What would it be like if it were illegal to be blonde? Or if it
were illegal to have blue eyes? Or be bald? Or be taller than
These are the questions asked by LGBT charity The Kaleidoscope
Trust in a new video campaign called 'Imagine if it were illegal
for you to be you?'
Trust's new campaign was launched last Wednesday by Torchwood
star and TV presenter John Barrowman, who staged a mock protest in
Parliament Square in Westminster while wearing a t-shirt printed
with the words "Blue-eyed freak".
Since then, the video has received over 45,000 views on YouTube.
Other celebrity supporters include Elton John, Stephen Fry and Boy
It is currently illegal to be gay in a total of 78 countries
around the world, and in five of these countries - Sudan, Saudi
Arabia, Iran, Yemen and Mauritania - the maximum sentence is the
death penalty. Homosexual acts are also punishable by death in some
parts of Somalia and Nigeria.
The video, which runs for one and a half minutes, features abusive
terms such as "blonde pig" and "blue eyed bitch", "disgusting" and
"it's not normal". The film finishes with sounds of physical
violence as the police enter a man's house. We are told at the end:
"It should never be a crime to be gay." These words were used by US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech delivered last
Jeremy Browne, Foreign Office minister for human rights, has
praised the campaign saying:
"This video brings home very vividly how it must feel to be
singled out and abused just for being who you are. And the
statistics are chilling. Many people will be shocked to hear that
78 countries around the world still criminalise homosexuality and
that in five cases the maximum penalty is death."
The Kaleidoscope Trust was founded in September last year and was
the official charity partner of World Pride 2012. The organisation
works to promote diversity and to challenge the discrimination and
persecution of LGBT people across the world.
Watch the video