Fort Lauderdale is making strides for the LGBT community through its newest tourism marketing campaign.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) launched mainstream media ads Monday depicting queer and trans models. The ads will appear in the New York Times’ T Magazine, Chicago Tribune’s Trib Magazine, USA Today Travel Magazine and more.

“Using Trans models in our mainstream campaign says who we are as a destination; cosmopolitan, edgy, diverse, inclusive, authentic and accepting,” said GFLCVB’s Richard Gray in a press release. “We are the only destination in the world that is using Trans people in mainstream marketing initiatives. That is a huge statement in itself highlighting this destination’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality.”

The campaign also includes videos on twin billboards in New York’s Times Square. On Dec. 31, the videos depicted two men, two women — one transgender — celebrating New Year’s Eve. The trans model, Isabella Santiago, won Miss World Transgender in 2014.

On Jan. 2, the ads changed to show the models on a boat drinking champagne on the Atlantic Ocean.

Gray’s purpose is simple: To show people that Fort Lauderdale is a safe place no matter your sexuality or gender identity.

“We want all travelers that visit our destination to be free to be themselves, to be free to be accepted, and most of all to be safe and respected.”

Gray won GayCities Innovator Award for a campaign directed at transgender tourists in 2016 for creating the first trans-focused destination marketing program.


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