|The #QPOCshoutouts Project||
The Story. The Vision.
This project is the answer to the question I've often asked myself: How do I combine my passions? I can geek out on social media marketing, search engine optimization, and graphic design, while adding some light and love in the lives of queer people of color. In particular, I hope to reach the young 13-17 year old queer, trans, and genderqueer youth of color who might be seeking Resources, online community, inspiration, hope, laughter, and a daily dose of happy.
About #QPOCshoutouts (the T)
1. There Once Was a QPOConnections Website
Many moons ago, I had a dream. It was a website called QPOConnections. It sat on an ugly free host website, not doing a damn thing. The vision was to connect Queer and Trans Youth of Color to resources, highlight QPOC who could be booked to speak or perform on college campuses, and pretty much be a hub for a community dear to my tender heart. The #QPOCshoutouts Project goes beyond a website with qpoc resources (like the Resources Page on this website!). It's not hella text and information you're not going to read. It's our community coming together on Instagram (and other social media sites in the future) to create a #qpocinstafam.
2. Instagram Shoutout Pages Don't Feature Us
I've never really been into shoutout pages. They seem self-promoting. When I started paying attention, I saw that the Asian shoutouts page featured gender conforming women and men, who also fit a certain standard of beauty. So I checked out the queer shoutouts pages. I saw that the androgynous shoutouts page featured white queer people. I had a moment.
3. Counter Cyberbullying
Countless times I've seen young people on Instagram getting hateful comments --whether they're queer or perceived to be queer, and whether they're people of color, or posting pics of people of color. Shoot I've been cyberbullied myself --as a teenager (AOL chat), and as a grown @ss person. I know what it's like to be called ugly, fat, and other mean things online --usually because of a picture. And let me tell you, it's hurtful and harmful. That's not to say that there aren't QPOC who bully people, but being online means there's no "safe space" or "safe zone."
Each shoutout is made with love.
4. To See Ourselves Reflected
Somewhere, there's a youth of color questioning their gender who might see themselves reflected in this project. Somewhere, there's #undocuqueers who've yet to connect with the undocuqueer movement. Somewhere, a queer or transgender person of color may be feeling isolated, depressed, or like they're the only one. Somewhere, a qpoc is feeling rejected in school, in the workplace, at home, with friends, or with community. We know the sad stuff. Life is hard. So why not add more happy stuff? More fun, more connecting, more support, more love, more inspiration, more empowerment.
5. We're not just building followers
We are a powerful, beautiful, loving, resilient, and creative community. This isn't just some shoutouts page. We're not just building followers --we're connecting people to each other, building our online community, claiming space, and being visible in a world where Queer and Transgender People of Color are never centered.