cumming who said: “For LGBTQ+ photographers and their subjects to be able to choose how they want to be represented via their art on a national platform, that’s really special.”