On Saturday 6th February 2021, a group of us LGBTQ+ journalists, who met on Twitter, met in traditional lockdown fashion via Zoom. Organised and hosted by the wonderful freelance writer Asyia Iftikhar.
The social brought together LGBTQ+ journalists from across the country. Asyia had organised a fantastic queer-themed quiz to break the ice, testing whether we had up-to-date ‘gay cards’, or if – and definitely in my case – they needed renewing…
Despite the out-of-date ‘gay cards’ and the fact most of us hadn’t met other than behind the keyboard of Gay/Journo Twitter™, we got on like a house on fire. As someone who has become almost sick of traditional zoom quizzes over the past year, this quiz was much ‘gayer’ and therefore, of course, much more entertaining.
Asyia split us up into individual groups and sent us into breakout spaces to discuss and decide on answers for this queer-themed quiz.
Unfortunately, I arrived late (thanks Deliveroo!) but on entering – or logging in – I received wonderful welcomes, first from Asyia and then from my group. I can’t say I contributed much to the quiz, but just being there was the perfect pick-me-up from the dull depths of lockdown.
Once we’d returned from our breakout spaces to the big group, we went through the results, stopping to chat here and there as if we’d known each other for a while. Asyia even had to tell us to shut up a few times – in nicer words, of course!
After being stuck in the house for months on end with limited social interaction, it was so nice to talk to new, like-minded people from the same community.
When it comes to minority groups, it’s easy to feel as if you don’t fit in, so this was a real reminder that you’re not alone and there are people out there like you – sometimes you just have to search a little further for them.
Once we’d got to know one another and chitchatted until our hearts’ content, we decided to call it a night. After logging off though, Asyia created a Twitter group chat of all of us LGBTQ+ journalists.
It’s so nice to now have a little safe space on the internet to talk to like-minded people about everything and nothing, and help each other in terms of work and daily life. Little things like this are needed now more than ever.
We’re planning on holding another social at some point soon and this is me formally inviting any of you LGBTQ+ journalists out there. Please give Asyia a follow on Twitter to find out about future fun and perhaps more queer quizzes?
Who knows, but whatever’s to come, we can’t wait to see you there!