This Ad Kicks Off Pride Month With a Sweet, Sad Story of Forbidden Love

McGann + Zhang goes back in time

Far too often, repression and discrimination fester in an atmosphere of silence, which makes it essential for those who can speak up to raise their voices for equality and understanding.

That's the message of this minute-long film by McGann + Zhang, created for NYC Pride Month. At first, its imagery is serene, almost dream-like: Two young women in long, flowing dresses run through a field in bright sunshine, sharing a special day. As the romantic but vaguely ominous piano track swells, a male authority figure appears, and the women hurriedly, sadly, conclude their rendezvous.

The costumes and a brief glimpse of an old-timey car place the action squarely in the past, as does the on-screen call for viewers to "Shout for those who couldn't."

Of course, the LGBT community still faces prejudice today. In some societies, people are put to death because of their sexual orientation. The need to speak out—clearly and unequivocally, for everyone to hear—is perhaps as urgent now as it ever was.