Danish toymaker Lego is launching its first-ever LGBTQ set, a 346-piece rainbow-inspired creation “designed to celebrate the diversity of our fans and the world around us,” the company said in a statement.
Titled “Everyone is Awesome,” the model will feature 11 monochrome minifigures each with its own individual hairstyle and rainbow color.
“Over the last few years there’s been a lot of struggles in the world and I think that’s really made us reflect as individuals and as society that we could all probably be doing a little bit more to show empathy, love and acceptance for other people,” Matthew Ashton, Lego’s VP of design, said in a video introducing the product.
The characters were created without a specific gender, so builders get to decide if they are male, female, neither, both, or anything else.
“I wanted to create a model that symbolizes inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love,” Ashton said in a statement.
“Everyone is unique, and with a little more love, acceptance and understanding in the world, we can all feel more free to be our true AWESOME selves! This model shows that we care, and that we truly believe ‘Everyone is awesome,’” he added.
Aston, who’s been with the company for 20 years, said that the model is based on something that he had already built for himself, “just a little personal thing that I wanted to display on my desk.”
So when the company decided to create a product to celebrate the LGBTQ community, he knew exactly what he would do.
“Obviously growing up as an LGBTQ+ kid myself I did have my own struggles,” he said, speaking about the all-too-common issues that many LGBTQ children have to face.
“There was a little bit of teasing and bullying from other kids but one of the things that affected me quite a lot was some of the adults around me were really kind of trying to push me to be what I wasn’t,” he said.
As a “quite effeminate” kid, Ashton said he was “constantly being told [to] man up, toughen up, stop being such a sissy,” he added, getting a little emotional.
Fortunately he had “super supportive parents,” but there are many people around the world who still have to deal with anti-LGBTQ hate — which is one of the reasons he wanted to work on the set.
The set’s bold yet simplistic style is intended to send a powerful message of inclusion and acceptance, while not taking itself too seriously.
“We’ve made sure to include black and brown colors to represent the broad diversity of everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve also added in the pale blue, white and pink to support and embrace the trans community as well. I purposely put the purple drag queen in as a clear nod to the fabulous side of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Ashton said.
“I hope it’s a joy to build and a joy to look at, and hopefully it will bring a lot of joy to people’s lives,” he added
“Everyone is Awesome” will be available globally on June 1, the first day of LGBTQ Pride month.
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