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PFLAG sells pixels for a good cause

Funds will aid outreach, new youth campaign

YOUTH CAMPAIGN. PFLAG's online fundraiser will benefit the group's outreach programs, including a new poster campaign that will help students understand homophobia.YOUTH CAMPAIGN. PFLAG's online fundraiser will benefit the group's outreach programs, including a new poster campaign that will help students understand homophobia. Credit: (pflagcanada.ca)

Father’s Day is coming up fast, and time is running out for last-minute gift purchases. But you don’t necessarily have to settle for socks or gift cards.

“Buy your dad some pixels on our Pride flag!” says Cherie MacLeod, executive director of PFLAG Canada.

PLFAG is selling pixel-sized space on the web at pixelsforpride.ca, and all proceeds will aid the group’s support, education and outreach programs.

Remember Lite-Brite? This is like a gay, online edition of that glowing toy.

For every $5 donated, PFLAG will light up a tiny space on its online pixel board. Supporters can choose the colour of their pixels, and they can personalize the space with a special message.

Hovering over the pixels reveals some messages left since the campaign started Jun 5: “diversity knows no boundaries” and “stop bullying.”

It’s a creative new way to attract fundraising dollars in a digital age. And it’s needed, as PFLAG’s work is expanding with new chapters forming in rural communities.

“Whenever there’s prejudice, the entire community around that person suffers,” she says. “We’re all in this together.”

The group is also starting a youth poster campaign, targetting homophobia at the school level. The poster shows a young boy, with the phrases “That’s so gay’ is so yesterday” and “Words can hurt. Choose them wisely.”

MacLeod says PFLAG is working with teachers across the country on the project. A website will be released later this year that will allow youth to share their perspectives on the challenges confronting the boy in the poster.

“By guiding them in a creative writing exercise with teachers, we can bring about awareness and help students understand homophobia can affect anyone,” she says.