SMIRNOFF launches the next chapter of their “We’re Open” initiative. Bringing together leading trans and gender non-conforming artists and performers, the campaign aims to spark conversation, create positive change in nightlife culture and lead a movement to make it a more open-minded and socially inclusive space.
After having conducted research, SMIRNOFF identified that while 12% of millennials identified as transgender or gender non-conforming, society at large still lacked awareness and understanding of the non-binary community, with a lack of positive role models in mainstream media . Furthermore, with 3 out of 4 trans people reporting being a victim of a hate crime they recognised a need to take positive steps to support those communities.
SMIRNOFF has a 20-year history supporting LGBTQ+ communities at large as well as a successful ongoing partnership with Dublin Pride. In 2017, SMIRNOFF also launched its Equalising Music initiative, aimed at doubling the amount of women and non-binary headliners in music. Through these projects, SMIRNOFF is increasingly committed to amplifying this important conversation and celebrating the full diversity of gender identities.
The new film by SMIRNOFF, starring DJ and producer Honey Dijon, Irish artist and performer Xnthony, French LGBTQ+ icon and leading figure on the Paris Ballroom scene Kiddy Smile, British transgender model and dancer Lucy Fizz, and gender-fluid pop artist Le Fil, celebrates the role that nightlife plays in inclusive good times, and its power to inspire positive change in the communities it represents. Through highlighting the positive stories of these forward-thinking artists and performers, SMIRNOFF aims to shift mainstream perceptions and understanding of underrepresented communities. By amplifying the voices of LGBTQ+ role models and champions, SMIRNOFF is passionate to be leading a nightlife culture where every single person feels included, valued, and able to express themselves.
“Nightlife is a place where everyone should feel welcomed for who they are – no matter what their gender identity is” says Anita Robinson, European Category Director at Diageo. “SMIRNOFF brand’s purpose is to move the world to be more inclusive. With this new film, we aim to support and give voice to the non-binary community, push the cultural conversation around gender equality and representation forward, and use our influence in nightlife culture to drive positive change in the communities it represents.”
The ad campaign features Honey Dijon’s original rework of Sylvester’s ‘Stars’, with vocals by singer-songwriter Sam Sparro. Sylvester’s trailblazing career saw him defy gender conventions taking his career from cabaret to the dancefloors, kickstarting the evolution of disco into the house music we know today. His soaring falsetto and flamboyant style saw him crowned as the original ”Queen of Disco’’, reaching out to mainstream audiences from all walks of life and inspiring and empowering a generation to be their true self.
Growing up in Chicago, later moving to New York, and now living between there and Berlin, Honey Dijon has seen and shaped many of the key stages of electronic music – from the birth of house in her home city to its evolution in NYC. Her acclaimed debut album “The Best of Both Worlds” was released in October and her star continues to rise with collaborations in the world of fashion – Honey recently collaborated with Kim Jones for the AW17 Louis Vuitton x Supreme show. Outspoken on trans awareness, civil rights and the inclusive roots of dance music, SMIRNOFF are proud to collaborate with Honey Dijon on the latest chapter of “We’re Open”.
“Growing up, music was always my escape” says Honey Dijon. “The dance floor was the place people of all ages, colours, genders and sexual orientations came together to celebrate and it was there that I first found acceptance. Those experiences shaped the person I am today. As a trans artist of colour I’m glad to be partnering with SMIRNOFF who recognise the important role that nightlife culture plays in providing a space for everybody to be their true selves”.
SMIRNOFF takes their role in shaping the future of this conversation seriously, aiming to support and give voice to the non-binary community and, most importantly, bring about tangible positive change. Acknowledging the complexities of this issue, SMIRNOFF sought insight from the LGBTQ+ community, which advocates more visibility of trans and non-binary individuals in mainstream media as one of the most effective ways to effectively recognise these goals, along with a greater focus on education and training of nightlife workers on the issues faced by trans and non-binary people.
With the new film and national campaign set to amplify the voices of trans and non-binary individuals and put gender identity front and centre in mainstream conversation SMIRNOFF commits to deepening its longstanding affiliation with LGBTQ+ causes. Through its proud partnership with Dublin Pride and events like the Mother Pride Block Party, SMIRNOFF sees the intrinsic value of creating open, safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community to fully express its identity and it’s this understand that lies at the very heart of the We’re Open campaign.
XNTHONY aka Anthony Keigher is an artist and performer based in London. Inspired by popular culture XNTHONY & his collective X&CO merge music, comedy & theatre making multi-disciplinary experiences that unfold live and online. In 2017, he was named Irish Entertainer of the Year at the GALA Awards.
- The SMIRNOFF brand that boasts the world’s number-one selling premium spirit and the top-selling flavored vodka in North America, traces its heritage back to 19th century Russia. As the most awarded vodka brand in the world, SMIRNOFF has always been known for quality and is enjoyed responsibly in 130 countries around the world. For more information, log on to www.SMIRNOFF.com.
- To find out more about the events happening around the world, you can visit the SMIRNOFF brand’s Facebook page.
- Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, SMIRNOFF, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
- Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.
- Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
Get the facts, visit drinkaware.ie