“I didn’t see a lot of queer people when I was growing up, especially in the tech industry – and it’s important to be visible to the people that aren’t there yet” – Charlie Francis Cassidy, Queerly Represent Me team member
Queerly Represent Me was the #TechDiversity Education Category Award winner at the 2018 #TechDiversity Awards.
Queerly Represent Me launched in 2016 as a database of games that represented marginalised and minority groups with a particular focus on representation of the LGBTQI community – who are not widely represented in the gaming industry and community. Due to the hugely positive response the database initiative received, Queerly Represent Me decided to form a charity that focused on addressing the issue of under-representation of the LGBTQI community. Queerly Represent Me centres around three pillars:
- Representation: We want to help marginalised people feel seen in games and the games industry.
- Education: We want to help everyone understand how to ensure their games, workplaces, and events are as inclusive and accessible as possible.
- Elevation: We want to spotlight marginalised voices and help people make valuable contributions
The Directors of Queerly Represent Me
Queerly Represent Me is a not-for-profit research and consultancy agency that works with game developers, event organisers, and workplaces to improve their representation and company culture. They also provide free public resources and services, give a voice to underrepresented developers and support the creation of queer content.
The key problem that Queerly Represent Me is trying to combat is the long and systemic history of poor minority representation in the gaming industry. They noticed a particularly large gap in the representation of queer folks and that no one in the gaming industry was really looking after LGBTQI rights, so they decided to step up and address this gap. In western countries, the game industry is largely homogenous; made up of primarily white, cisgender, male, heterosexual, able-bodied, and neurotypical people. Queerly Represent Me wants to challenge and change this culture.
“We’re queer and we want to be seen”
Queerly Represent Me was nominated for – and won – a #TechDiveristy award for their commitment to combating prejudice in the gaming industry through strong, inclusive and accessible education programs.
Applying for the award is a straightforward process; applicants answer a number of key questions and can submit pictures to help show the selection panel the impact they are making.
Winning an award has encouraged Queerly Represent Me to continue working with and for the LGBTQI gaming and broader community and has provided them with further opportunities to increase their impact.
The Ongoing Commitment to Diversity
Queerly Represent Me have a continued commitment to diversity and are pursuing numerous opportunities to extend the reach of their organisation and cause. Including “amazing opportunities to travel and speak at events such as PAX (the major gaming and culture festival)”. These opportunities give Queerly Represent Me a strong platform to vocalise issues of diversity and educate a broader audience about “why we’re doing this”.
Queerly Represent Me have also secured a book deal – further helping spread their message to a wider audience.