Building on our longstanding efforts to empower LGBTQ individuals, the Levi’s® team in India launched the #ProudToBeMore campaign in November. The campaign spotlights four local changemakers who show the world that while they are proud to be LGBTQ+, there is so much more to their identity.
The campaign comes at a watershed moment for the country. Last year, the Supreme Court of India repealed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalizing homosexuality – a crucial step towards freedom from discrimination and persecution in the world’s largest democracy.
Building on that momentum, the brand’s campaign aims to highlight those discovering their unique individuality within the LGBTQ community.
“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,” Karen Riley Grant, VP Marketing, Levi’s® Asia and MENA said. “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.”
Featured LGTBQ Influencers
The youngest of the group, Priyanka Paul offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be queer. With her art, she challenges the status quo, provides a voice to the unheard and encourages others to analyze and reevaluate accepted social systems. Priyanka crafted the opening lines of the #ProudToBeMore campaign video, which come from a longer poem she wrote conveying how she refuses to be boxed in by society’s labels.
Onir is a film and TV director, editor, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his film My Brother…Nikhil, which was one of the first mainstream Hindi films to deal with AIDS and same-sex relationships. While the industry stereotyped his work as “LGBTQ work,” he continues to challenge societal perceptions around homosexuality and take the conversation forward on acceptance and equality.
Sushant Divgikr is a model, actor, performer, singer and video jockey. In July 2014, he was crowned Mr. Gay India and chosen to represent the country at Mr. Gay World that same year. While drag is still a relatively new art form in India, Sushant uses his drag persona, Rani-Ko-He-Nur, to inspire others to embrace their identity as a whole.
Aravani Art Project is a women and trans-women art collective that is raising awareness for the transgender community through public art and social interventions. As transgender people are often subjected to violence, harassment and social negligence, the collective strives to create spaces that encourage exchange, discussion and debate around gender identities.