Queering the Internet

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What does it mean to be on the internet as a diverse community?

  • non-male dominant
  • queer inclusive
  • Build off of the exclusionary resources of the patriarchical technological history?

Marginalized communities:

  • have different needs than the mainstream
  • the mainstream tend to generalize from a small sample set of the minority
  • how can we build awareness and understanding to support and welcome a greater diversity of people?

What is Queer?

  • non-binary
  • non-conforming
  • LGBT
  • the gray area, the interstices
  • to queer is to bring in non-represented voices
  • the wide range of sex and gender expression - kink, poly, sex workers, any taboo
  • an umbrella term for any non-mainstream gender or sexual identity
  • inclusive of non-Western identities, like two-spirit or hijra
  • avoid putting titles on others; prefer recognizing their own identities
  • we have a plurality of names

How to queer the internet?

  • who puts things online?
  • how do we talk about the work we do, or the folks we work with?
  • prioritize consent
  • prioritize open-ended identification
  • fight the segmentation and categorization that the internet likes to use for monetization
  • do you even need gender and sexual questions? can’t the behavior give better data about our preferences?
  • how do we prevent the assumption that every user is white/cis/het/male?
  • boxes can be harmful when they misrepresent people, but can be beneficial when they correctly represent people.
  • Allow “hiding” for safety; sometimes, it’s not safe to correctly represent yourself
  • Ask more specific questions, like “gender for insurance purposes”
  • Recognize the behaviors and interests of a user or a community, rather than enforcing behaviors and interests
  • build accessibility; support people with different sense data, different physical ability, etc.

Queer culture looks like:

  • trigger or content warnings
  • group consensus of community rules
  • group enforcement of community rules
  • collaborative rather than heirarchical
  • community justice, community moderation
  • recognition of trauma, or of shared experiences
  • accountability and solidarity
  • humanization; awareness of non-verbal reactions to our actions
  • self-identity over assigned identity
  • make space for different perspectives, rather than demanding everyone frame themselves in the mainstream narrative
  • consent
  • respect the different knowledge and expertise of all participants
  • questions about personality and priorities allow people to self-select
  • make it normal to be a non-mainstream kind of person
  • inclusive terminology
  • identify people by their non-identity qualities, like interests or fashion sense, rather than identity qualities, like assigned gender or body shape
  • safe and secure: protect users from persecution and harrassment both on the platform and as a result of using the platform
  • show impacts on different populations in ways that people outside that population can understand
  • if you misbehave or get backlash for some reason, try to understand it instead of getting defensive
  • if you are hurt or offended, try to educate instead of fighting back
  • acknowledge how much you don’t know