ANZ commissioned the research as part of its 11-year partnership with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It found 94% of Australians say everyone should feel comfortable holding hands in public, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, yet only 43% of the LGBTIQ community are truly at ease to do so.
It also showed 52 per cent of the LGBTIQ community have felt uncomfortable to hold hands in public compared with 18 per cent of the wider public.
ANZ’s Managing Director of Corporate and Commercial banking, Mark Hand, who is also Chair of ANZ’s Diversity Council, said: “A simple gesture like holding hands in public is something all Australians should feel comfortable doing, yet our research shows members of the LGBTI community are three times more likely to feel uncomfortable with this basic display of affection.
“This highlights just one of the challenges that many members of the LGBTIQ community face in everyday situations. At ANZ we want to make a difference by helping people understand these issues and encourage the LGBTIQ community to hold tight and stay strong,” Mr Hand said.
Commenting on the research, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu said: “This highlights the daily pressures that the LGBTIQ community faces. It’s a simple and loving gesture to hold your partner’s hand, however for fear of discrimination, and experiences in violence and abuse – the reality is that many in the community still don’t feel safe. We love the awareness that ANZ is raising about this issue for the community.”
ANZ has started the campaign with a video on its social media channels and, in collaboration with Twitter, has developed an emoji of two hands that will appear when the hashtag #HoldTight is used.
To watch the video, click here.