At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic we began the #ConnectedWhileIsolated Campaign, which was designed to offer tips and support to LGBTQ+ young people feeling isolated during lockdown. The plan was to outline ways to stay engaged with the LGBTQ+ community while in isolation; something that we hope will continue to be valuable to LGBTQ+ young people even after the pandemic is over. For our first blog post for 2021, we have compiled all of the #ConnectedWhileIsolated posts together in one place so that you can continue to easily access these great tips!
We’re staying #ConnectedWhileIsolated. Every other week day we’ll be posting a different way to stay engaged with the LGBTQ+ Community while #socialdistancing. Today’s post is “follow,” who do you follow on social media to stay engaged? We’ve been loving the work of @rainbownoirmcr & @trans.ginger! Comment and tag your favourites so we can all follow too!
Today’s #ConnectedWhileIsolated is ‘promote!’ Which LGBTQ+ artists (visual art, music, theatre, literature, etc.) do you love? Comment below and promote them here!
We’re currently obsessed with @transcreativeuk & @husbandandhusband! Check them out!
We’re looking for creators! Are you LGBT+ & under 25 in GM? Are you looking for a way to stay #ConnectedWhileIsolated? Would you like to create content for our website, blog, Twitter and instagram? Then email us at email@example.com and let’s get creating! For more information, check out https://q42.org.uk/14-we-are-recruiting/
Not your thing? Then why not try one of the daily creative activities by @thehorsfall_42ndstreet (#horsfallcreateandconnect) or @chrisrice5884 (#fighttheboredominsalford), or try one of the free colouring book pages recently released by @briankesinger and @rretro87!
Stay connected and share your creations here!
For today’s #ConnectedWhileIsolated, we’re reading some LGBT stories. As William Styron once said, reading is ‘the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay.’ Stories connect us, and can help us feel seen by complete strangers. Pick up an LGBT story today, and check out our twitter (@Q42Project) for a list of book recommendations!
#ConnectedWhileIsolated with some LGBT videos! Seeing yourself represented on screen can be a powerful experience and may help you feel part of a bigger community. #representationmatters! We’re big fans of @mygenderation and @lovesimonmovie! What’s your favourite LGBT film, TV show, YouTube series, etc? Share below!
We’re spending today listening to LGBT music to help us stay #ConnectedWhileIsolated! Music can be a beautiful way to touch the soul; by listening we can feel heard. We’re especially loving @iamhalsey, @girlinred & @janellemonae today! Who are you listening to? Comment below!
#stayhome and stay #ConnectedWhileIsolated with a virtual visit! Visit a live-streamed drag show on instagram TODAY, featuring queens like @cheddar_gorgeous & @tete_bang!
Or why not visit some museums? See the works of gay artists like Robert Mapplethorpe at the @guggenheim or Caravaggio’s work at the @uffizigalleries! Both museums offer virtual tours! Get out of the house without leaving your couch and spend some time in queer spaces now!
What other virtual visits do you recommend we try?
Today we’re staying #ConnectedWhileIsolated by diving into some #lgbthistory! Go digging into some online archives and see what LGBT treasures you can find! There’s loads out there, like original drafts and sketches by Andy Warhol on @themuseumofmodernart‘s website, and even the original @nytimes article about the first ever Pride March! Links on our twitter!
What LGBT archival items can you find?
#ConnectedWhileIsolated by going on a virtual tour of your favourite LGBT-friendly spaces! Why not check out the Alan Turing Memorial on Google maps, or even visit 42nd Street on our website! There are loads of virtual tours out there, what are your favourites?
#ConnectedWhileIsolated Part 2!
It’s #lesbianvisibilityweek, so let’s stay engaged by shining! Whether it’s shining a spotlight on lesbian people, issues and movements, or letting your own experiences, thoughts and feelings shine in your (online or local) community, take some time to shine today!
Not sure how? Why not try creating content for us as a Q42 Producer!? Get in touch today!
You are valid. You are valued. You are enough as you are. Your identity is real. Your voice matters in our community. There are people who care about you. There are people who will fight for you.
Today, give yourself a mantra that affirms what you need to hear. Remind yourself of your value with insistence.
And if you can, send some positive affirmations to other LGBTQ+ people you know. Today is a good day to validate yourself and others. Never forget that you are beloved and loved.
Today is @glsen‘s Day of Silence, a day to take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of marginalised communities like LGBTQ people. And then, after the quiet, we break that silence.
Whether you’re participating in the protest today or not, take some time today to think how you might break the silence and silencing of LGBTQ people. How can you get your own voice heard? How can you authentically express yourself?
One way to express yourself is to join our Q42 Producers! Get in touch to create content for our website, blog, social media and more! Details on our website!
Remember: your voice matters. And we can break the silence!
LGBTQ spaces are meant to be safe spaces, places where you can feel safe to be yourself. But unfortunately, not all of us have safe spaces to spend this lockdown. When you don’t feel secure or safe, it can feel impossible to connect with yourself, let alone connect with others. It is so important to have a space where you can feel secure enough to take care of yourself and connect with your feelings and your community.
Safe spaces can take many forms. They can be a room, an anonymous blog, or even a walk you take in private. If you can, try to find or make yourself a place to feel secure today.
And if you don’t feel safe please get help! We offer free online counselling and support at 42nd Street, or for more serious issues try @aktcharity or @lgbtfdn.
Improve your knowledge and confidence by trying something new or studying something you didn’t know before. Maybe learn Polari, or try drag for the first time! LGBTQ+ culture is rich in arts and history to learn and engage with. Connect with your mind and community by learning something new today!
Stop. Breathe. And take notice of the moment. What can you see? Hear? Taste? Smell? Touch? Feel? Don’t worry about the past or the future, just find some grounding in the present.
Then take some time to notice what the LGBTQ+ community is discussing right now. What are the key issues, trends and celebrations that LGBTQ+ organisations and people are sharing right now? Stay informed and focussed on reality by noticing others right now too.
Bonding with other people in your community is so important for your emotional health and wellbeing. Making like-minded friends, and getting to know people with similar experiences as you, is a great way to fight feelings of isolation and shame. Similarly, it’s so important to connect with and show compassion to yourself. How can you be kinder to yourself? Today, be a good friend to others, but also be a good friend to yourself too.
Not sure how to meet other LGBT people? Why not join a local youth group? The Q42 Project is currently accepting referrals (yes, you can self-refer!) Or you could join one of the LGBT groups at @wuu2salford or @the_proud_trust! Get out there and bond with someone today!
Giving to yourself and others can be a really rewarding and fulfilling way to connect both inwardly and outwardly. Treat yourself to something nice, whether it’s a gift, a tasty treat or some time to yourself. And try giving to someone else too! Maybe keep someone company with a video call, bring someone food, or send someone a nice (bought or handmade) present. Or maybe give back to your community by volunteering, or donating to a charity of your choosing. It can feel so good to give, try it today!
Practice radical self love. Don’t just aim to love yourself, but treat yourself with reckless adoration! Celebrate your heart, mind and body! Shower yourself in kindness and care and enthusiastic encouragement. Fall in love with who you are in this very moment, and take joy in all that you are.
And then, show some love to someone else in your life, or to someone in your community. Giving love can be just as fulfilling as receiving it. Be the joy you want to see in the world, and fill your relationships and experience with love.
The difference between guilt and shame is that we feel guilty for what we DO, and shame for what we ARE. As LGBTQ+ people, we are taught to feel shame around our identities, which then shapes our perceptions of the world and our self-worth in this world. To help heal from this we need validation.
Your identity as an LGBTQ+ person is valid, beautiful and good. You are not a bad person for being LGBTQ+ and you have a lot of good to offer the world. You matter and you are so dearly loved.
Today, spend some time validating yourself. And then spend some time validating others. Help be a part of the process for our community in healing from shame.
It’s #mentalhealthawarenessweek, and the theme is #kindnessmatters. Think about how you show genuine kindness to others. What do you say and do to be kind? How do you express empathy and support for those you love most, especially when they’re struggling?
Now, turn around and treat yourself with that same level of kindness. Shower yourself in love and support, be forgiving of your faults, and show yourself genuine encouragement and empathy. Be a friend to you; treat yourself like a friend would. Befriend yourself!
Connect with others today through random acts of kindness, and be a real friend in our community. Befriend others and let’s show just how much kindness matters!
Now more than ever it’s important to exercise your mind, body and soul. Putting in the time and effort to take care of your cognitive, physical and emotional health will help give you the strength and energy needed to maintain strong relationships while socially distancing. Excercise isn’t just good for your body, it’s also really good for your mental health. Try going for a jog, doing some push ups, or dancing your heart out. Connect with your body by strengthening it so that you can strengthen your mind and connections with others!
There are many injustices in the world, and it takes everyone to fight back and resist if we are ever going to change things. Show up and speak up however you can. Usually when we think of protesting we think of picketing, but there are other options too, such as social media campaigning, distributing flyers and artivism. There is so much you can do to have a voice and fight for change in the world. But if you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us to join the Q42 Producers. Together, we can change the world; your voice matters in this fight!
Today is the first day of #pridemonth. As we continue to fight for #justiceforgeorgefloyd, it’s more important than ever to remember that Stonewall was a riot. That the Pride movement began with a violent protest against the police. That it was led by Black and Latinx trans people. And that the reason we fight is not just to resist a few prejudicial police officers, but also to subvert an entire system of oppression. Queer resistance has always been about challenging norms and hierarchies and flipping them upside down. Right now, we need to connect with others more than ever, both within our own community and in solidarity and allyship with others. Subvert the status quo, live your truth, educate others, and be a part of the change you want to see in the world.
#blacklivesmatter. And this fight requires much more than performative Instagram posts. It requires direct engagement and action. To connect with others today, do something to intentionally and actively defend Black lives. For example, read anti-racist work (check out @ibramxk, @ijeomaoluo, @laylafsaad & @renieddolodge for more!), write to your local MP, donate to funds and support initiatives if you can, promote Black voices, artists and businesses, and/or teach others about anti-racism. More info will be shared in our story today.
Pay attention to the world you live in and watch for when groups and people are either unfair and prejudicial or doing The Work to make this world a better place for everyone. Hold the institutions in your life (your schools, colleges, hospitals, police, etc.) and the leaders in your life (teachers, doctors, politicians, etc.) accountable. Learn their policies and push to make these more inclusive. Use your voice to demand systemic change. Connect with others by joining a movement of social justice.
The UK Lockdown is a perfect time to educate yourself and others on a variety of topics. From unlearning racial biases, to investigating historic and pervading systems of oppression, to correcting misinformation around trans identities and rights, there is so much education that we all need for ourselves and others right now. Connect with others and yourself with some education today!
Things are really overwhelming right now. A lot is happening in the world, and it’s so important we take time to take care of ourselves. Try this simple technique: schedule in your time to stress and worry. Then, when you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything, remind yourself that you’ll deal with those worries at the scheduled time. When you get to that time to connect with your anxieties you will either 1) have the time and space to deal with and process your worries in a gentle and healthy way, or 2) have already calmed down and feel better. Either way, hopefully this will help make everything happening right now just feel a little more manageable. And remember to connect with friends if you’re feeling overwhelmed! No one needs to go through these things alone!
There are loads of myths about trans people being spread right now that could be really harmful. Spend some time today connecting with the trans and non-binary communities, learn what harmful myths are being spread, and then help spread awareness in an effort to debunk these myths!
Sometimes fighting for change can be really tiring, especially during this lockdown, but the last thing we want to do is run out of steam or push ourselves too far. We need to keep up the fight, but we need to take care of ourselves too. So today, connect with your friends and those in the movements for equality to find ways that work for you to re-energize your mind, body and spirit. Maybe take a short social media break, meditate, or add in more self-care into your routine. And remember, this is a marathon not a sprint. Don’t give up!
Whether it’s demonstrating good allyship as a social justice role model and activist, or participating in a demonstration of protest, connect with others this week through intentional and productive acts of positive change.
In an oppressive society we are often taught beliefs and practices that can harm ourselves and others. We learn biased accounts of history, restricting gender norms, racist language, anti-LGBTQ+ shame, and so on. To ‘unlearn’ these things society has taught us, connect with others and with yourself, be critical but forgiving of your own thoughts and behaviours, and explore ways of being more inclusive in even the most casual ways.
There are so many ways you can use writing to connect while isolated. Write to your local MP to demand change, write a ‘letter to the editor’ of your local paper to express your opinion, write to your friends (online, or why not try a letter?), and you can even write for us as a Q42 Producer (DM us for details!) Do some writing today, connect with others, and have your voice heard!
There is a lot of misinformation being spread right now, especially about the trans community. Connect with others by actively correcting their knowledge and sharing resources that debunk myths and provide hard facts. And if you’re not sure of what’s true or untrue, try doing to correct thing by educating yourself. Don’t let ignorance and lies win, connect with correcting today!
Right now key figures in politics and media are cultivating a culture of hate (especially transphobia.) To fight against this, connect with your community and help cultivate a culture of love and acceptance. Cultivate a society that refuses to accept fearmongering myths as facts, but instead pushes for the rights of all. Cultivate a better world for everyone.
Q42 is collaborating with @aktcharity on a national digital zine publication for LGBTQ young people aged 13-25! This collaboration has been an incredible way for us to connect while isolated! Why not submit something for this zine, or collaborate with others on your own project that gets your voice heard! Collaboration can be a really positive and powerful way for you to connect today. For more information, check out: https://q42.org.uk/about-us/seen/
When the world seems bleak, it’s important to take time to find things and people worth celebrating. This week we celebrated International Non-binary People’s Day, and then we used the Q42 blog to celebrate some trans-inclusive stories. What/ who can you celebrate to help promote positive people and changes in the world? Connect with others today to take focus away from hate, and celebrate the good we want to see more of in the world.
Check the facts of posts you share. Check your privilege. Check-in on your friends. Check something off your to do list. Connect with others by checking something today!
We’re seeing a lot less anti-racism or pro-trans messages on our feeds. Keeping up the momentum can be tough, but the fight is not over! Connect with others today and motivate them to continue to do The Work to make this world a more liberating place for all!
Don’t believe everything you’re told. Challenge the assumptions of yourself and others, and ask tough questions about the nature of the world. When you hear someone being hateful, question their reasoning, logic and intentions. Ask yourself what you don’t know, and go find some answers. Connect with others today by asking important questions and finding enriching answers.
With news of lockdown tightening in GM, today may be an extra stressful day for some. Take some time to practice self-care and find some ways to treat yourself and focus on some positives. And then show that you care about others by following the current safety guidelines. Stay connected with those you love in a way that cares for everyone’s health and safety. And remember that we at Q42 and all of 42nd Street care about you and our communities very much. ❤
(Background image by @maalavidaa)
This weekend GM responded to an increase in Covid 19 cases by tightening our lockdown restrictions. How we each respond to a crisis can show a lot about how we care for one another. Think about how you are responding to different parts of your life right now, take a step back and reasses these responses, and then see if there’s a way to change your approach to be more kind. Respond to the needs of others. Respond to your unread/ “left on read” messages. Respond to social issues and demand change. Connect with others today by responding to the world.
(Background image by @maalavidaa).
During this lockdown we have all had to build resilience to stress, fear and isolation. It has been tough, but none of us have to do it alone. Build connections and relationships with others as a way to not only support your friends, but also to get support for yourself. Build a network of support and build up the strength to continue on to a brighter tomorrow.
Share memes. Share great accounts to follow. Share good news. Reblog. Retweet. Review. If we can’t meet up in person, then let’s use this time to share the things we find online that fill our lives with positivity. Go find a post or account that you love right now, and connect with someone today by sharing it with them.
Sometimes when we’re trying to connect with others we try to make our own voices heard, but it is equally important to uplift the voices of others – especially if they are often unheard. Making space and opportunity for other people to succeed and feel supported and amplified is such a beautiful act of community and connection. Connect with others today and empower the voices and actions of others. And know that here at the Q42 Project, we’re dedicated to empowering you.
Happy 15 year anniversary to @ukblackpride! 15 incredible years supporting, celebrating and encouraging Black queer people across the UK.
We can all learn from their example. Encouraging your community, especially those with intersectional identities, can lead to incredible connections and powerful social change. Connect with others today and encourage Pride for all members of our community.
Taking pause to stop or slow down and reasses things doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. It can be a beautiful way to connect with someone by taking pause together, living in the moment as a shared moment, negotiating what everyone wants and then moving forward in an agreed shared direction together. Take care of yourself, your relationships, your present and your shared future and take pause today.
This Friday we’re celebrating 42nd Street’s Virtual Pride! We want this to be a positive time for everyone involved, but we also hope this is a transformative time. A time to transform yourselves into people with joyful pride in your identities. And a time to transform the world into a more inclusive and liberating space for all. Use this opportunity to connect with others and open the doors to positive transformation.
Today is our Virtual 42nd Street Pride event! Be sure to register on our online platform!
Today is a day to celebrate LGBTQ+ people and identities. Today we declare loudly and proudly that we get to BE in this world. You get to be you. You get to be proud. You get to be.
Connect with others today by being your wonderful and beloved self! Happy Pride everyone!
#q42 #42ndStreet #lgbt #queer #covid #COVID19 #covid_19 #coronavirus #corona #lockdown #uklockdown #selfisolation #socialdistancing #quarantine #42ndStreetmcr #pride #pride2020 #virtualpride
(Background image by @maalavidaa)
While we have ended our #ConnectedWhileIsolated Campaign, we hope these tips will continue to remain helpful for all those who feel isolated and alone in future. Now, we move on to a new campaign on our twitter and instagram: #QueerEmpowerment