What is TQU? Short version

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

some of us live quite safely, WHILE others have to fear for their lives, for oppression or discrimination if their homosexuality, gender diversity, feminism, etc. were discovered.

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

But that’s not all. TQU also 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 someone who wants to write the soundtrack for your new film (just 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 become. 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 only takes a second and can make somebody’s day. And then set up your own profile page and start collaborating.

TQU is for you: and your fashion, recipes, zines, articles, photos, movies, dances, documentaries, texts, crafts, installations, videos, interviews, music, drawings, poems, reviews, short films, pictures, games, comics, tattoos, etc. anything is possible!

What you can do on TQU:

Set up your own props list page(s)

It’s free. And will always be free. Plus you can apply for scholarships, trainings and win things to support your work and life.
It’s fair. Everybody has the same amount of space, no profile will be ranked higher or shown more than others. If you don’t know English very well, we are here to assist you.
It’s easy to navigate. This way you can find new partners and friends as quickly as they can find you.

How does it work?

Are you a filmmaker? Do you organize events? Do you have a band?
No matter what you do, you can set up your profile by filling out a simple form. Every individual person can have several profiles, e.g. one for your zine, one for your band and one for your writing.
No real names required, you can choose to stay completely anonymous.
You’re in control and can decide what happens with pictures and other information that you share.

Start Now

Start a transnational collaboration

Why? Because it’s fun. And because we would like to encourage you to learn from each other and to grow closer together. If the kids are united they will never be divided.

How does it work?

In 2017 we want to give out 48 stipends of € 200.00 each for every transnational collaboration. The exact terms and conditions will be posted here soon! To learn more sign up to the newsletter below.

Get free stuff to support your work and life

Why? Because we all can use some support.

How does it work?

More information coming soon. If you want to stay updated sign up for the newsletter below.

Publish your stories, poems, etc. on OUR_STORY

OUR_STORY wants to challenge a heteronormative history that has been written by white men and colonizers. OUR_STORY wants to highlight voices that are and have often been silenced.


What is TQU? Long version

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.

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.

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