The Gay Agenda: A New Daily Calendar Celebrating LGBTQ Heroes
Guest post by Kaspar K
The Gay Agenda, is satire with a heart. Poking fun at the right-wing propaganda that says the gays are destroying the country was definitely part of the motivation, but as the content started to take shape, we realized this little project could in fact help make the world more gay. Check out our kickstarter video below:
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The Gay Agenda is a weekly planner (think Moleskine) spanning 52 weeks. Between each weekly spread, the planner includes a historic or a contemporary LGBTQA person via an original ink portrait and a mini bio. In addition to these 26 portraits, there is an entry for every letter of the alphabet that we’re calling the “ABCs of the Gay Agenda.” These ABCs explore some of the vocabulary, theories, and ideas that we feel reflect the zeitgeist behind this art project. 26 people + 26 ABCs = 52 weeks of the year. Seemed pretty innocent, I thought.
Yet, after three weeks of the project being live on Kickstarter (which you can help support here), it’s amazing how much homophobia I’ve sensed, in a very visceral way, from my immediate community because of the project. Just the other day I’m working out with a friend, who, by the way, doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, and as we’re discussing the project she says, “well, I’m going to get a copy for sure and I’m normal.”
My body reacted before my mind processed what was said. Heat radiated through my body. I stumbled for words. I said something, not sure what. It didn’t matter. It wasn’t what I should have said if I didn’t have a shitload of internalized homophobia rushing through my veins.
Marriage equality, a welcoming military, and amazing TV with queer/trans characters and plots are all important developments. But how long till our collective psyche evolves? How long till our words don’t hurt during friendly conversations? How long till the world is so gay, that gay is no longer the other?
A few days after the gym incident as I’m conversing about the project with someone else… “So it’s like a joke, that you want to make the world more gay?” says, with some hesitation, a guy in his 30s who I respect tremendously. “It’s not like you can make the world more gay,” he adds. I understand where he is coming from. For him, a progressive, well educated, and incredibly well-informed white man with a good heart, it’s a no-brainer that people can only be who they are. This little art project can’t possibly make anyone gay. Right?
Wrong. It is 100% our intention that The Gay Agenda will do exactly that: make the world more gay. After all, what the fuck is wrong with being gay? It’s one thing to be born queer; that is something one has little or no input in deciding. But that fact is apart from nurturing a world in which queers don’t kill themselves; use drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes; run away from home; and become homeless at rates far beyond those of their so-called “straight” counterparts. Maybe if the damn world is a bit more gay, we’ll have more queers who want to hang around and actually be part of it and enjoy it.
This art project is not the ultimate solution. Nothing is. We must all do what we can in order to rid our culture of fears that fuel homophobia. Even the term “gay-friendly” retains a twinge of separateness, differentness, a lack of true acceptance. That’s partly why we thought the “ABCs of the Gay Agenda” was a good idea. I mean, try having a thought without words? You can’t. Words are very important. Words must be taken seriously. We hope our list of ABCs can not only expand folks’ lexicon, but more importantly their mind.
Since the project went live, the support has been awesome from all over the country and even few far away places like Australia, England, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Japan. Even a backer from North Carolina! Now that’s a brave soul. We know we can’t make a project that reflects the full diversity of sexual minorities across the world, but we did what we could to reach folks outside of the Anglophile domain. To that end, the Kickstarter video has subtitles in six languages: English, French, Japanese, Polish, Russian, and Spanish!
The thank-you gifts are also amazing! Miss Juanita MORE! is hosting the launch party–Forbidden Beauty ~ a garden affair–at El Rio on Thursday, September 22. The patio garden in the back will be turned into a magical place with the original drawings from the Gay Agenda on display, delectable Japanese crepes by our friends from J-Shack, dandies outfitted by the hotties at sui Generis Consignment, and chill tunes by my ex-girlfriend from junior high who is now a hot butch lesbian with a lady band! And she’s single, ladies!
So please support our kickstarter and help us make the world more gay!.