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Digital streaming is celebrating and promoting diversity

To continue our ongoing celebration of diversity, this Autumn Manifesto’s LGBTQ+ working group is hosting Friday night screenings of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. God save the queens!

 

The very fact that we can now stream specialist content like this, in this case on iPlayer (BBC3), highlights how the digital sphere has empowered, and continues to empower, marginalised communities. 

 

The monochrome world before video on demand

It’s no longer the story of the late 90s, where the stigma of LGBTQ+ forced many youngsters to secretly watch Queer as Folk on Channel 4 and scramble to quickly change the channel if an unexpected parent entered the room. Now, LGBTQ+ themed video content is easily accessible through a multitude of platforms 24/7.

Unfortunately, the world won’t change over night, but distribution networks that go beyond borders provide a beacon of hope for those of the LGBTQ+ community who might currently be struggling in countries where they are being marginalised or, in the most extreme cases, put to death.

The available-anywhere nature of robust digital distribution services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, means that content isn’t restricted to a national audience. The metric for success is tapping into a global market. For example, RuPaul’s Drag Race is such a huge success that it’s spawned a spin-off: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

 

Digital as an enabler of social awareness

Creators can now reach and cultivate a worldwide audience and distributors equally can curate content for a diverse range of audiences.

The social awareness that content distribution through digital channels is driving is evidenced in the the first ever RuPaul’s heterosexual drag queen Scaredy Cat. A 19-year-old Drag Queen whose girlfriend does drag too. This shows how reaching a larger audience can really create awareness, not only of art, but also of the marginalised communities that protest through art.

 

(Scaredy Cat. Photo: BBC)

It’s a wonderful thing to see, and hopefully the ripple effects will go much further.

Diverse ideas fuel a diverse society

As part of Manifesto’s Diversity Champions Membership, we recently organised a non-binary speaker to speak about gender identities 

 

 

Graysen, has also spoken at a TEDx event in Kent. TED, of course, is another distribution network that celebrates education and the spread of ideas, and as a result, promotes diversity. The educational power of streaming is just as important as the celebratory power.

It’s so easy to get distracted by all the negativity in the media that having access to streaming diversity truly takes the edge off, and of course nothing is more fabulous and celebratory than drag! In a world where there are so many losses to mourn, let’s celebrate the victories by clicking play on diversity, i.e. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

If you would like to join us at our Friday screenings of RuPaulUK at 17:00, drop me an email at conrad.viviers@manifetso.co.uk.

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