You may have heard that I’ve been brainstorming a video campaign for LGBTQ fans who want to lend their own voices to make fandom and maisntream TV and film a safer and more inclusive space.
For many of us, fandom has been a sanctuary for LGBTQ people who don’t necessarily have such spaces in everyday life. Fandom has given many of us an opportunity to explore our identities and create community we otherwise do not have. In a world where we still fight for acceptance, justice, and equality, fandom has even saved lives.
Unfortunately, the people involved with making the TV shows and movies we love don’t always grasp that. So, they sometimes say and do things that wind up alienating us from something that once gave us joy and inspiration.
This is unacceptable. This has to change.
What follows is just one piece of trying to make that change.
The Rainbow Gallery is a video campaign that aims to create a more inclusive space for LGBTQ fans in mainstream TV and film.
By sharing our perspectives, experiences, and insights, The Rainbow Gallery seeks to:
- Let fellow LGBTQ fans know that they are not alone
- Show people that LGBTQ fans are real people and not merely “issues”
- Put industry professionals—studio execs, producers, directors, writers, actors, critics, etc.—on the right track when talking to and about LGBTQ fans and the things that matter to us
- Get straight allies in film and television on the same page as LGBTQ fans when it comes to how they can support and advocate for us
- Pave the way for better representation of LGBTQ people in mainstream film and television
Much like the It Gets Better campaign, video contributions from LGBTQ fans form the core of The Rainbow Gallery.
The format of the videos can vary from a simple chat in front of a camera to voice-over narration to text and music, whatever makes the person most comfortable because it’s not always safe to be out as LGBTQ.
Videos can discuss a variety of topics, including:
- media representation
- straight allies
- best practices
- personal stories
- and more
WHAT THE RAINBOW GALLERY NEEDS
The Rainbow Gallery basically needs two things: 1) create the message, and 2) get the message out there.
To start with, this means:
- Content for a 5-10 minute intro video with people answering various prompt questions.
- Videos from LGBTQ fans in line with the mission and goals of The Rainbow Gallery
- At least 1,000 people following the campaign and talking about it
- Twitter account, Facebook page, maybe a Tumblr
- Press release to LGBTQ-oriented media outlets
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are a lot of things you can do to help (video editing, making a website, etc.), but the easiest are:
- Reblog this post for your followers and tag it with “rainbow gallery”
- Follow the “rainbow gallery” tag on Tumblr
- Use the #rainbowgallery hashtag when tweeting about The Rainbow Gallery
- Share links on Twitter and Facebook
- Tweet about The Rainbow Gallery to people affiliated with your favorite TV shows and films
- Like The Rainbow Gallery Facebook page
- Come up with prompt questions for people making videos
- Something clever and amazing that would make everything so much better
I guess that now is as good a time as any to explain why this means so much to me.
I’m not doing this because fandom is an untapped market I want to maximize for its earning potential. I’m doing this because, despite its flaws, I’ve seen in fandom visions of the world I want to live in. A world where who I am is not a resource to be exploited or a problem to be solved.
Every fandom I’ve participated in has had so much love, passion, talent, creativity, intelligence, kindness, generosity, and wisdom that it strikes me as shameful that the people who offer all these wonderful gifts are made to feel invisible, insignificant, and expendable by those who give life to the stories and characters they love.
I believe that no one deserves to feel invisible. I believe that no one deserves to feel insignificant. I believe that no one deserves to feel expendable.
I refuse to accept this is “just the way it is.” I refuse to accept this as inevitable. I refuse to accept this, period.
I want to do everything I can to change this so that me and my friends can play in the same sandbox as everybody else and not have to deal with any bullshit.
Will you join me?