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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Playboy, Trevor Project launch campaign to fight conversion therapy
2019-06-04

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( NEW YORK, NY June 4, 2019 ) Playboy announced today its collaboration with The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, to help drive awareness and raise funds for its "50 Bills 50 States" initiative. "50 Bills 50 States" is the world's largest effort working to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the nation and countries around the world. The partnership anchors Playboy's "PRIDE IS GOOD" campaign, inspired by the 1960's rallying cry for equality "Gay is Good." "PRIDE IS GOOD" celebrates free expression, demonstrates solidarity with the queer community and advocates for protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy and its ideology of shame across the United States. The campaign honors the progress made since Playboy first advocated for equal rights five decades ago, and recognizes what still needs to be done to secure equality for all.

As part of the multifaceted campaign, Playboy commissioned seven queer artists to create unique renderings that enable all people to express themselves and feel proud of who they are. Seth Bogart, Winston Elliott, C. Finley, Sarah Maxwell, Nina Palomba, Favianna Rodriguez, and Loveis Weiss reimagined the iconic Playboy Bunny Ears to create colorful, expressive and celebratory pieces for "PRIDE IS GOOD". These curated pieces represent Playboy's "call-to-ears"- a physical manifestation of Playboy's commitment to Pride and ongoing support of the LGBQT+ community. The Bunny Ears will be available for purchase at PlayboyShop.com and during PLAYBOY's Playhouse pop-up experience during WorldPride in New York City on June 19-23. 100% of net proceeds will benefit The Trevor Project.

With editorial guidance from The Trevor Project, Playboy dedicated part of its upcoming Sexuality and Gender summer issue to survivors of conversion therapy and activists who are fighting, state by state, to protect youth from the dangerous practice nationwide. Sam Brinton, Ralph Bruneau, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Peter Nunn, Veronica Kennedy and Gaby Garcia-Vera are celebrated for their resilience and perseverance and showcase what modern day champions look like.

Additionally, the "PRIDE IS GOOD" multi-layered campaign consists of:

A visually-driven editorial package in the 2019 Summer Issue of PLAYBOY magazine celebrating survivors and activists fighting to ban the shameful practice of conversion therapy nationwide. The portraits are shot by Ryan Pfluger and the piece is written by Nico Lang.

A dedicated "PRIDE IS GOOD" capsule collection including the artist-designed bunny ears, a t-shirt line featuring the artists' designs and more.

PLAYBOY'S Playhouse: a week of VIP and open-to-the-public experiences in New York during WorldPride ( June 20-23 ).

A special Playboy capsule collection created by Moschino that celebrates Pride, with 100% of Playboy's net proceeds from product sold at PLAYBOY'S Playhouse benefitting The Trevor Project.

A social content campaign featuring influencers from the LGBTQ and ally community.

"Playboy's core mission is to support the idea that everyone, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, should be allowed to pursue pleasure, free from judgment and restriction," said Rachel Webber, Playboy's Chief Marketing Officer and President of Corporate Strategy. "Our 'PRIDE IS GOOD' campaign honors the progress we've made and underscores our commitment to do what still remains to be done to secure dignity for all. We stand with and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, and we are honored to support The Trevor Project, which for years has fought for the rights of this community and whose advocacy has been an important part of a successful movement securing the passage of legislation against conversion therapy in 18 states and counting. Playboy will continue to push for real policy change in all 50 states, and to remove the barriers to pleasure for all."

Playboy has been an advocate of the LGBTQ+ community since the company's inception in 1953. PLAYBOYmagazine published "The Crooked Man" in 1955, a radical-for-its-time short story by Charles Beaumont which presented a world in which homosexuality was the norm and heterosexuality was criminalized. In 1969, three months before the Stonewall riots jumpstarted the modern LGBTQ rights movement, PLAYBOY published a reader's letter titled "Gay Is Good," supporting the letter's anti-conversion therapy stance and sharing the sentiment that homosexuality was not something that needed to be cured. PLAYBOY's efforts to end conversion therapy comes full circle with the 'PRIDE IS GOOD' campaign as the company continues to give a voice this important movement." ( That letter serves as inspiration for the 'PRIDE IS GOOD' campaign. ) In 1991, PLAYBOYpublished its first nude pictorial featuring an openly transgender model, actress Caroline "Tula" Cossey. And more recently, Playboy was awarded the 2018 British LGBTQ Award for Best Brand in the UK for its work with transgender supermodel Ines Rau.

"An estimated 700,000 LGBTQ adults have been subjected to conversion therapy, with 350,000 of them receiving the dangerous and discredited treatment as youth - and sadly that number continues to grow by the thousands each year," said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, citing data from the Williams Institute. "We're grateful to Playboy for supporting The Trevor Project's campaign to protect LGBTQ youth by ending conversion therapy in every state in the country."

About Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Playboy, one of the most iconic brands in history, reaches its global audience across three verticals: Content, Events & Experiences and Consumer Products. Within those verticals, Playboy has an impressive breadth of consumer touch-points ranging from digital content, print, film and television, location-based events and an unparalleled global retail presence. Six decades later, what began as a smart, sophisticated and playful men's magazine has evolved into a global media and lifestyle brand with a media presence in more than 27 countries, food, beverage and gaming experiences, and more than $1.5 billion in annual retail sales of Playboy consumer products in 180 countries.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning ( LGBTQ ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat, as well as the world's largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 and TheTrevorProject.org/Help .

—From a press release


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