Comic Relief has today announced an exciting collaboration with Sink The Pink, the largest LGBTQ+ collective in the UK, to help bring people together, while apart, throughout Pride month.
To celebrate Pride month, the collaboration will explore what Pride means and help bring people together in these unprecedented times. It will also help raise money for brilliant organisations funded by Comic Relief which directly benefit LGBTQ+ people in the UK and around the world.
To mark the beginning of Pride month, Comic Relief and Sink The Pink are delighted to reveal: New merchandise by artist Josh McKenna. The exclusive, limited edition tote bag (£12) and pin badge (free – postage fees apply), created as part of the collaboration, are available online today at comicrelief.com/pride and are a brilliant way to come together and show support and solidarity towards the LGBTQ+ community. All profits from the merchandise will go towards the funding of projects that support LGBTQ+ people in the UK and around the world – many of whom are having to adapt to the challenging circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills has already shown his support, inviting others to share on social media #proudeveryday
New series of eight Pride flag videos released. Throughout the month a different member of the Sink The Pink family will explain the meaning behind one of the Pride flag’s colours, whilst exploring what it, and Pride as a whole, means to them. The first video in the ‘Behind the Flag’ series – released this afternoon on Comic Relief’s Instagram – features drag artist Asttina Mandella, who explores ‘diversity’, which is represented by the colour black and the importance of Pride. The remainder of the series will be released on Comic Relief’s Instagram throughout June
Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief said: “Comic Relief is a proud funder of projects that help promote equality and we are thrilled to be collaborating with Sink The Pink for Pride. We support the LGBTQ+ community and Pride is a time to celebrate and to shine a light on some of the great organisations we fund who support people, from every background, who have been marginalised because of their identity or who they love.”
Having grown from humble beginnings as a club night in a working mens club in East London, Sink The Pink now tours the world with their legendary parties, performances and immersive productions. Their dedication to freedom of self-expression, creativity, diversity and joy has attracted communities and audiences from across the globe.
Sink The Pink said: “At Sink The Pink, everyone is welcome and everyone is celebrated. However, we know that for some people this isn't always the case, which is why we're proud to be collaborating with Comic Relief, who are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community all year round. Together, we invite you to join us this Pride month and beyond, to celebrate, support and be proud every day!”
Drag artist, Asttina Mandella said: "Diversity is really important to the LGBTQ+ community and it's really important to me. We're all here together and yet we're all so different, and that's what diversity is. We walk with Pride every day. I walk with Pride every day. I don't just celebrate it for one day or the weekend, I celebrate it every single day of my entire life, from the moment I wake up, to the moment I go back to sleep."
Artist, Josh McKenna said: “We know that Pride is going to be a little bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come together, celebrate, and build on the acts of unity, solidarity and sense of community that have swept the nation in the last few months…some of the same feelings you get at Pride. It’s been incredible to learn about the sort of projects Comic Relief funds in the UK and around the world; and hopefully this will go a little way in ensuring they’re able to continue that work.”
For over 25 years Comic Relief has funded work that fights for equality and against discrimination. This includes projects that have challenged stigmas, fought for equal rights, supported those experiencing prejudice and who have been marginalised and discriminated against.
Comic Relief currently supports 16 organisations with funding amounting to more than £3.9m, that supports LGBTQ+ people on a range of different issues in the UK and around the world.
They include organisations like Yorkshire MESMAC which supports gay, bisexual and trans men in Bradford, Leeds, and Wakefield with their mental and physical wellbeing. For 84-year-old Gordon, the Older and Bolder group – an informal social support group for gay and bisexual men for over-55s ran by the project – has been a lifeline and has given him the opportunity to share his real self.
Gordon said: “I couldn’t do without MESMAC; it’s been a lifeline. It’s given me friendship, it’s a good place to meet and relax, while feeling safe in the space. Unfortunately, with the group not running, it makes one feel very isolated of course. I live on my own and struggle with the internet. I’m feeling jaded and missing physical contact and socialising. But MESMAC is very supportive, they've been in regular contact, and I feel the support is there if I ever need it." Throughout the month of June, Comic Relief and Sink The Pink will also be releasing a series of digital content to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, lift spirits and help bring people together through fun, positivity and supporting others.
To provide immediate support to the LGBTQ+ community throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Comic Relief is looking for a LGBTQ+ led partner to help distribute up to £650,000 to smaller organisations across the UK. The funding call – which has been open since Friday 29th May and closes at midnight tonight (8th June) – has been made possible by the money raised by The Big Night In and builds on Comic Relief’s existing commitment to social justice and supporting underserved communities. More information can be found here.
For more information on how to get involved, and to get your hands on the exclusive tote bag and pin badge designed by Josh McKenna, visit comicrelief.com/pride.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Comic Relief Media Team firstname.lastname@example.org 07984 510 473 Notes to editors Image and video assets available here (opens in new window)
Josh McKenna Merchandise
All profits from the Josh McKenna tote bag will go towards the funding of projects that support LGBTQ+ people in the UK and around the world
The exclusive limited-edition pin badge is an opportunity to support equality during the month of Pride. Because of this, we will only be charging the cost of postage for all pin badges ordered
About Comic Relief Comic Relief raises money to support people living incredibly tough lives. Through humour and stories of hope, we’ve shown that people can make a massive difference. We fund hundreds of amazing organisations who are working on the ground to support the most vulnerable people and communities in society including many of those hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. This includes vulnerable children and young people, people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty, women and families at risk of domestic abuse and those struggling with existing or new mental health problems. For more info visit www.comicrelief.com Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)
About Sink The Pink Sink The Pink is the largest LGBTQ+ collective and club night in the UK. Continuously challenging the status quo around nightlife culture and celebrating freedom of self-expression. Founded in 2008, Sink The Pink began as a response to ‘too many bland and non-inclusive nights out’. Growing from humble beginnings in a working mens club in East London, Sink The Pink now tour the world with their legendary parties, live performances and immersive productions. Their dedication to diversity, creativity and joy has attracted communities and audiences from across the globe. Sink The Pink is a melting pot of drag artists, club kids, performers, decorated choreographers, creatives and acclaimed set and costume designers. Inspired by theatre, dance, punk, pop culture and fashion they are the antidote to the new wave of soulless mega-clubs. Performing on famous stages around the world including Glastonbury, Times Square, Sao Paulo, Australia, across Europe and selling out venues such as Brixton Academy and the Roundhouse in hours. Collaborating with the likes of Little Mix, Pink, Melanie C and Years & Years, along with an array of international brands and charities who support equality. At Sink The Pink, everyone is welcome and everyone is celebrated. For more info visit https://sinkthepink.co.uk/ or follow @sink_the_pink
About Josh McKenna Hailing from Cornwall, but now based in east L.A, artist Josh McKenna’s illustrations are known globally. Beautiful colours with an art deco influence, his cheeky characters, wry situations and diverse pieces of work have been commissioned by massive brands, painted across the fronts of LGBTQ+ venues and even made into Instagram stickers.