Queer Spaces and Faces: A New Media Collection Seeks to Make LGBTQIA+ Lives More Visible

·3 min read

On Monday, we celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, a day launched to confront the biases, fear and outright hatred that threaten LGBTQIA+ lives and civil (and human) rights. While at The Root, we believe equality should just be common sense, we also know the part that increased representation can play in building acceptance.

Storyblocks understands this better than most. The stock media company, which bills itself as “the first and largest subscription-based platform providing unlimited stock content and tools for creators to keep up with the growing demand for video,” has been working “to close the diversity gap in media through authentic content” through increased visibility of underrepresented communities. On Monday, the company launched the “Queer Spaces and Faces” campaign, the latest offering in its Webby-nominated Re:Stock campaign of diverse and inclusive imagery.

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Focusing on themes such as Black male love, queer artists and the non-biological bonds formed through “the chosen family,” Re:Stock’s new media collections are an effort to “drive visibility of LGBTQIA+ lived experiences in advertising and media...while also remaining true to the intersectional foundation of the community by exploring robust race and gender themes,” according to a press release provided to The Root.

Following the success of the first installment of Storyblocks’ Webby-nominated Re:Stock campaign, which set out to quadruple the amount of diverse content in Storyblocks’ library by the end of 2022, the company is further expanding the pipeline of its stock contributors to include directors, filmmakers and cinematographers who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. To build the collections, Storyblocks commissioned a cohort of six LGBTQIA+ filmmakers to each create collections of 50+ videos that portray people, places and communities who are underrepresented in digital media today. Supporting intersectionality within the creative community, and ensuring that all creators are understood and celebrated, whether it be in relation to social or political identities, is at the forefront of this campaign.

“Through our ‘Queer Spaces and Faces’ campaign, we’re setting the standard for the industry at large to ensure that diverse and represented stories are not simply met or produced as a quota, but provided as a necessity for telling real and impactful stories,” Storyblocks’ Senior Director of Brand and Creative Sydney Carlton said in a statement. “By changing the face of stock media, our goal is to help everyone from advertisers and filmmakers to emerging creators and freelancers with the tools they need to accurately depict not only the world we live in, but the world we want to build for future generations.”

The newest Re:Stock campaign couldn’t come at a better time. As the company also notes, “Where We Are on TV,” an annual report released in January by GLAAD indicated that for the first time in five years, LGBTQ representation on television decreased during the 2020-21 season, with one in every five LGBTQ characters appearing on a series produced by one of only four creatives (Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti, Lena Waithe, and Ryan Murphy). That stands in stark contrast to a February Gallup poll reporting that the number of adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender has seen a steady increase over nearly the same period, as one in six members of Generation Z identify as LGBTQIA+.

Storyblocks’ second Re:Stock initiative introduces collections from creators Ryan McLendon, Sannchia Gaston, Aiden Korotkin and Shannon Beveridge, with additional collections by Founder and Executive of the Transgender Film Center Sav Rodgers and Daisy Gaston to be released in June, according to the company’s press release.

“Having the opportunity to show the vastness of society in a media format that has been historically behind the times was a huge honor,” said cinematographer Aiden Korotkin in a statement. “Re: Stock allowed me to turn the mirror to represent—through my art form — what exists in society, and create a collection that reflects that true nature of the modern world.”

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For more information about Storyblocks’ “Queer Spaces and Faces” campaign, and to check out the new collections, please visit the company’s website.