Meet Founder of Pride Train, Thomas Shim, in this Domestika Diary

Founder of Pride Train, Thomas Shim, talks us through his campaign preparation for LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

New York based Thomas Shim (@thomasshim) is a Creative Director and Strategist at Instagram and Facebook and works with brands to create innovative creative campaigns.

He uses his talents outside of work for his own campaign projects to fight for social justice: Pride Train and Why I Didn’t Report It.

Thomas started Pride Train in 2016 in response to an increase of hate crimes on the New York subway and the New York administration’s refusal to celebrate, or even acknowledge, the LGBTQIA+ Pride Month of June.

Using Guerilla style tactics to recreate the New York Subway travel posters with celebration messages for LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, Thomas decorates the New York Subway with messages of equality. He meticulously measures up original travel posters so that he can replicate them perfectly,

Like a typical Subway travel poster, the Pride Train posters include directions, but content like ‘No Bigotry, hatred, or prejudice allowed at this station as anytime’, replace the usual train directions. Timings at the top for these statements are against the famous Pride rainbow colours and marked as ‘365 days a year, 24 hours a day.’ ‘Stay home’ sits as a statement under the header ‘Travel Alternative’ for anyone who doesn’t agree with the campaign message.

Pride Train poser in a New York City Subway Station
Pride Train poser in a New York City Subway Station

Despite LGBTQIA+ Pride public celebrations being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Thomas continued to share the Pride Train message on social media and has launched three additional posters to the Pride Train collection for 2021.

The months leading up to June are a busy time for Thomas, but when he’s not working on his upcoming campaigns he’s taking inspiration from his city, discovering new street art and thinking up ideas to keep his work relevant and fresh, both for his day job, and for his passion projects. In his downtime, he looks after his three dogs Willow, Deborah and Jane.

Pride Train Poster at Bedford Avenue, NYC
Pride Train Poster at Bedford Avenue, NYC

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