There has been a 210% rise in LGBTQIA+ hate crimes, in the UK in the last five years. There were just shy of 20,000 attacks against us in 2020. And that was in a year when most of us spent it at home.
That figure is perhaps little surprise to so many of us though. There is a building undercurrent of transphobia in society, led by some of the press.
We need a media that hires, represents and understands us.
That's why QueerAF is setting out to support, mentor and build the resilience of queer creatives to get their first commissions and kickstart their media career. We're going show the change we want to see is possible, and then support queer creatives in the media (to change it).
These ten, amazing creatives have been blazing a path in the media. Now they've joined us to open even more doors for the stories we desperately need.
Our first writers will feature in (and help to launch) the 'Queer Gaze' - our new scheme that will pay and support emerging and underrepresented queer writers.
These writers are helping us launch our new platform, but soon the Queer Gaze will begin commissioning emerging and underrepresented queer creatives. Are you one of them? Pitch now, to get paid to write for us.
Meet QueerAF's first writers
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Yasmin Benoit is the British model and award-winning aromantic-asexual activist. She is a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network and co-founder of International Asexuality Day (April 6).
Shivani is a broadcaster and journalist with specialisms in science and queer history. They work with the BBC, Guardian, Thompson Reuters Foundation and more. They produce the award-winning LGBTQ+ history podcast, The Log Books.
Ugla is a queer, trans and feminist advocate and writer. They co-run My Genderation, and act as an advisor to narrative change group All About Trans. Ugla is also a published author of The Trans Teen Survival Guide and Trans Survival Workbook.
As someone who's written for mainstream platforms, I've been increasingly frustrated with how I am not allowed to write about certain things, or how certain angles aren't 'mainstream' enough. So with QueerAF I am really interested in delving deeper into the media structure, and how it enables the anti-trans moral panic that is sweeping across the UK
Agree with Ugla? We thought so. Sign up to get Ugla, Yasmin and Shivani in your inbox with our free weekly newsletter. Sign up now
Paisley is an NCTJ-trained journalist. The former (audacious) sex editor at Cosmopolitan, where she launched the brand's lgbtq+ vertical. Now the content editor at period-tracking app Flo, Paisley also freelances for anyone who will let her write about sex and/or queerness.
Through Jude's work as a Public Speaker, Consultant & Model, they have been working with brands, schools and businesses. All of this has been raising awareness and visibility for the trans and Non-binary community. From facilitating workshops to sharing his journey 'Becoming Jude,' on Instagram.
Grace has been blogging for over 10 years about her life, health issues, sexuality and love of coffee. A self-proclaimed 'unlikely influencer', Grace uses her platforms to speak about invisible illnesses, books, body love and bourbon biscuits.
Loving these writers? Queer voices are awesome. Get them in your inbox in the free weekly QueerAF newsletter
Felix Mufti is an activist, performer and writer signed with The Queerhouse London. He co-founded ‘Transcend Theatre’ where he writes and acts in plays about authentic stories within the transgender community.
Platforms like QueerAF which actually empower Queer people show how strong we are as a community. Our diversity brings richness unachievable by people who have never experienced barriers. Starting my career was such a struggle. I had no role model in my local community and never saw myself represented. I had and still have so many stories to tell. But no way to tell them. Queer platforms are vital, to keep our legacy alive and our people.
Char Bailey is a creator and holder of physical and metaphysical space. She uses her background in NLP and peak performance coaching, to passionately engage the queer community in their individual and collective journey.
Arthur is an online creator intersecting the LGBTQIA+ and political online spaces. He's previously written articles about his experiences as a transgender person in the Labour Party. But ultimately spends most of the time telling jokes about his transition on Twitter.
Matilda is a freelance journalist and producer, passionate about educational storytelling that uplifts marginalised voices. Above all else, she loves boundary-pushing creatives, voraciously reading Wikipedia, and Timothée Chalamet.
"I created The Queer Gaze feature to give a platform to people who don’t ordinarily have access to a platform. It's going to put money in the hands of queer creators that don’t always get funded by mainstream media organisations. I am excited for it to play a part in helping queer creatives take their first step with their career."
– Matilda Davies, QueerAF Alumni, Journalist
I started QueerAF to fund queer media careers.
First of all, we made an award-winning podcast after an editor told me to stop pitching gay stories.
And now a bunch of media professionals, LGBTQIA+ community leaders and cool queer folk like comedian Joe Lycett, have joined as members to fund our work creating a new generation of queer creatives who can change the media.
Together they've made it possible for us to recruit this list of Black, Asian, transgender, non-binary, asexual and disabled writers to help us launch our newsletter.
No one should be told their lives aren't worth telling stories about like I was.
As a community interest company, we're going to support underrepresented emerging creatives to kickstart their career, so they can work in the media - to change it. This, while we build a community-centred platform that works for the LGBTQIA+ community, not advertisers.
It's super easy to support us (and the creatives on this page) with just one of these three easy actions: