ANZ launch ‘Hold Tight’ campaign to support LGBTI acceptance

Fullscreen capture 10022017 91130 AMThe ANZ bank has continued to show their support for LGBTI people, launching a new advertising campaign that highlights that many LGBTI people still wouldn’t feel comfortable holding hands in public.

The financial services provider commissioned research on the topic and presents its findings ahead of Auckland and Wellington Pride festivals.

The research shows New Zealand’s LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community is more than twice as likely (39%) than non-LGBTI (18%) to feel less comfortable holding hands in public, with young Kiwis leading the statistics.

The study was conducted by Galaxy Research in the past fortnight, with 504 New Zealanders aged 18 years and older taking part.

ANZ Managing Director Retail and Business Banking and ANZ NZ Pride Network sponsor Antonia Watson says the research reveals unease in the community.

“Holding hands is a very simple and public way of declaring love, but, sadly, not everyone in our community feels comfortable,” Watson said.

“While most Kiwis take holding hands in public for granted, members of our LGBTI community feel judged doing so.”

A negative response from others (48%) is the leading reason the LGBTI community surveyed felt self-conscious holding hands. Almost a third (31%) had been made to feel uncomfortable because of a negative response from others.

Of the LGBTI people that said they have felt uncomfortable holding hands, it was young New Zealanders who led the age groups, with Gen Y at 23%, followed by Gen X at 21% and Baby Boomers at a low of 15%.

The LGBTI community polled said they are most comfortable holding hands in front of their extended family (73%), but least likely to feel comfortable in front of an elderly stranger (14%).

The research inspired the bank to create their new #HoldTight campaign. The ANZ is encouraging people to snap their own hand-holding photos, they’ve even created a special Titter emoji.

“We’ve launched this new #HoldTight initiative so we can get behind our LGBTI staff, customers and community to share our support for equality,” Watson said. “It also sends a powerful message to our staff that we want them to be true to themselves at work.

Auckland couple and ANZ staff members Teresa Cropp and Toni Fraser said at times they’ve felt self-conscious holding hands.

“At the start of our relationship back in 2015 I know I was a bit hesitant to hold hands in public and still am, particularly around older generations,” Fraser said.

“It’s such a natural thing to do but I was worried about the response I’d get from strangers, like a rude stare or snide remark.

“As a member of ANZ and the Pride community, I’m proud we’re having this conversation and hope others will feel encouraged by the campaign,” Cropp said.

Toni and Teresa will lead ANZ marchers at the Pride Parade holding hands, the longest period of time they have done so in public.

In 2017, ANZ continues as a sponsor Auckland and Wellington Pride Festivals and the upcoming Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. GAYTMs will again dazzle Auckland streets to raise funds for youth LGBTI network OUTline.

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