By April Rogers and Ali McGary
For Professor Laila Shereen-Sakr and the class of FAMST189DA
Even though non-hetero sexualities are becoming more accepted in American and global society many people that identify as LGBTQ or not “straight” still face a lot of hate, opposition, and criticism on a regular basis. Social media is an extremely powerful platform for delivering diverse opinions, both loving and hateful, and unfortunately the new advent of echo chambers have led to a rise in hate groups in America. We here at One Queer World feel that this hate stems from ignorance of the subject matter, especially of its long history, so our aim is to provide learning materials and education to help people learn about the diverse culture of queer people that has existed for millennia.
From Ancient Greece to the Aztecs, Mayans, and Native Northern Americans to Samurai Japan to British kings, queer people are an essential and completely normal part of our world. You might be surprised to know that the great hero Hercules also had a male lover named Hylas who was said to be so beautiful that he was abducted by water nymphs. Or that the Greek god Zeus courted both females and males in his many famous escapades. We believe that by teaching people about their history that has so seamlessly incorporated with our modern word, we can illuminate the normality of queer culture and show that it’s not a new or unnatural phenomena at all.
Recently, many different groups have been under attack from characters like Donald Trump, Pat McCrory, and Steve Bannon, and anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, sexism, and homophobia are on the rise. In some countries in the Middle East and Africa being LGBTQ is still a crime, in some cases punishable by death. Our goal is to change these laws by changing the ideologies behind them and create a world where sexual preferences are thought of as just that, a preference that is different between every person in a perfectly natural way.
We strive to be a source of information and education for all people, both queer and straight alike. Our goal isn’t to force people to change their opinions, it’s to have a clearer foundation to make them on. We work hard to produce entertaining Youtube video content, keep tabs on current events, and provide FAQs and forums for people to learn more about queer communities throughout the world. In the future, we hope to implement a GoFundMe that will act as a charity donation for civil rights movements and pro-LGBT lobbies and a communications network that will allow LGBT groups and GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) in America’s schools to actively communicate and plan their own events. We also have plans to expand to create a smartphone application.
One Queer Nation is an independent media company designed to bring education, news, and entertainment to people all around the world. By starting with accepting ourselves, and all our differences, we can learn to work together to fight actual problems in our world like cancer, poverty, and hunger. We want to remind everyone that although we are different we are still together on this Earth and we are all unique parts of our one world.
Follow us on Facebook or at @OneQWORLD on twitter for updates on new video releases and current events.
Keywords: OQW, One World, One Queer World, OneQWorld, homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, heterosexuality, non-hetero, LGBTQ, queer, transexuality, gay, straight, bi, news, politics, American politics, social justice, social movement, queer history, history of homosexuality, gay rights, LGBT rights, hidden history, new normal, sexuality, gender identification
Our Plan for #OneQueerWorld Campaign:
Our society is struggling towards creating universal acceptance for the LGBTQ community. In American society, where almost everyone talks about the ideologies of fighting for what is right-fighting against sexism, racism, and homophobia-many same sex couples fear being honest about their sexuality. In 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized in the entirety of the United States, this is because a majority of the population is slowly changing their views on homosexuality. But these shifts are not universal. Unfortunately, many members in the LGBTQ community find it extremely difficult to be honest about their sexuality, and embrace who they are. Although we see high acceptance rates in North America and Europe there is a strong rejection in Muslim countries and in Africa against being homosexual, as well as in parts of Asia and Russia. A country’s religion and opinion on homosexuality has a strong impact on the acceptance rates. It has been observed that religion in America and the acceptance of homosexuality is low compared to other wealthy countries. For example, Canada and Europe nations are less religious compared to people in the United States, therefore homosexuality is more widely accepted.
Plan of Action Broken Down:
- Create basic site and Youtube Channel.
- Produce 3 or 4 key videos for the site and the channel. One mission video statement. One interview video with LGBTQ correspondents about a current topic (ie. bathroom bill, Orlando shooting, difference between terms of LGBTQ, etc). One or two videos teaching about important queer figures in history (ie. Hadrian, King Edward II, Socrates, Oscar Wilde, etc.)
- Mission video is meant to be 1-2 minutes.
- Interview video is meant to be 4-7 minutes.
- History videos are meant to be 3-5 minutes.
- Create News section that finds and list current stories through key words (eg. bathroom bill, gay rights, etc.) and links back to original news source sites. Also, develop a few pieces of our own linked to the site’s launch and promotion along with promotion of the videos.
- Create a FAQ section and About section with explanations and facts (not opinions) regarding the various subcommunities within LGBTQ, along with compilations of other online resources.
- Continue creating a weekly history or educational video and post it both to the site and the channel.
- Promote a personal testimonial submitted to the site every week on the front page, and focus on positive changes that the everyday person can make to promote acceptance and love.
- Update our social media outlets daily with the news of new videos, new stories, and new testimonials. As well as creating new content unique to Instagram and Snapchat. Launch and proliferate the hashtag #OneQueerWorld. Meme creation is acceptable as long as it is not offensive.
- Start work on translating site pages to Spanish and subtitling videos. From there, expand to the other most commonly spoken languages, including Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali and Russian, as well as the languages of the most developed countries such as French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, Dutch and others.
We plan to set up a GoFundMe as well as establishing some merchandise to contribute to the cost of the movement. Since it based in the internet, a free platform, we foresee the primary costs being pay for the employees in charge of making the videos, updating the site, and creating and updating social media content. We will also eventually need to pay for translating fees to get the site working in different languages. As a non-for profit, any leftover funding will be contributed towards other pro-civil rights charities or lobbies.
Expanded Plan and Potential Impact:
Our goal as One Queer Nation is to stop blind hate and promote acceptance in an easy, fun, and accessible way. We think the best way to do this is through education about queer people and their history, normalization of LGBTQ people in our communities, and non-offensive humor and entertainment through our original content. We have pledged to dedicate ourselves to human right advocacy on behalf of all of those who experience discrimination because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. We plan to create social media outlets starting with Youtube and expanding to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for people in the queer community to come together and express their own opinions and stories. Our goal is to create a constantly updating cross-platform network similar to buzzfeed or the Kardashian empire. Through their computers or smartphones, people will have access to these platforms or can simply google us online. Our mission is to create a campaign that focuses on worldwide reach and addresses not just American citizens but many diverse communities all around the globe, and then allows them to connect back with each other. Along with the social media and website campaign we will launch a web channel accessible on Youtube and on our own site. This web channel will feature our main educational videos, interview videos, special promotion videos and other approved videos that either partners or fans have made around the world. We will also promote videos or content from other activist sites, movements, youtube producers, or social media accounts (with permission of course). We want to get people educated about the world around them and involved in our campaign and their local and global communities so that it can go viral across the world. We will mass market our campaign through these social media platforms, hashtags, merchandise, original content, new services, and our own channel. With luck, we’ll earn the respect of other pro-activism sites and cross pollinate our viewing audiences and communities.
People have fought for rights, and have won. The LGBTQ community needs to feel like they can win acceptance too. We’ve won many rights in America, but it will never be enough until we have rights and acceptance globally. Fighting for equality and maintaining a strong and active community is the key in our campaign. While our campaign primarily focuses on the queer community, it can also be used as reminder that we all must treat each other with kindness and respect no matter our ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, or religion. We will make our campaign unignorable by higher powers and strive to create hope and change in less accepting communities so that individuals are inspired to begin to raise awareness for global acceptance.
Sample Video Topics
- Queer heroes in Greek myth.
- Origin of the word queer.
- Why the F word (faggot) is bad.
- The Spartans were awesome and bi.
- The Stonewall Riots.
- Queer celebrities you might know.
- The “Two-Spirit” in early North America.
- Machisimo in Latin American culture.
- Eros and eromenos.
- King Edward II of England.
- Britain’s law against homosexuality.
- Thai kathoey.
- Plato liked dudes?
- The story of Sodom and Gamora.
Personal Testimonial Examples
I’m not sure exactly when I realised I was gay. It’s not as if you’re an official homosexual, here’s your certificate. Everyone’s ‘coming out’ experiences are different. My name is David, I am now 15 and I live in Withington. Being gay has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life so far. It was hard to come to terms with, something I have had to do completely by myself. It has been a very lonely process; at times I’ve felt like everyone is against me. I’ve felt isolated, I sometimes don’t know how to deal with things. I tried to talk to my teacher about the bullying but she just didn’t want to know. She said I should talk to my parents about it but they are both very religious, there was no way I could talk to them about it. It is an agonising feeling so alone, it’s no surprise I sometimes hurt myself. Once at school this lad was bullying me, the usual stuff; faggot, queer, uphill-gardener, I was so stressed that the teacher didn’t do anything that I punched him. I ended up getting into trouble for that. I can’t wait until next year when I’ll be out of this place. I just can’t talk to anyone. I feel insecure and unprotected. I think if it was just talked about that would make it easier. A lot of the homophobia is just ignorance, by both the teachers and the pupils. I just wish I could be ‘out’ and respected for who I am. Schools need to act to make sure that gay students get the respect they need to feel safe and secure.
I teach as an openly gay man at a Manchester High School, in my first six weeks there I came out to a year 8 class where I had witnessed verbal and physical homophobia and embryonic queer bashing. Later some of the students knocked on my door with either a sweet or a piece of work or simply to ask if I was ok? None of them mentioned the outing. They didn’t need to. A tiny step had been taken. Three years later, I still challenge homophobia in the classroom and on the corridor, but now I am regularly asked by students in a sincere way about my experiences as an out gay man. I don’t underestimate the potential difficulties I may meet from the parents of such children, but I am an optimist. A gay Jew born in the same year of Hitler’s death has to be. Throughout my time at School I’ve had amazing support from the head and the Senior Management Team, in fact I made it a condition of my employment at the school that I taught as an open gay man.
Jim recalls in elementary school, he used to enjoy playing jump rope with the girls much more than rough-housing with the boys. In junior high, he preferred being in dramatic productions to playing baseball. He loved reading and writing. In high school, he was editor of the school newspaper and even dated the top cheerleader. But everyone still thought he was gay, and the bullies called him “queer” all the time. But he was most definitely heterosexual, yet he did not fit into the stereotypes of being a “manly” man. He never once had any same-sex interest, but because he was not acting the same ways as other boys were acting in school, and because he was physically small, the other boys taunted him as being a “queer.” As he grew to an adult he gravitated to the arts. He got married and had a child.
Michael liked to play with “My Little Pony”. His favorite character from the collection was “Pinkie Pie.” He was not of the age to have any strong sexual identity, but was subjected to much bullying at school, simply for liking a toy normally marketed to girls. The students at his elementary school called him “gay” for liking “My Little Pony.” Michael hung himself with a necktie he received as a gift. His mother discovered him near death. He survived, but is now in a permanent vegetative state due to the brain damage he suffered from the suicide attempt.