Monday, May 11, 2020

The May 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter - Queer History Really Is Everywhere... Even On TikTok!

Hi Community!

Here's my May 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter:

The Transcript:

Hi Community! I'm Lee Wind. It's May, 2020, day 50-something of sheltering-in-place here in California, and I hope you and yours are well.

I'm doing a different kind of eNewsletter because everything feels different, and that feels right.

I wanted to share with you something really cool that I've been doing that came about from taking a personal branding workshop with Jeniffer Thompson. This was through my day job at IBPA. And I had this insight, taking the class, that while my blog, and the books that I write are really directed at kids and teens, my social media has always been about reaching other adults, and sort of the allies of LGBTQ teens.

And I really challenged myself on that, and I thought, 'hmm. Maybe I should be thinking about doing some sort of outreach, via social media to my actual readers, to teens.'

So when I told my teenage daughter that I was thinking about getting a TikTok account, her response was, "Oh, no! Please promise me it won't be you dancing!"

I assured her it would not be me dancing. And so we put together - with the help of my daughter and husband as sort of a family project - I put together my first five TikTok videos, which use really fun famous songs that kids are really into now, to do little snippets, little pieces of Queer history.

So, here's an example. Here's the very first one I did, on Abraham Lincoln being in love with Joshua Fry Speed.

[play Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Fry Speed TikTok video, which you can see and read more about here:]

So I was really excited, because after doing that, I realized that I really was starting to reach teenagers directly, these kids that have these TikTok accounts. So, then, I was very excited and I wanted to do the next one:

[play Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok TikTok video, which you can see and read more about here:]

Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok - that's a story not a lot of people know. But what's so exciting to me is that even if they don't come back to my blog, even if they don't read my books, there are that many more kids - hundreds and hundreds of teenagers - now know that, well, at least somebody thinks that Eleanor Roosevelt was in love with Lorena Hickok. That's really exciting!

So then I did William Shakespeare!

[play William Shakespeare "Bi Pride" TikTok video, which you can see and read more about here:]

And then the Pharaoh Hatshepsut!

[play Hatshepsut TikTok video, which you can see and read more about here:]

And then, Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach. So everybody knows Mahatma Gandhi, but hardly anybody knows that the love of his life was this German Jewish architect, Hermann Kallenbach.

[play Gandhi and Kallenbach TikTok video, which you can see and read more about here:]

When I was a kid, Hirschfeld was this man who did these amazing caricatures of Broadway stars, and he would do them in the New York Times. And he would always put a number next to his signature, and it would signify how many hidden "Nina"s – Nina was his daughter's name – and he would hide her name in the drawings. It was really fun, and it was something I really enjoyed.

So as a sort of homage to that, in every TikTok video, I'm including a certain number of keys to unlock the hidden history, unlock the secrets. So that's been really fun, too. And hopefully will bring some of those viewers on TikTok and Instagram over and have them come to my blog, and maybe become more interested in learning more... where I have books and stuff that they can read! Anyway, it's been very fun.

What's really exciting is to think that between TikTok and Instagram, over 3,700 viewers have seen these stories, these little 15 second things that let them know that, yes, Lincoln was in love with another man, and so was Gandhi, and Eleanor Roosevelt was in love with Lorena Hickok, and William Shakespeare was in love with a guy and a girl, and the Pharaoh Hatshepsut changed their gender - how they presented their gender - over the course of 22 years of ruling Egypt. These are really empowering stories, and they're just encapsulated in these fun 15 second animations, live animations, and that is just really, really satisfying.

So, if you have teens in your life, please let them know.

[TikTok link:]

And I hope you and yours stay well and safe,

and until next time,

the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you.



Stay safe,

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