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If you knew your words were hurtful, would you say them again?

If you knew your words were hurtful, would you say them again?

If you knew your words were hurtful, would you say them again?

Full disclosure: I wrote these ads as a personal volunteer project, in partnership with my sister-in-law, Bonnie Robinson, at Ottawa’s YOW! Productions. We had been looking for a pro-bono job to do together, and Bonnie had been involved with the organization. She shot these two PSAs on an absolute shoestring, with volunteer actors and most people’s time donated. I’m sharing them here because as parents we really need to stop enabling a culture of casual homophobia.

The first PSA is for parents of LGBT children who haven’t come out yet. The quotes are based on actual surveys that Etc. did with LGBT youth, about things they had heard that had hurt them and the underlying message of seemingly-innocent comments:

The second PSA is also about homophobia, but it addresses how insensitive comments can actually create an environment that makes homophobia seem OK to kids. It’s a little darker:

I also have to admit that the umbrella scene came from my own home. I told my young son (who makes a cameo in the ad) that he couldn’t take his mom’s floral umbrella to school. He responded, quite correctly, “that’s sexist, Dad!”

Like I said, we need to think about what we’re really saying. You can sign the “Say Again?” pledge here.

Etc. (Capital Pride Ottawa)
YOW! Productions

Additional credits:
Directed and Produced by Bonnie Robinson for YOW! Productions
Written by Tom Megginson
Camera by Jeremy Kennedy
Original Music by Riley Stewart
Sound mix by Chris Ikonomopoulos
Set Design by Nick Dolinski
Makeup by Lyne Larose
Production assistants (lighting, camera)
Jacob Atkinson
Lief Ramsaran

Emma Merriam
Heather Archibald
Ollie Gooding
Peter Chow
Dakoda Bradley-Lalonde
Sylvie D’Aoust
Aidan Bird
Marc Gammal
Alexis Clarkson
Barb Winthrop
Adrian Laney
Aaron Pesa
Lawrence Evenchick
Jack Megginson

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more