These artists are taking anti-LGBT comments and making them into art for Pride

A group of artists are turning hateful, anti-LGBT+ comments into art as part of Smirnoff's #chooselove Pride campaign. A report by Galop , a LGBT+ anti-violence charity, revealed that 1 in 3 members of the LGBT+ community (31%) have experienced online abuse targeting their sexual orientation or gender identity. In the last year, Galop has seen the level of online abuse being posted on social media increase. During this historic summer, Smirnoff is raising awareness of the need to stand up to online prejudice with the launch of its thought provoking #chooselove campaign, which will run during Pride season in the UK. Throughout 2017 Pride, Smirnoff will monitor online social media to identify members of the LGBT+ community that have received abuse based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. A taskforce of dynamic and socially engaged illustrators will then respond to these messages of hate with artwork of love. By taking the offensive tweets out of the hidden, personal, digital environment and reacting in a thought provoking and positive way, the Smirnoff #chooselove campaign will spread love and bring the issue to the public’s attention. A selection of the artwork created in the Smirnoff #chooselove campaign will be shown at an exhibition on 6th – 7th July ahead of the Pride in London Parade. The exhibition will be part of the Pride in London Festival, a series of events that raise awareness of LGBT+ issues to campaign for the freedom for the community to live their lives on an equal footing. The artists featured in the campaign include Ricardo Bessa, Charles Hutton, Matt Lyon, Lucas Levitan, and Marylou Faure. Pride in London’s theme for the 2017 campaign is ‘Love Happens Here’. It celebrates love in all its forms as a reminder that the battle for true equality for the LGBT+ community is far from over, and that rights hard won can be threatened and taken away. Chris Laidlaw, Head of Smirnoff Europe commented: “We are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT+ community for over 20 years. We feel that it is our responsibility to help encourage diversity, equality and inclusivity in society. "Smirnoff wants to put a spotlight upon the worrying trend that Galop has identified, and through our #chooselove campaign we hope to have a positive impact that encourages a dialogue of understanding, respect and compassion in both social media and wider society. By collectively taking action we can all spread a message of inclusivity, diversity and love."