I was going to open this blog with something like “I hope everyone is having a happy Pride Month!” but I think we all know this past weekend has not been so happy. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Pride is just as much about acknowledging the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community as it is about celebrating its accomplishments and progress, and sadly we’ve faced some pretty harsh struggles in recent days.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, rolling back the constitutional right to abortion. This isn’t just a women’s rights issue; this impacts the trans and non-binary community as well, especially poor folks and BIPOC. Not stopping there, Justice Thomas also called on the court to target some landmark cases for queer rights next. On Saturday, there was a mass shooting at an LGBTQIA+ bar in Oslo, Norway. 21 people were injured and two people’s lives were tragically taken. Our hearts go out to all of the victims, the survivors, and their loved ones. This tragedy has devastated the entire LGBTQIA+ community, and it’s times like this that remind us WHY the Pride movement is so important. We’ve come so far but still have a long way to go in creating a society where everyone truly feels safe and free to be their authentic selves, but we will not back down. We will continue to pave the way to acceptance, love, and freedom for all, and we need all of you to join us in the fight for equal rights.
Today, it feels extra important to talk about this, as it is the 53rd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. While this was not the first event that sparked the fight for queer rights, it was certainly a monumental one that fanned the flame for the Pride movement to grow as strong as it is today. I encourage everyone to check out the Stonewall article on the LGBTQIA+ Wiki to learn more about this key piece of queer history.
And speaking of the LGBTQIA+ Wiki… that’s what I’m here to talk to you about today! In the wake of so much tragedy, I wanted to take the time to shine a light on some queer folks who are promoting positive change and working to build a safe and inclusive space for the LGBTQIA+ community here on Fandom. Meet the admins of the LGBTQIA+ Wiki: Bart, Immi, Jayce, Jillian, Jordan, Len, and Lostris. You may recognize some of them from the Power of Pride panel, which was streamed exactly a year ago today. (I highly recommend you check it out if you haven’t already - there were a lot of heartfelt and powerful discussion points about queer representation and experiences to learn from.)
Since all of the LGBTQIA+ Wiki admins were in attendance at Community Connect last month, it was the perfect opportunity to get them all together to discuss what this project has meant to them. Check out the video below to learn more about why they got involved in the wiki, what contributions they are most proud of, and (tying into our theme this month) how love keeps the community together. I genuinely hope their messages of love can resonate with people during these especially tragic times.
Behind the Creation of the LGBTQIA+ Wiki
As the Fandom Staff sponsor of the LGBTQIA+ Wiki, I enlisted this group of admins to work on the wiki because of their exemplary efforts on various wikis throughout the platform - not just in content-building, but also their continued commitment to displaying kindness and empathy to all users within the Fandom community, which is especially important for a wiki about sensitive real world topics. We have all poured our hearts and souls into this project, and it’s been so awesome to see how much it has helped people.
The planning of the LGBTQIA+ Wiki has hands down been one of the most rewarding projects I have ever worked on. We knew there was a need for Fandom to have a safe, well-researched and well-sourced encyclopedia of information about the LGBTQIA+ community, so we built this wiki from the ground up, and it took many months to get it to the state it’s in today. We began the wiki towards the end of last year, before officially launching in January. From the get go, I knew I wanted this to be a place that not only provided the information for people to discover more about queer identities and terminology, but that also documented queer history - our culture and its origins, key icons and activists whose actions paved the way for queer rights, and historical moments that shaped our community. I also wanted to give people that same sense of belonging that I felt on the Drag Race Wiki when I was questioning my own identity, and it’s been so meaningful to be able to provide a safe space for people to research queer culture and connect with a community of people just like them.
On the LGBTQIA+ Wiki, you can find articles on anything from drag to demigender to the asexual spectrum to the Don’t Say Gay bill, but the wiki is still very much a work in progress. There are plenty of topics we haven’t covered yet but would like to, so if you feel so inclined, come stop by and help us expand our encyclopedia! If you’d like to come chat with the community, or just read and learn, we’d love to have you around! We built the wiki with the intention of being a safe resource for queer people, but of course everyone is welcome, and we hope you’ll learn a thing or two about how to become a better ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.
I would like to send my sincere thanks to all of the admins for their constant hard work on the wiki and for sharing their thoughts so openly in this video. I also want to thank anyone who has helped or contributed to the LGBTQIA+ Wiki in some way, no matter how big or small. (Special shoutouts to a few key people who helped with the initial framework - Spongebob456 who created some of our UK based articles, OishiiOnIno for his awesome work on the transgender article, and ReverieCode for the creation of our beautiful main page.) This wiki is so successful because of you, and we are able to help people find community because of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Resources and Support
It’s been a difficult time for the queer community lately, so before I close out this blog, I wanted to once again remind everyone of our LGBTQIA+ Resources page. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there is a list of trustworthy places to get the help you need. Just know that it’s ok to question your identity and that you have a community of people willing to embrace you with open arms and offer their support. Additionally, if you are looking for specific ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community, not just this month but all year long, check out this article written by LGBTQIA+ content writer Leopoldino at Porch.com about ways you can get involved. This includes supporting queer-owned businesses, donating to LGBTQIA+ charities, hosting educational watch parties, and even the simple but impactful action of listening and learning from the voices and lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ people. We also posted a blog about an amazing LGBTQIA+ owned businesses we decided to support this month, so go check it out! And we’ll be hosting our final roundtable of the month on Wednesday at 12PM EST on the Fandom Discord server if you'd like to join a discussion with LGBTQIA+ admins from all around Fandom.
Recent events are certainly proof that we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but together we can enact the positive change we want to see in the world. That is what Pride is truly about. This month may be coming to a close but the action does not stop here. Pride is a celebration that began as a protest, and we must continue to promote acceptance and fight for everyone’s right to be happy and EQUAL and love who they want without violence or discrimination. To quote the chanters in Oslo this weekend, “We’re here, we’re queer, and we won’t disappear.” The team over at the LGBTQIA+ Wiki, along with Fandom as a whole, will continue to do our part in spreading awareness, and we hope you will too.
Remember to love and support each other, and in the wise words of RuPaul: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can I get an amen?
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