Join This is Oz campaign at Coast OutMid North Coast residents are being urged to sign up for an innovative campaign to reduce discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

As part of this weekend’s CoastOut festival in Coffs Harbour, visitors will have the opportunity to take part in This Is Oz, an online photo gallery where participants can upload pictures of themselves with handwritten signs that challenge homophobia or celebrate diversity and social inclusion.

The campaign is a project of ACON, NSW’s and Australia’s largest community-based GLBT health and HIV/AIDS organisation. The campaign has received significant support this year from Network Ten, which has screened regular prime-time community service announcements about the campaign since May.

A This Is Oz photo booth will be operating at the ACON stall this Saturday at CoastOut’s fabulous Fair Day, which is set to be a hive of activity with market and info stalls, great food and lots of entertainment.

At the ACON stall, locals and visitors will be able to create their own messages in support of social diversity and human rights and have their photos taken by ACON staff who will upload the images to the This Is Oz website.

ACON’s Regional Services Manager Shannon Wright says anyone is welcome to make a submission and people don’t have to be members of the GLBT community to take part.“More than 1000 people have sent us images since the campaign was launched about 18 months ago,” Ms Wright says, “including lots of music, films, TV and sporting celebrities as well as the players and management of the Wallabies, the NSW State of Origin team and the Penrith Panthers.

“This wonderful initiative offers CoastOut festival-goers a simple yet powerful way to speak up and show their support for a society that respects human rights, embraces diversity and accepts people on face value.”