Despite some small recent victories for LGBTQ media representation, we are still waiting to see queer characters included in mainstream stories in a meaningful way. Between rampant queerbaiting, case after case of Bury Your Gays, and large media companies completely ignoring the issue, LGBTQ fans are getting tired of waiting.
What we need are LGBTQ main characters in popular, mainstream franchises or other widely popular stories in film, TV, books and other media. We need them to be visible, happy, and alive. We need to see ourselves as heroes.
To highlight that need, we are announcing the #WeNeedLGBTQStories Week. Beginning on June 12, the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, and running through that weekend’s Pride Alley at Awesome-con in DC, this week is a time to talk about why representation matters. We will flood social media with reasons why we need healthy LGBTQ representation, what those characters/stories would mean to us, and specific examples of what it would look like and how it is already possible.
How can you get involved?
We will be posting on Twitter and Tumblr (and any other networks you’d like) throughout the week with the hashtag #WeNeedLGBTQStories. Help us get it trending! Share your thoughts, your personal stories, your specific hopes for characters, your ideas, your fan works, anything. Write blog posts and submit columns to news outlets. Write to specific creators and companies. Join Thursday’s Twitter chat and Friday’s Thunderclap (details to follow). If you’re in the DC area for Awesome-con, join us at a weekend’s worth of queer geek panels.
There will be more ways to get involved announced soon, but for now you can share this notice far and wide, and follow us here on Tumblr and on Twitter at @wnlgbtqs.
Themes for each day:
- Monday, June 12: #KeepDancing
- To honor our history and our community, and to remember Pulse and all of our fallen. To talk about the real world challenges we face and the very real impact positive representation can have.
- Tuesday, June 13: We Are Heroes
- To talk about the need to see ourselves reflected in our heroes, to see LGBTQ characters as not just accepted, but saving the day. What would this mean to you?
- Wednesday, June 14: We Are Happily Ever After
- To emphasize the importance of showing LGBTQ characters in happy, healthy relationships. We don’t exist in a vacuum and our love deserves to be honored. What does this look like?
- Thursday, June 15: We are Alive
- To call on creators to stop torturing and killing us. To remind them that we face this enough in reality. To show them how they have the power to save lives with their stories. We deserve better.
- Friday, June 16: We are Possible
- To point to specific instances that creators could act on in the near future to give us the representation we need. It’s possible, if you just let yourself see the potential – sometimes it even makes for a better story. Let’s bring back the campaigns #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and #LetAyoHaveAGirlfriend, and create new ones to highlight other good opportunities for LGBTQ characters. (My first suggestion: #GivePoeABoyfriend)
- Saturday-Sunday: Awesome-con’s Pride Alley
- We will be attending panels at Awesome-con’s Pride Alley, a track on panels and content devoted to LGBTQ geekery/fandom. We will be live tweeting various panels for those who can’t attend, and a meet-up and other activities are in the works.
Join us June 12-18 to talk about why #WeNeedLGBTQStories.