We’ve been following Queerdeer Media for a long time after catching it’s ground breaking Our Queer Stories and Our Queer History projects on Twitter. What we loved was how fresh and candid each post was and we’ve really enjoyed Our Queer History, especially the different and interesting look on ‘history as you know it’. It really does change how you think about society now and the past!
The Toronto, Canada based company has a uniquely focused LGBTQ+ perspective. We’ve been lucky to enough to have a chat with Queerdeer Media’s CEO and Social Media Consultant John Salib. Here he told us in more detail about how it all began:
When did Queerdeer Media launch and was there a personal driving force behind launching a LGBTQ+ focused media company?
Queerdeer was launched in May 2015. At this point I was working for a few LGBTQ+ organizations in Toronto, the city that I’m from, and I started realizing that there was a lack of affordable places to advertise for queer events and art. So, I set out to start a company that could subsidize advertising costs, especially for emerging artists, start-up companies and anyone who identifies on the spectrum in general.
Is there a story behind the name of Queerdeer Media?
During the brainstorming session, we were trying to come up with cute quirky names for the company. Queerdeer came to mind and just stuck, so I set out to make a logo and there was our little start-up company!
Do you feel though Our Queer Stories the LGBTQ+ community feel more able to talk about their personal experiences?
Absolutely. Our Queer Stories is one of the most amazing websites I’ve ever worked on. The amount of e-mails and submissions we get blows my mind away. It’s hard to be in a community that often feels like our stories are being misrepresented or told by folks who aren’t us so there’s such positivity and support when it comes to Our Queer Stories. Everyone has an experience they’d like to share. Everyone has their own story, it’s just about finding the space that will post it. Our Queer Stories also gets [many] e-mails from folks who have read some of the stories and have been inspired to make the changes in their lives to live as their authentic selves. This blows my mind away. I’m so happy this project is helping so many people and is allowing a space to speak for yourself, instead of being spoken for, especially because we are fully open submission.
Through Our Queer History, what are the most surprising LGBTQ+ historical figure(s)/event(s) you have uncovered through your research?
I don’t think I could just pick one. It’s just amazing to see how far our queer history lineage actually goes. There are so many events, people and building we never learned about in school, so to allow ourselves the opportunity to research and discover is amazing. Although we’ve taken a little break from the site we’ve been doing a lot more research and hopefully will start re-updating the site soon.
Tell us about your other projects:
- Our Daily Queer is a 24h news site that shares articles of LGBTQ+ folks/events all over the world. I personally read most of my news on my phone, since we don’t have print in my building. So, I set out to make a place where I could read LGBTQ+ articles and keep myself updated, because of the interest of our followers, I opened it up in hopes of also archiving events that take place in our community worldwide.
- Our Queer Art is a project I’m very passionate about, especially being an artist myself. This website archives press releases, interviews, videos, photos, anything artistic! It’s a site that makes the queer arts world feel a lot smaller, but a lot more supportive! Arts funding is very rare, so to find spaces that will share your work or for very little… well… they hardly exist! So that’s what Our Queer Art focuses on. We make sure to raise awareness of all LGBTQ+ artists. Big, or small. Professional or amateur. For the love of art, check it out!
What is the most fun/exciting thing you have done at Queerdeer Media?
This is so cheesy, but I think every day is exciting for me. I love waking up and answering e-mails, having conversations with our readers and working at making sure that our sites are fully functioning and growing. Honestly, I’m pretty nerdy when it comes to the internet. I love coding, and I love advertising/media. So, what a great job to be part of, eh? It has both in it and it stays in a community I support with all of my heart.
Lastly if you could give any advice to anyone who is looking for support within the LGBTQ+ community, what would it be?
Reach out! Honestly, so many people are there and will be there for you. There are also so many resources out there to help you gain more perspective of the things you are going through. Everything is one click away these days, and they might not be the easiest to find, but companies like us are working hard to make them easily found.
Finally, a huge thanks to John for telling us all about Queerdeer Media. A company that strives to shine a light on the multiple facets of LGTBQ+ life worldwide. It changes perspectives through encouraging the wider community to talk about its culture, share individual experiences and discuss its history. It’s so important to have companies like Queerdeer Media who talk about all aspects of LGBTQ+ life, celebrate the vibrant and growing community, encourage discussion about hard hitting issues and news as it happens.
Queerdeer Media specialises in advertising, social media, media coverage and shout outs for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide.
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