Staff Reporters
Jun 14, 2021

'Tolerance is not acceptance': Dentsu Philippines tackles hurtful LGBTQIA+ language

Agency has created a website that translates real comments made towards LGBTQIA+ individuals into phrases that demonstrate love and empathy.

'Tolerance is not acceptance': Dentsu Philippines tackles hurtful LGBTQIA+ language

Dentsu Philippines has launched a website aimed at raising awareness of phrases or language that people within the LGBQTIA+ community find hurtful.

The 'Unlimited Love Language' lists a series of comments made towards LGBTQIA+ individuals, and then a 'translation' of how each comment is perceived by LGBTQIA+ individuals. Then, it provides an amended version of the phrase that removes hurtful connotations and demonstratres "unlimited love".

In one example, the phrase "I support lesbians, but why do you look like a normal girl?" is perceived as "All lesbians want to be a man". A more supportive translation of the phrase is "I support lesbians in all forms and shapes, no matter how they dress or talk".

The website seeks to tackle the space in between blunt homophobia and total empathy—seemingly innocent comments that people may not realise are laced with stereotypes and are offensive to the community.

"People think that not being bluntly homophobic makes them supportive. But tolerance is not acceptance. That’s why we need to condition people’s minds towards the unconditional acceptance by heart," said Roki Ferrer, connections strategy and research lead, Dentsu Philippines.

Chary Chu, associate creative director, Dentsu Jayme Syfu, added: "Occasionally, rude and hurtful expressions make their way into our conversations—even if we think they’re coming from a loving place."

The website is a non-commercial initiative created by Dentsu Philippines in support of Pride month, and draws from personal experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals. The agency has also created video backgrounds with some of the phrases to act as a "conversation starter".

"We believe that true acceptance is only possible when there’s empathy," said JC Catibog, Country CEO, Dentsu Philippines. "That’s why showing how LGBTQIA+ people feel, and having a two-way conversation, is so important. As our own Dentsu Consumer Vision 2030 trends show, sexuality and gender will soon be less determined by birth. Hence, if we aren’t already, we need to start learning how to love unlimitedly."

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