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She&They: how Gay Star News wants to lead the conversation on women’s issues

She&They: how Gay Star News wants to lead the conversation on women’s issues

Matilda Davies opens the She&They event

More than 30 people attended an intimate event at Gay Star News’ London headquarters, The Embassy, to celebrate the new She&They section.

She&They is a new section on the GSN website dedicated to the stories of LGBTI women and non-binary people. But it’s also a platform to build stronger communities for women and non-binary people to take control of the conversation around issues important to them.

‘The She&They network is something we’ve been working on for a few months now,’ said She & They networkd chair, Matilda Davies.

‘Myself and the team have been aware for a long time that LGBTI media is and long has been run by and for cis, white, gay men.’

Davies explained since she came out more than eight years ago, sites like GSN have been her ‘go-to for news’.

‘These sites came much closer to representing me than the mainstream media did,’ she said.

‘But the longer I’ve been a consumer of LGBTI media the more I have felt that this cis-male focus isn’t good enough.’

a room full of people look up at the television screen
Charlie crosses live to Anya in the US | Photo: Scott Nunn

The She&They section was an opportunity to allow people to see themselves in the media.

‘So we set up the She & They network to support the women and gender non-conforming people who work here. And the She & They platform to do the same for our readers,’ Davies said.

‘We’re working really hard to make it everything we all needed when we were growing up and coming out. We want to make it diverse and inclusive and community-led and fun.’

Davies added that there was plenty of opportunities for the community to help build the She & They section with content they wanted to see.

She & They

The evening was action packed with a panel, comedy spot and a live cross to the United States.

People at The Embassy were introduced to GSN’s LA Correspondent, Anya Crittenton. She explained what her hopes for the She&They section were and why she was excited to be involved.

Following the live cross, trans activist and elf princess, Jane Fae, delivered a hilarious stand up comedy set.

jane fae doing stand up
The hilarious Jane Fae | Photo: Shannon Power

A three-woman panel came next. It featured Accent magazine co-founder, Lydia Garnet, UK Gay and Lesbian Immigration Group’s Claire Fletcher and asexual activist, Yasmin Benoit.

The women talked about the role in media in elevating the voices of people not normally heard from.

International Women’s Day

GSN’s editor-in-chief, Tris Reid-Smith, said despite the fact the website did a massive amount of women’s content there has never been a distinct section for them.

‘Almost half of our GSN audience is female, but we have never had a dedicated space for the huge amounts of women-focused content we do,’ he said.

The She&They panel (L-R) Shannon Power, Claire Fletcher, Lydia Garnet and Yasmin Benoit
The She&They panel (L-R) Shannon Power, Claire Fletcher, Lydia Garnet and Yasmin Benoit | Photo: Charlie Mathers

‘She&They provides that space and will spur us on to create even more high-quality content for everyone in our community who identifies as “she or they”.

‘More importantly, last night’s event is the start of a deeper conversation with our female audience as we improve She&They ahead of a full launch later this year.

‘I’m proud this work is being spearheaded by the amazing women in our team. Thanks to them, we mark our International Women’s Day with this small step at the start of a long, exciting journey to give women the LGBTI media they need and deserve.’