What is Transnational Queer Underground?

in practice:

Transnational Queer Underground is a place for you to discover, connect and engage with queer creatives from around the world.

While some of us live quite safely in some parts of the world others have to fear for their lives, if their homosexuality, gender diversity,… were to be discovered.

TQU wants to provide a safe space for you to show your creativity and ideas no matter where you live and what the situation is like in your country. You can show and present you art, music, stories or poems in exactly the ways you want them to appear. You can say something about yourself and your work or have it speak for itself. You can tell your name or stay anonymous.

But most of all TQU wants to encourage you to get in touch with each other. Ask someone a question, learn, laugh and maybe you will find somebody to start a new project with. Why not pick a country that you have never been to, and see what people are doing there or find somebody to make a zine with or who wants to write the soundtrack for your new film (and don’t expect free labor from anyone!).

Whatever you do, be respectful, enjoy the differences you might encounter and learn and grow together.

One wise woman (Audre Lorde) once said: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” The more we know and support each other, the stronger we will get. If we’re connected and support each other in our common and individual fights and struggles we can only win.

Let’s start today! Take a look around and tell somebody that you like their work! It’s just gonna take a second and can make somebody’s day. And then set up your own profile page and start colaborating!

in theory

The Transnational Queer Underground or TQU emerged as a reference to the “international pop underground”, a convention initiated by Calvin Johnston (K Records/Portland/USA) in 1991 to take a stand against the sell-out of the music industry, which also laid the foundation for the riot grrrl movement. In 2009 Verena was doing a lot of research on issues related to queer music for an article she was writing at that time and thought that the information she collected might be useful to some other people as well. This is how TQU started as a website.

At TQU the term ‘queer’ is understood as a (self-)description for people or groups of people who do not conform to heteronormative rules and/or feel uncomfortable with categories implemented through a heteronormative society. At the same time ‘queer’ (as well as ‘LGBTIAQ’, ‘feminism’, and many other terms) mostly describe white/western concepts that don’t work for everyone. Feel free to use your own terms and/or other forms of expression. Read more about terminology in the glossary.

TQU is also aware that it can be dangerous to reveal your identity in some places and that there is censorship and oppression in many parts of the world, so that not everybody can speak and write freely. Your name and location won’t be published if you don’t want it to be.

TQU is for you:

Your fashion, recipes, zines, articles, photos, movies, dances, documentaries, texts, crafts, installations, videos, interviews, music, drawings, poems, reviews, short films, pictures, games, comics, tattoos,…

Most of history has been written by white men. What they wrote and the truths they created are what we see reflected in mainstream global politics, media and discourses today. The way we see our sexuality, how we build families, how we structure our communities, and the power relationships around us, are deeply influenced by how history has been written so far. Let’s try to change that.

Let’s explore the ways desires are created, gender roles defined and how we build family structures and communities around the world. There’s room to introduce individuals, groups and organizations and to share your perspectives, realities and ways of living through different forms of art and writing.

The history of queers, especially queer POCs, has been widely neglected in the past and is still underrepresented in the present. This is a small attempt towards changing that.

Let’s criticize racism, classism, ableism, sexism, hetero/homonormativity and other forms of oppression by each using our preferred means of expression (drawing, writing, singing, painting, photos, comics, films, etc.) in order to connect with each other and exchange our ideas and experiences.

It’s important to change our ways of arguing from within a single canonical western school of thought (and words) in order to create a real alternative to today’s systems of oppression. 
If we really want to challenge borders, nation states, governments and their leaders, who value economic interests over the interests of the people and think they have the right to regulate our bodies, then we need to get to know all of our stories. 
TQU’s goal is to show that being ‘queer’, ‘LGBTIAQ’ or a ‘feminist’ does not mean the same thing everywhere and that it does not have to. 

Let’s show our complexity, variety, creativity and powers.

All formats are accepted. There is no limit to length and number of contributions that will be published for each region.

Share your story! TQU is excited to hear from you!

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