Queer Eye for the Progressive Org
June 23, 2020
We’re queer, we’re here. It's Pride Month. And there’s a new season of Queer Eye. What the heck is a blog post about a make-over show doing on the Tectonica blog? Well, honeeeeey, I’m about to tell you.
by Ned Howey, CEO
Although I was never a huge fan, I appreciate the original Showtime show from the early 2000s for a number of reasons, not the least of which because it centered queer men as strong on our terms, and on our communities own definition of our strengths — not on the terms set by heteronormative culture that constantly sought to diminish our queerness in attempts to normalize us.
The show’s use of the term ‘queer’ — far more controversial at the time — was no mistake.
Queer Eye’s content, however, was admittedly more of a standard fair for make-over reality show. As a queer man who himself never been particularly good at fashion (ok...let’s admit it, I’m a walking fashion faux pas), I never quite caught on to the show.
The new series is a whole different story. And like many of you - I am hooked! While the show is far from politically perfect (I mean, it’s a Netflix production, folks), at its core, Queer Eye takes intersectionality to places we assume to be impenetrable but were really just waiting to be uncovered: namely the U.S. American heartland.
The Fab Five represent identities as diverse as the people they makeover. They are Black, Asian, Muslim, HIV-positive, and non-binary (among others). They also have the cry formula down to a T. Despite my best attempts, I still can’t make it through an episode without reaching for the tissues.
Beyond all the fabulousness, I also feel a close professional identification with the show. In so many ways, I feel that Queer Eye is a perfect metaphor for what we do at Tectonica.
Just as the subjects of each episode generally know their outward appearance isn’t working for them, with our clients, it always comes through that they have a lot to offer and just need help communicating their value to the world.
Because our clients often come to us, just like the subjects of the Queer Eye episodes, knowing they have, well...for lack of a better term, some aesthetic problems. They often come to Tectonica because their “websites are ugly” or out of date. Or...let's face it...not 'working'. But what they leave with, in all cases, is more than just a makeover.
When we ask clients what they want out of their website, we are often met with blank stares and the realization they haven’t really thought through their goals and objectives. Or maybe they are focussed on what seems like a lack of essential resources (money, volunteers, voters, etc.) but they haven’t thought through why they need those things, how to use them to win power, or how to prioritize their laundry list of wants. The problem is almost always much deeper.
And Tectonica is here to help. Digital efforts that aren't yielding their desired impact go far beyond just making an aesthetic adjustment to a website. It has to do with a shift in approach, a transformation in the organization's use of digital that will massively change its relationships with its supporters and unleash its true potential for power.
Like Queer Eye, we are a team of specialists to help clients manage this complete transition. Maybe we’re not hair, furniture, food, etc., but we are (1) digital strategy, (2) web design, (3) creative and brand, (4) tech development, and (5) tech consultation. In other words, we can help you with creative, make sure you have the tech you need to meet your objectives, and work with you to develop a solid digital organizing strategy that engages your supporters in a way that will generate real people power.
The answer is almost always there all along — in the organization, in the community, in the drive of activist supporters. Organizations often just need a helping hand and a little push from some experts.
We are proudly an LBGTQI-led business and we bring unbridled gay joy to all our projects because we love what we do. Helping organizations meet their digital organizing potential is our passion. Check out some of our past projects — some of our makeovers might even have you reaching for the tissues (we hope!). Like Queer Eye’s Fab Five, our Fab Five is here to help you find your full potential. We're queer, we're here, we're ready for your digital organizing makeover!
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