We/Us/Ours: Exploring LGBTQ communities and spaces that inspire queer unity
Community plays an essential role in the lives of
The range of safe spaces for queer folks has changed over the years. In-person (or IRL, in real life) places of camaraderie and assistance — bars, social clubs, care facilities, etc. — are few and far between. But notable spaces have emerged around the world: a Poland safe house for queer Ukrainian refugees, a queer-friendly Black barbershop in Brooklyn, and neighborhoods in the Midwest that honor LGBTQ people, to name a few.
Meanwhile, online spaces have allowed those within the
The harrowing efforts to disparage the LGBTQ community clearly indicate that there's still progress to be made, and it'd be remiss to not acknowledge that. But stories of queer people uplifting one another in shared spaces offer glimmers of hope.
Insider is highlighting some of these stories in our series "We/Us/Ours," a collection of articles about queer unity. Ahead, read our standout coverage of LGBTQ folks who are providing support and empowerment for their community.
This is an ongoing series. Keep checking back in for more articles.
WE/US/OURS: FEATURED STORIES
In Asia's Boy Love TV shows, characters live in a world that is unapologetically queer
Boy Love, abbreviated as BL, is a TV genre popular in many Asian countries, especially Thailand. BL shows focus on romantic relationships between boys who seem to exist in a world free of obstacles. Insider spoke to fans of BL shows to see how the genre has been a source of joy and community.
How New York's largest LGBTQ sports organization builds queer community through volleyball
Gotham Volleyball is the largest LGBTQ sports organization in New York City. Furthermore, "it's a home," Gotham player Brandon Gillis told Insider. Read how Gotham Volley teammates have found queer community through the athletic program.
WE/US/OURS: ONLINE COMMUNITIES
By championing self-expression, 'RuPaul's Drag Race' has encouraged a generation of young LGBTQ fans to come out
Insider explored how the Emmy-winning show "RuPaul's Drag Race" built a passionate fandom and inspired young LGBTQ fans to come out.
TikTok's algorithm is making women who've only dated men realize they're queer
Four women who previously only dated men told Insider that TikTok made them realize they were actually queer. The platform's algorithm drew them into an enlightening realm of videos in which other women were kissing, dancing sexily, or discussing compulsory heterosexuality.
I'm a trans person who recently started testosterone, and Reddit was more helpful than my doctor
Former Insider reporter Canela López shares how trans Reddit forums became a haven of support when so many of their medical concerns went unanswered.
How queer YouTubers inspired a generation of LGBTQ youth to express themselves
Five young LGBTQ YouTube fans told Insider how discovering queer video creators gave them the courage to come out and be themselves.
WE/US/OURS: IRL COMMUNITIES
A Florida high school paused distribution of its yearbooks over photos of students protesting the state's 'Don't Say Gay' bill. Then, students fought back.
A Florida school paused its yearbook distribution until photos of a "Don't Say Gay" protest could be covered up with stickers. Students rallied against the school's decision and garnered widespread community support.
A safe house in Poland offers LGBTQ Ukrainians sanctuary from Russian bombs
Most of the 3.9 million people who have fled Ukraine amid the war with Russia have poured into Poland. Although the country is considered unwelcoming to LGBTQ people, a safe house has offered a place of solace for queer refugees.
Photos: Drag queens have dominated the scene for years. This alternative competition showcases what drag can look like when everyone is included.
Takes the Cake is a competition that expands the limits of what drag artists can be. The event, hosted by The Cake Boys collective, welcomes drag artists who identify anywhere on the gender spectrum. See what it's like to attend one of the shows.
The founder of a new queer-friendly Black barbershop in Brooklyn wants to take the anxiety out of getting a haircut — and he's booking up fast
Barbershops have long been regarded as a sanctuary for Black men, but the LGBTQ community hasn't always been welcomed. To help remedy this, Kadeem Woodson opened a queer-friendly Black barbershop in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The debate over 'kink at Pride' divides the internet, but the kink community has been part of queer protest and celebration since Stonewall
Conversations over whether or not kink — leather, BDSM gear, harnesses, puppy hoods, and more — should be allowed at
24 inspiring vintage photos of LGBTQ people celebrating their communities
Celebrate queer joy and the history of the LGBTQ-rights movement with these photos of drag queens in the 1960s and Pride marches in the '70s.
I toured LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods in 3 cities during Pride Month and found they all honor LGBTQ people in unique ways
Insider reporter Frank Olito toured the West Village in New York, Boystown in Chicago, and Ferndale near Detroit to see how each city celebrates Pride Month. The neighborhoods had one thing in common: their commitment to honoring the past to ensure safe places for LGBTQ people in the future.
Series Editor: Brea Cubit
Story Editors: Trisha Gopal, Sarah Kwak, Julian Kossoff, Allie Pape, Keyaira Kelly, Rachel E. Greenspan, Sirena Bergman, Lauren Steussy, Edith Honan, Chris Kaye, Bartie Scott, Lydia Warren
Story Reporters: Anjana Pawa, Talia Lakritz, Joshua Zitser, Julia Naftulin, Canela López, Moises Mendez II, Erin Snodgrass, Emine Ziyatdinova, Elyssa Goodman, Brandon Harden, Palmer Haasch, Frank Olito
Social Producers: Kristie-Valerie Hoang, Claire Banderas
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