I wrote two blog posts about creating a queer publication called The Human Experience (T.H.E.), I’m Creating a Queer Magazine-ish-Community Site & Join me in the Kickstarter Launch of our Queer Magazine-Community – The Human Experience: Redefining Queer Culture. I love the acronym, T.H.E. 🙂 And I just recently wrote a blog post about going to London for a queer youth leadership program this September, which while there I would work on and talk about T.H.E. But I never actually wrote a blog post about the development of T.H.E. or that it’s actually happening and growing.
To some degree, I feel like it’s a slow process, but that’s just because I have high expectations of myself and I like to see quick results. In reality, everything is moving extraordinarily fast.
On July 2nd, I decided that I was creating a queer publication and wrote a blog post about it. I didn’t decide this out of thin air. The idea had been traveling through my head for 2 to 3 years, but it wasn’t until July 2nd that my mission and focus became clear. That same day, Lauren Leiggi emailed me after reading that blog post and told me she wanted to get involved in the publication. She is now one of the four core T.H.E. Team members, T.H.E. Social Media Manager.
On that same day, Sarah Stout emailed me as well saying she read the blog post and was “writing to officially express interest in working with [me] and the queer-community-in-the-works!!” She is another core T.H.E. Team member, our current Development Manager. As we progress, she wants to focus more on the publication and also the offline community building aspect of T.H.E.
On July 3rd, Claudette Jones commented on that blog post and said she wanted to help. On July 7th, I FB messaged her if she wanted to join our core team. She began her response with, “Eeeeeek!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!! Omg!” 🙂 Claudette is also a core T.H.E. Team member, our Publicity and Events Chair.
On June 19th, I was invited to volunteer at the OutMusic Awards in Las Vegas, which is hosted by the LGBT Academy of Recording Arts, and I was asked to recommend other people who are passionate and involved in the LGBTQ community.
By July 7th, Sarah, Lauren, Claudette and I had all confirmed that we were going. So the whole T.H.E. Team will be volunteering at the OutMusic Awards this December! About 6 to 10 other people I invited will be joining us. The experience of volunteering, connecting with other passionate LGBTQA people & being around music (which I LOVE) is amazing in and of itself, but by volunteering we also get 4 free nights at Planet Hollywood and a ton of free tickets to events while we’re there. I’m from the Bay Area in California, and I went to Vegas a handful of times when I was younger for family vacations, but this will be my first time in Las Vegas post-21-years-old. (I’ll be 25 on the 28th of August.) I’m excited. 🙂
Also on July 7th, I wrote a blog post about the future Kickstarter campaign we’re going to launch to further promote The Human Experience and to raise startup funds for it, and our Facebook page was created.
On July 11th, we had our first T.H.E. Team meeting, and since then we have had 3 more. We have been meeting weekly via Skype, and now Google + chat. Also on July 11th, we created our Twitter profile.
Our first tweet!
The Human Experience: Redefining Queer Culture is an online queer publication that aims to lessen the bigotry within the queer community
— The Human Experience (@HumanExperince) July 12, 2012
On July 15th, we wished Claudette a happy birthday. 🙂
On July 17th, Sarah Stout came up with T.H.E. Social Media Street Team slogan, Spread T.H.E. Love. 🙂
July 26th marked the birth of our blog, our Social Media Street Team and our website (although our publication is not yet live). I also found out that I was accepted to the Stonewall Talent Program, a queer youth leadership program in London.
On July 27th, we wrote and published our first two blog posts, T.H.E. Is Coming & Trans Women Included: Feminism and Trans Intersections.
On August 1st, we sent out our first T.H.E. Social Media Street Team email and wished two of our Social Media Street Team members a happy birthday. 🙂
On August 4th, I was going to turn down the Stonewall Talent Program because I couldn’t afford the plane ticket, but unexpectedly I got a surprising amount of support on Facebook. People told me that they would help me pay for my plane ticket and that I should fundraise for it. So that day, instead of emailing Stonewall to say that I couldn’t go, I responded with my confirmation. 🙂
On August 5th, we partnered with Renee Ho, author of The Friendship Effect. She’s giving a free ebook of The Friendship Effect to everyone who joins T.H.E. Social Media Street team through September 5th. We’re also promoting and participating in her Facebook contest to help spread the word about the positive effects of friendship.
On August 6th, we launched our first blogging campaign, I Am The Human Experience. We’re getting people to write about their human experience and who they truly are when you peel back the labels that put us into stereotyped boxes.
— Claudette J. (@ClaudetteJones) August 7, 2012
— LaGeeGee(@Leiggi) August 6, 2012
On August 7th, we created our Pinterest and YouTube Channel.
On August 8th, I created my fundraising blog post with a PayPal widget to raise money for my plane ticket to London for the Stonewall Talent Programme.
And today, August 9th, Curve Magazine shared Sarah’s, I Am The Human Experience, blog post on their Facebook and Twitter. (I started managing the Curve FB page 3 or 4 weeks ago. So I shared it on their FB Page. 🙂 But that magazine was my first introduction into queer media when I came out, and although I work for them, seeing something tweeted on their profile or shared on their FB page hasn’t lost its Wow factor for me.)
How do you define your sexuality? And how does your sexuality shape you as a human being? fb.me/1dbz7hrIH
— Curve Magazine (@TheRealCurve) August 9, 2012
I also raised $145 so far for my plane ticket to London these past two days. And we reached a milestone on our Facebook Page of 100 likes.
Our Plans for the Immediate Future:
Tomorrow we will send out our second T.H.E. Social Media Street Team email. This upcoming Monday we will launch our T.H.E. photo campaign, which will involve people imposing the words I Am The Human Experience over their photo. We will add them to our Pinterest board & tweet and FB out people’s Human Experience photos. And people will be able to use them as their FB and Twitter profile pictures.
And this upcoming Wednesday we’re hoping to launch our video campaign, which will involve people making videos of themselves describing their human experience.
Further Down the Road:
August 28th is a tentative date to launch our Kickstarter Project.
September 13 & 14 is the two-day queer youth leadership program that I hope to be participating in in London.
December 13-16 T.H.E. Team will be volunteering at the OutMusic Awards in Vegas, and meeting up in-person! We’re from Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California, so it will be really cool to meet up in-person. It will be a nice change of pace from our online video meetings. (Sarah, Claudette and I were friends before T.H.E. and we knew each other from college in Virginia, but we recently met Lauren. I internet met her on July 2nd. So it will be great to see her in-person.)
January 23-27th, hopefully Claudette will be speaking at The 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Things are moving and grooving and we have been receiving a lot of support, positive feedback and really touching messages via email, Facebook, phone and in-person over T.H.E.
I have no doubt in my mind that T.H.E. will become a global publication that will help foster a global community and a more positive culture where people begin to peel back the labels that dehumanize us and start to see us as who we are, unique, beautiful individuals and human beings.