LEGO celebrates Pride month by launching LGBTQIA+ build campaign
The LEGO Group is celebrating the start of Pride month by launching a build campaign anchored around self-expression in the LGBTQIA+ community.
The A-Z of Awesome will encourage builders to ‘celebrate inclusivity and embrace self-expression’ in the LGBTQIA+ community, presenting its vocabulary through ‘a fun and playful medium’. If you’re interested in taking part, you can submit your build – which should presumably be linked to a specific letter of the alphabet – to LEGO.com/AtoZ.
“The wonderful thing about LEGO bricks is that they can be a powerful form of self-expression as you can build anything you can imagine,” said Alero Akuya, VP of Brand Development at the LEGO Group. “We also know people love talking about what they build, so we thought it would be a great medium for sparking important and sometimes difficult conversations about identity.
“We can’t wait to see what fans will submit of amazing builds and beautiful stories. We hope their creativity and our A-Z of Awesome campaign inspires people of all ages and helps build greater awareness and acceptance. We want to show people that with more love and understanding people can be their true selves.”
While the campaign begins today to mark the start of Pride month, it will run all the way into 2023. The LEGO Group will add select builds from those submitted to its alphabet over the course of 2022, presenting a full line-up by the end of this year. The A-Z of Awesome also keys into last year’s 40516 Everyone is Awesome, which launched exactly a year ago today.
“As we start Pride month, it’s the perfect time for families to start new conversations about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression,” added GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she). “It can sometimes feel overwhelming or confusing to start a conversation about LGBTQ+ identities, but you don’t have to be an expert to give children the accurate vocabulary they need to talk about these issues with compassion and respect.
“All children benefit from learning about the diverse world around them, and positive representation of LGBTQ+ identities, whether in a school curriculum or in play, helps young people feel prepared to meaningfully engage in their communities. We’re proud to support the LEGO Group’s ‘The A-Z of Awesome’ campaign as a powerful tool to build a more tolerant and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ families and young people.”
The A-Z of Awesome was apparently inspired by research from American organisation GLAAD, which found that nearly half of non-LGBTQIA+ people are confused by conversations around gender identity, while 59% of LGBTQ youth have faced discrimination based on their sexuality or gender identity.
“Growing up I remember feeling this sense of shame, like there’s something wrong with me, or the things I desire or want,” said Intersex campaigner and ‘A-Z of Awesome’ contributor Pidgeon Pagonis. “This project is important because there might be an intersex person out there who likes to build with LEGO bricks, and this can help them see themselves represented. It would have been a game changer for me to see myself reflected in stories in popular media and culture.”
As well as launching the A-Z of Awesome campaign, the LEGO Group has pledged to donate $1 million to organisations in the LGBTQIA+ community, including new and existing partners. While specific charities and causes have not been named, the company’s diversity and inclusion page names Workplace Pride, Stonewall, Open for Business, Diversity Role Models and GLSEN under its current partners.
The LEGO Group will also participate at Pride events around the world, such as in London and Munich, and is arranging LGBTQIA+ activities and internal sessions for employees.
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