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Understand the LGBTQIA+ news: A "last desperate act of power", Pride Month and the general election

Understand the LGBTQIA+ news: A "last desperate act of power", Pride Month and the general election


Table of Contents

Today is the start of Pride Month, where CEOs celebrate 'the gays', corporations dare to temporarily rainbow it up, and in the LGBTQIA+ sector we brace ourselves for an exhausting four weeks.

The UK will be laser-focused on our community this month, and not just because of Pride. Because we're set to be a political football bandied about in a general election.

I'm worried about the election. In order for us to make informed decisions, we need to be able to trust the information we get and where we get it from.

We know all too well how terrible so many of the mainstream media titles have been to our community. And while they lean into anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric to chase clicks and rage bait, some of the gay news sector has been left with little choice but to go against its natural instincts thanks to market forces.

We're hearing more and more in our meetings with activists, community groups, and journalists about the shift you’re noticing away from original news and investigations.

Despite dedicated LGBTQIA+ journalists working hard across the sector to prioritise our news – editors and titles are telling them it's celebs, gossip and clickbait first, news, investigations and investing in the community last.

No news is bad news. And I don't use this word lightly: this is a crisis issue for the LGBTQIA+ community.

How we're responding to the crisis lack of investment in news about the LGBTQIA+ community

This issue is even more acute during a general election. That's why this month, we're focusing on two initiatives that will put the focus on what information our community deserves:

First up, we're working with DIVA and Trans+ History Week on a Queer Election Watch. It's a series of articles to help you cut through the noise and make sense of the issues that matter to you so you can make a more informed vote. Think of it like your queer friend who helps you understand the next few weeks. Look out for that here in the QueerAF newsletter, on DIVA’s channels, and on all of our social media.

When media organisations come together, we can achieve much more for our community. So, in addition to working closely with DIVA, we're taking part in the first-ever Indie News Week, organised by the Public Interest News Foundation's (PINF).

We're uniting with over 50 other media organisations to find solutions to this crisis in journalism.

Without journalists with the lived experience of the issues that need reporting on, those who hold power will be left without accountability. That's something we simply can't allow to continue.

Investing in queer talent and communicating news costs money to do justice, and queer creatives deserve to get paid well. As a not-for-profit, we're uniquely placed in the LGBTQIA+ sector to reinvest in stories, news and investigations that matter to our community. We're also committed to doing that.

So this Pride month, instead of spending money on a rainbow t-shirt, we're asking you to make a purchase that has a year-round impact: A QueerAF membership.

Change the media, change the country.

If you find our journalism and investment in queer talewnt valuable. Imagine what more QueerAF could do for LGBTQIA+ people with a little extra capacity?

The more perks you choose, the better the discount you can grab:

And here's the truly great news: PINF will match-fund every single one of the 30 new memberships we need to create this month to help fund our mentoring and commissioning schemes we run for LGBTQIA+ creatives.

Yes, every membership you buy doubles the money we will get. There has never been a better time to sign up: a discount for you, double the money for QueerAF's creatives.

That's why, although all our memberships are on sale, the annual ones really make a difference, thanks to this match funding.

If 30 people sign up for an annual membership, we'll max out the Β£1500 available to reinvest in emerging and marginalised LGBTQIA+ journalists over the coming weeks.

I'll be transparent with you - this membership drive will help:

  • Create a pot of funds we'll be investing in LGBTQIA+ journalists to write news, analysis and guides to the general election with DIVA.
  • Help develop a new role at QueerAF to create week-round digestible social media content to help more people understand the news at this crucial time.
  • Help QueerAF dedicate even more time to lobbying the media and creating formal routes for our creatives to get jobs so we can change the newsroom – to change the country.

If we max out this drive, it will make a potentially monumental shift to our ability to make the difference we do week in and week out - not only for you but for the queer creatives we work with and our behind-the-scenes lobbying work.

We'll let you know about progress toward our goal - and we’ve put a tracker on the membership page to help you keep an eye on it too.

Over the last few weeks, we've been investigating the NHS, holding the government accountable and investing in LGBTQIA+ creative talent.

This Pride month, instead of some special activity - you'll see more of the same.

Yep. It's business as usual at QueerAF because we talk with Pride about our community all year round. And we've got your back.

Now, let's get into the news this week.

With pride,

Understand the LGBTQIA+ headlines and keep track of the latest queer content and perspectives.

πŸ’¬ This week:

  • Puberty Blockers. The last action of the Conservative government was to ban puberty blockers for transgender teenagers. We help you understand this extraordinary use of legislation at the 11th hour.
  • General Election. What's going on with the Labour party? We bring the queer perspective you need on the campaign trail ahead of a pivotal election.
  • PrEP. This week we launched our new podcast documentary for the Love Tank with the support of the National Aids Trust. Host of The Other Blue Pill Phil Samba writes about why it's important we learn about the little-known history of how PrEP became available on the NHS in England.

Skip the doom scrolling and support queer creatives instead. We are QueerAF – and so are you.

Conservatives "last desperate act in power" was to ban puberty blockers for transgender youth

TL;DR: As reported in last week's newsletter, with just hours to go before Parliament was dissolved, Conservative Health Secretary Victoria Atkins used a power which she herself described as "extraordinary". At the last possible stage, she made it a criminal offence for a pharmacist, doctor or any other individual in Great Britain to sell or supply puberty blocking drugs to transgender patients under the age of 18.

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