We need a UK media industry thriving with QueerAF talent
Can you make our platform funding emerging LGBTQIA+ creatives possible?
QueerAF supports, mentors and builds the resilience of queer creatives to get their first commissions and kickstart their media career.
We've already supported 17 queer creatives to get an award-winning audio commission and portfolio piece with our podcast.
Now we're looking for founding members to help us kick start our journey as a community interest company that will run a weekly newsletter to amplify queer content.
Our weekly newsletter skips divisive algorithms that divide our community, disrupt the media landscape and filter out our lives.
But that's just the start. Our new community-led platform (launching to the public in early 2022) is a place where the editorial decisions are in our readers’ hands. And all of this is going to fund our work, training a new generation of LGBTQIA+ creatives. And that's where we need you.
This work is urgent
Our work is a direct response to the shocking rise of LGBTQIA+ hate crimes, in the UK - there were 20,000 last year. The building undercurrent of transphobia in society led by the press. Plus attacks in the media on even our community’s largest and most respected charity Stonewall - that saw media regulator Ofcom, and now the BBC devastatingly withdraw their support.
But history has shown us time and again when we get to know others - our prejudice fades away. With a new generation of queer creatives working in and with the media, creating LGBTQIA+ inclusive media coverage - there will be a natural reduction in hate crime. Because there will be less hate.
QueerAF founders are going to fund our first set of newsletter commissions from emerging LGBTQIA+ voices who will also get mentoring, a portfolio piece and skills booster sessions. It's their first step on a journey that starts with our support and ends with a new kind of media.
Can you make this possible?
Why join QueerAF?
- You recognise the value in a UK media industry bursting with queer talent because it represents, hires and understands us.
- Be part of a movement that builds a media that shifts the narrative on our lives and the issues that matter most to queer lives.
- Whether you are queer, or an ally, you want to help get the weekly QueerAF newsletter to people who are aching for LGBTQIA+ stories and content made by queer voices.
What do I have to do?
- Pledge £50 or more and become a founding member of our community.
- Share your support for our organisation on your platforms, any way you can, when we launch.
- Bring others with you: Can you spread the word? Send this to someone you know and help us grow our circle of founders.
What does my founding membership do?
You will fund ‘The Queer Gaze’, a space in our newsletter to commission emerging and underrepresented queer creatives.
The Queer Gaze gives our readers eye-opening insight into the experiences and viewpoints in our community they may not have encountered before.
But ultimately, it's a place for underrepresented creatives to get published, receive mentorship and ultimately, kickstart their career.
The format was developed and designed by our first commissioned emerging queer creative since we launched as a CIC, Matilda Davies.
"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
The Queer Gaze leaves you feeling intrigued, introduced to new perspectives and inspired to read more about underrepresented LGBTQIA+ lives. But we can't commission emerging voices to tell these stories without you.
These commissions will deliver immediate wins by supporting emerging creatives to start their career. But they'll also make a change for future generations of queer youth too. Our network of alumni is already shifting the representation of queer lives, by working in, and with the media industry.
What do I get in return?
- An annual membership to QueerAF which gives you access to all membership perks (including our weekly newsletter with an LGBTQIA+ round-up of the queer world this week.)
- Directly fund an underrepresented or emerging queer creative with the opportunity to guide us in which voice, story and topics you'd like to see lifted up.
- See your name alongside the queer creative you'll commission.
- Get regular monthly briefings during our first six months to find out about how you've kickstarted our mission.
- Forever be listed as a founding member who made it all possible, on our website (and socials at launch).
Our circle of founders is growing fast with media industry leaders like Alex Wood (Managing Director in Europe, Forbes), Steve Parkinson (Chief Strategic Partnerships & Events Officer, Bauer Audio UK), Rae Langford (Head of Corporate Comms, Banijay) on board.
Plus queer business leaders like Chris Kenna (CEO of Brand Advance), Robin Gray (Co-founder, Gray Jones Media) and Gary Stewart (CEO of Founder Tribes) making our work possible.
Not to mention producers, presenters and journalists like James Barr (Hits Radio, Gay and a NonGay presenter), Karen Bevan (Producer, AudioBoom) and Jon Holmes (Sky Sports and Sports Media LGBT+) who are already members.
With support from LGBTQIA+ community leaders like Yasmin Benoit (Model and award-winning aromantic-asexual activist), Ugla Stefanía (Non-Binary My Genderation co-founder), and Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett (UK’s 1st Openly HIV+ Parliamentary Candidate), all signed up to the mission.
Some are so confident in our approach, like Joe Lycett (comedian and TV presenter) they've become a founding lifetime member, to secure the future of this work.
And there are even more already on board. Will you join our movement to change the media with a new generation of queer creatives?
I started QueerAF as a response to an editor who told me to stop pitching 'gay stories' because there was no 'money' or 'audience' for them.
So far with QueerAF, we've built an award-winning podcast with an international audience – that even Fox News has talked about. We've also picked up some sponsorship along the way...
No one should be told their lives aren't worth telling a story about. One reason newsrooms create awful experiences like I faced, is because they are locked into a system. One that rewards stories, who feed hungry divisive algorithms. All to serve enough ads, to simply repeat the cycle over again.
That's why we're building a platform funded by people, not adverts. So we can tell stories because they matter to the community, not for clicks. Content for the LGBTQIA+ world, not advertisers.
There are some great queer media organisations out there in the UK already, with a rich history. From Gay Times to Attitude, PinkNews to Diva, Gray Jones Media to GSN, AZ Mag to Gal-dem.
We're excited to bring a new force to the way queer content is made, and develop a new generation of resilient underrepresented creatives. Queer media professionals, who can go on to change the way stories about our lives are told.
But, we are just starting this audacious project, and it's a massive undertaking.
The good news? You can help QueerAF expand our capacity to launch the careers of brand new queer voices by joining our growing circle of founders.
We're building a circle of members because we're going to have an intersectional approach. So that our work is grounded by those with a multitude of lived experiences - not just ours.
Do you support new queer voices who can go on to change the media?