John Barrowman Launches Global Gay Rights Video Campaign


‘Imagine if it were illegal for you to be you. Well for millions of gay people it is. It should never be a crime to be gay.’

John Barrowman is to launch a major new campaign to win support for the human rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people wherever it’s a crime to be gay.

The performer will unveil a video asking people to imagine “What if it were illegal for you to be you?” The video shows people being persecuted and attacked for things they can do nothing about – having blue eyes or being short.

The campaign will launch with the unveiling of the video on and YouTube on July 4th and has been produced by advertising agency M&C Saatchi for the Kaleidoscope Trust, the only UK charity to campaign exclusively for global LGBT human rights.

John Barrowman said: “I’ve had a sneak preview of this video and it’s powerful stuff. It brings home to people how they would feel if some crazy law made it illegal for them simply to be themselves.”

“What if it were illegal for me to want to sing? Or to have an American accent? As it happens, I’m gay. When the Kaleidoscope Trust pointed out to me that it’s illegal to be gay in 78 countries around the world, and that in five of them the maximum penalty is death, I was staggered by those figures. People – whether gay or straight – need to wake up to the scale of the injustice that is going on out there.”

“We are all human beings and we all deserve the same rights. And that includes the right to love whoever we choose to love.”

Harjeet Johal, Deputy Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said: “It is hoped that this film will come as a timely reminder that whatever freedoms we may enjoy in Britain, those same freedoms are denied to millions of others around the globe. London will be hosting a huge gay pride celebration this weekend. We are proud to be the charity partners for World Pride 2012 but we are just as determined that nobody should forget the millions of people who can’t be in London and who are made criminals in their own countries because of their sexuality. It should never be a crime to be gay.”