Creativity and social activism comes in many shapes, sizes, colors, etc. Our rainbow is vast and our imagination is without boundaries. But the outlets for this creativity and genius are sometimes spread all over the internet and not covered by the majority of LGBT media.
To fill such a void and to gather together some great resources, SlayTV was formed.
The term "slay" has important meaning to out director Sean Torrington. "To kill it, to be the best of the best, to always be on top," he told NBC Out. It's also the name of the 36-year-old's new global media network for LGBTQ people of color.
SlayTV is the brainchild of Torrington and his husband, Terry, also a director. He said it gives a platform to black LGBTQ storytellers whose voices mainstream media often ignores. It also allows them to make money so they can "keep on creating the dope content they create," he explained.
Torrington started his career as a Goldman Sachs project manager. After getting laid off in 2010, he took the opportunity to follow his passion for filmmaking and began creating web series on YouTube that centered on LGBTQ people of color. He said it's a community that rarely sees itself reflected in gay or mainstream media. According to a 2016 GLAAD report, cable and streaming platforms predominantly depict LGBTQ characters that are white (72 percent and 71 percent, respectively, in the most recent TV season).
"People would come up to us and be like 'Oh, where can we see more content like this? This is really revolutionary, this is great,'" Torrington said. "I was like …'We need one central location for queer [and] trans people of color television.'"
Shortly after, Torrington created an app that collects selected content about LGBTQ people of color from YouTube into a single platform. "We literally within a month got 20,000 downloads," he said.
The couple knew they had an audience but needed a name it would embrace. They immediately thought of "slay," which has deep roots in black queer and transgender culture, Torrington said. The director said it has been a part of his vernacular since the 1990s, when he frequented Brooklyn's vogue balls, a dance scene that evolved out of black LGBTQ culture decades ago. – nbcnews.com
To learn more about SlayTV, head over to their website or go to the nbcnews.com coverage where they discuss with Torrington and Terry the origin of slay, how it is used today, and how SlayTV gives black LGBTQ artists and entrepreneurs a chance to claim their identity by creating their own content.
Besides SlayTV, what other online black LGBTQ platforms do you subscribe to or know of? We'd love to know what resources you like to follow.
SlayTV is available to watch online, and on mobile phones and tablets through iOS and Android. Starting May 15, it will be available on connected TVs through Roku, Amazon's Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Apple Airplay.