GLAAD has launched a new digital content series aimed at increasing the visibility of Black LGBTQ people.
“Neon,” is an ongoing initiative that aims to leverage the organization’s platform as the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization to create multi-dimensional, accurate portraits of the Black LGBTQ experience. Its debut rollout, which dropped its first installment on Thursday, is timed to celebrate Black History Month.
The initial offering features artist and poet Roya Marsha, whose legacy GLAAD describes as channeling Audre Lorde. As the month continues, the Black History legacy series that will continue releasing one photo and video of a Black LGBTQ legacy person from a variety of disciplines, each Tuesday and Thursday.
DaShawn Usher, Programs Officer, Communities of Color (GLAAD) and producer of “Neon,” said in a statement:
“GLAAD’s continued commitment to communities of color is exemplified with the launch of ‘Neon.’ We hope to help shift the narratives of underrepresented communities in media, especially for the Black LGBTQ community and their allies. With an increase in violence and murders of Black Trans women, LGBTQ youth suicides, and a decrease in LGBTQ acceptance, ‘Neon’ comes at a time when it’s absolutely critical to showcase diverse, fair, and accurate representations of Black LGBTQ people within the media.”
The series’ co-creator and contributing producer, Major Nesby, had this to say:
“It’s important to me that queer people across the African diaspora can see themselves and hear their stories. There are so many opportunities to be represented in the media and yet in 2020, I still don’t feel represented or seen in traditional media. ‘Neon’ now has the chance to tell these diverse and collective stories.”
According to a press release, the series will cover four categories:
- IN THE MEDIA: Stories about representation. Launched 2/6: ‘Black History Month: Legacy Series.’ A photo/video collection featuring 7 LGBTQ people from multiple disciplines whose work is a legacy of a historic figure.
- COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: Local stories that highlight changemakers and issues that impact communities on a more intimate level. Coming soon: ‘Making A Barbershop Feel Like Home for Black LGBTQ People,’ a video about making traditional safe spaces like barbershops and beauty salons more inclusive for Black LGBTQ people.
- CELEBRITY VOICES: Pop culture themed content that looks at LGBTQ celebrities and influencers shaping the narrative. Coming Soon: ‘#GOALS,’ A video series in which young millennials sit down with a professional who works in their dream job – someone who is #Goals.
- ON THE SCENE: Having an LGBTQ presence at major events throughout the year. Upcoming events: GLAAD will have a presence at events such as NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards, Essence Festival, Black Women in Hollywood Brunch, American Black Film Festival, Black Girls Rock, MOBIfest, Afropunk, and more.
Though GLAAD is the force behind “Neon,” its content is curated by a group of Black LGBTQ artists and allies who are both staffers at GLAAD and contributors.
You can watch the video here.
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