Australian queer youth create Snapchat lenses for IDAHOBIT day

14 May 2020

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Australian not-for-profit for LGBTQIA youth Minus 18 collaborated with Snap Inc. Australia to create a series of AR lenses.

In celebration of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Sunday May 17, volunteers from Australian not-for-profit for LGBTQIA youth Minus 18 collaborated with Snap Inc. Australia to create a series of augmented reality (AR) lenses using the company’s Lens Studio desktop app.

For LGBTQIA+ youth, growing up can be tough enough without the added pressure of feeling different, alone or even unsafe.

Despite much progress, three out of four (75%) Australian LGBTQIA+ youth still experience some form of bullying or discrimination.

Experts suggest being visible, making friends and feeling supported are among the best ways to promote life-affirming social inclusion, which can promote positive mental health outcomes.

“While recent social distancing requirements have removed the ability for many to connect psychically, it is important for young people to continue to celebrate their individual identity and the wider queer community,” Minus 18 CEO Micah Scott says.

“LGBTQIA+ youth are still twice as likely to be diagnosed and treated for mental health illnesses in Australia, which is why it is important that we look for new ways to tell our stories, build friendships and engage with the community. Snapchat is already the preferred platform for many youth, which is why it made sense to partner with Snap and create these amazing AR Lenses for IDAHOBIT.".

Snap’s IDAHOBIT Lenses follow the company’s recent release of Here For You, an in-app tool that provides Snapchatters access to professionally accredited tools, resources and support contacts relating to mental health and wellbeing.

Locally, Snap has partnered with PROJECT ROCKIT to deliver its Here For You content.

“As the leading communication platform for youth in Australia, we remain committed to offering a safe and engaging platform that allows you to be your authentic self, while communicating with your close friends,” Snap Inc. ANZ general manager Kathryn Carter says.

“We work hard to create a positive environment for our community and ensure Snapchatters have access to credible, fact-based information. Tools such as Here For You, our local partnership with anti-bullying organisation PROJECT ROCKIT and now our collaboration with Minus18 help create an environment on Snapchat that’s inclusive, authentic, and fun."

The IDAHOBIT Lenses will be available on Snapchat from Tuesday May 12, 2020.

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