Why I designed “Everyone is Awesome” by Matthew Ashton
The starting point for this was my feeling that we, as a society, could be doing more to show support for each other and appreciate our differences. Being LGBTQIA+ myself, I knew I needed to step up to the plate and make a real statement about love and inclusivity, and generally spread some LEGO® love to everybody who needs it. Children are our role models and they welcome everyone, no matter their background. Something we should all be aspiring to.
Representation is so important. I grew up in the 80s and was obviously a gay kid. There was a lot of negativity back then around being gay; it was right in the middle of the AIDS crisis when I was a young teen and that was incredibly daunting and scary.
Being quite an effeminate kid, I was constantly told by different adults around me what I should and shouldn’t play with, that I needed to behave like a ‘real boy’ and to toughen up. I was dissuaded from doing the things that came most naturally to me. I think many of the adults around me were doing all of this to try to protect me from getting bullied, but I was actually fine with all the kids at school. All of that has had an impact on me in many ways; it was really exhausting and kicked my confidence.