Paying its due respect to the proud community, Levis has started its new initiative for the ones who refused to be restricted by the labels of their sexual orientation. The campaign by Levis, called #ProudToBeMore showcased the stories of people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community, who believed life is much more than one’s sexuality. Levi’s has taken this crucial step towards freedom from discrimination and prosecution in the world’s largest democracy.
The decriminalization of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code served as the powerful backdrop for society to tackle another battle against those who define individuals by their sexuality. Levi’s has continued to maintain its role in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community by building and encouraging an inclusive environment.
The campaign ‘Proud To Be More’ showcased the stories of the individuals who have proudly owned their sexuality and have built a life on their own terms. It is a philosophy, a lifestyle that brought together these four self-assured personalities from different aspects of life. Levi’s had tapped four personalities- Onir, Sushant Devgikr, Priyanka Paul, and Advani Art Project have shown various manifestations of a life that refuses to be but in a box. The stories in the campaign showed ‘Proud To Be More’ is more than just a statement. True to the campaign that emphasized on the lifestyle, Levi’s acknowledged the barriers of perception and yet allowed one to achieve greater values and refused one’s identity to remail limited to one’s sexuality.
Karen Riley Grant, VP marketing, Levi’s Asia and MENA says, “The #ProudToBeMore campaign is driven by the insight that an individual’s journey of discovering their gender, sexual orientation and preferences is a unique one. This campaign aims to celebrate those authentic individuals and their journeys. We hope to empower people to be proud, accept themselves for who they are and become an individual above their sexual orientation.”
The inspirers of the Campaign:
- Onir- An Indian film and TV director, editor, screenwriter, and producer, is a full-package of talent in the world of entertainment. His best-known works include the movies, My Brother… Nikhil, which was the first mainstream Hindi movie to deal with AIDS and same-sex relationships. Onir also won National Award for his fils I Am. While the industry stereotyped his work as LGBTQ work, he still continued to work hard and made his life journey one of a kind. He continued to take forward the conversations of acceptance and equality. His inspiring story is that of pushing boundaries through persistence and continuous effort towards a world where one’s sexuality doesn’t dictate their life.
- Sushant Divgikr– Sushant is an Indian model, actor, performer, singer, and video jockey who was crowned Mr. gay India 2014. While Drag is a new art form in India, Sushant found himself a place internationally with, Rani-Ko-He-Noor, his drag avtar inspiring many others to embrace their identity as a whole. He proved how self-love can make you more than what you could imagine.
- The Aravani Group– caravan group is based out of Bangalore, has been making a difference using art that shakes you up to your very core. Through visual art, they have been putting efforts to change people’s perception towards Transgender’s community. Their story captures the colorful life which at one point, they wished to lead.
- Priyanka– the youngest of the lot has truly defined what it means to be a queer. With her art, she questions the status quo and provides a voice to the unheard and not just the pride community. Her protest goes beyond caste, gender, color, orientation, creed, and religion. Her story is about how she doesn’t fit in any of the society’s brackets- she creates it herself. Priyanka has also crafted a manifesto poem for the concept of ‘Proud To Be More’ that captures the true emotion of this lifestyle.
This campaign aims the celebrate these individual’s authenticity and their journeys. They to empower people to be proud and accept themselves and their individuality for who they are, above their sexual orientation.