This Travel Site Makes Pride Parades Inclusive for the Generation that Started Them
If you've ever been to a Pride parade in a major city, it's hard to square the reality of it with the fact that the LGBTQIA+ community is fighting harder than ever to secure their rights. In metropolitan settings, Pride feels like a community event. Friends and friends of friends turn out to show support; some people come just to enjoy the beauty of the event.
As Misterb&b, a gay travel and accommodations service, observes below, Pride parades are designed to be inclusive by nature—which is why the flag, like the acronym, keeps evolving. A wide spectrum of communities are invited to represent themselves in the spectacle, which is as diverse and kaleidoscopic as identity itself.
But Pride's sprawl has created new, unexpected problems. The parades are crowded, and hot weather is often a factor (June saw record heat throughout the world). The decibels are high, and parades aren't designed with accessibility in mind. For these reasons, at least one group often gets excluded: the very generation that fought for such marches' existence, folks now in their senior years.
"Silver Pride," created by BETC Paris, highlights the touching stories of a number of these figures in the French capital. We learn how they contributed or took part in the original Pride marches, and why they stopped attending despite their desire to take part.
Along the route of the Pride parade in Paris, Misterb&b rented apartments equipped with balconies, air conditioning and easy-access features such as elevators. Accommodations were made available for 80 seniors to enjoy the festivities they worked so hard to see realized. The Pride flag added a silver stripe, to represent those who, slowly but hopefully surely, will enter this stage of life. (And the ones who have done so already.)
This solution jibes with Misterb&b's business proposition. "A lot of straight people ask me why the LGTBQ community needs their own 'airbnb'," says creative director David Martin Angelus of BETC Paris. "What they don't understand is that in many countries, prejudice can lead to home owners or hotels denying rental to individuals. I have friends who have been asked to leave hotels and apartments because they were gay or trans."
Misterb&b also worked in partnership with nonprofit organization Les Audacieuses et les Audacieux, which supports LGTBQ+ seniors in danger of isolation. "Our elders are the generation that fought for our rights. If the march exists, it is thanks to them. Knowing that they are excluded is just impossible for us,” says Michel Simon, president of Les Audacieuses et Les Audacieux.
Misterb&b will bring "Silver Pride" to Europride Valletta in Malta on Sept. 7, and to Atlanta Pride in the U.S. on Oct. 15.
“As part of the LGTBQ community, I wanted to do something that really makes a difference," says Angelus. "Everyone ignores the hardships that LGTBQ+ people face as they get older. Most don't have children, and loneliness and depression are common. That’s why Silver Pride is such an important initiative. It brings them back to Pride and makes them feel supported and embraced by their community.”
According to the organizations involved, 65 percent of LGBTQ+ seniors live alone; 90 percent have no offspring or caregivers. The suicide rate is two to seven times higher than the heteronormative populace. The community itself fills that crucial role of family.
According to Angelus, the Paris Silver Pride initiative took three months to put together. "Implementing the initiative in other Pride walks like in Europride, Malta and Atlanta, USA will be much easier," he notes. "We have most of the assets and we will be probably looking into partnering with similar local associations in each city." He also hopes to accommodate as many seniors as possible, and to spread to more locations.
"Nobody talks about the senior generation in the LGTBQ+ community," Angelus tells Muse. "We all ask ourselves, where do they go, they seem to vanish after 75. Once I got in contact with Les Audacieux, I was shocked by the data."
For these reasons, and personal ones, the project was a labor of love. "I realized that the community itself needed to be reminded that we can't forget the generation that fought for our rights. We needed to bring them back to Pride, honor them, celebrate them. In Paris the initiative really moved people. Influencers interviewed them, the generalist press shined a light on the issue and we made special pride flags with a silver stripe available so the younger generation could march with them. It was beautiful to see everyone looking up at the balconies cheering them on. It was very emotional."
MISTERB&B – SILVER PRIDE
BRAND TEAM: Matthieu Jost, Marc Dedonder
AGENCY MANAGEMENT: Mathieu Laugier, Aude Devaux
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Stéphane Xiberras
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: David Martin Angelus
LEAD COPYWRITERS: Elisa Bernard, David Campese
COPYWRITER: Olivier Mille
LEAD ART DIRECTORS: Chloé Thivel, Julien Lefèvre
TRAFIC: Elodie Diana
AGENCY PRODUCERS: Charlotte Lancelot, Aurelia Blatry
PRODUCTION HOUSE: General Pop
DIRECTOR: Bastien Dupré, Fabien Faure
SOUND PRODUCTION: Gum
1st ON AIR: 30.06.2023
DURATION: 1 year
MEDIA: Digital, Social media