Queer Comrades: Interview with Stijn Deklerck
There are loads of content to go through on the website, but I particularly found the ones titled The Cream of the Queer and My Body is not my Gender interesting. What goes into the production of each segment posted at Queer Comrades?
Well, it depends on which segment you’re talking about. As you can see on our website, we have episodes that are made in a talkshow format (like My Body is not my Gender) and episodes that are more documentary-style (like The Cream of the Queer Crop). I’ll try to give you a bit of an overview for both episode formats.
We actually made this whole methodology on making LGBT webcasts (for organizations/individuals worldwide) based on our own experiences with Queer Comrades. We are happy to send it to anyone who wants/needs it – just give us a shout at:
We mainly used the talk show format during our first (2007) and second seasons (2008-2009). During our third season (2009 – now), we slowly started to evolve into a more documentary-style format.
We mainly opted for the talk show format during these first seasons, as we wanted to keep our program close to what was shown on Chinese television. You had a whole lot of talk shows on different topics at the time, but never really on anything related to LGBT.
We wanted to introduce the Chinese audience to new content, but keep it in a format they were familiar with. Another main reason for choosing the talk show format was that it allowed us to produce our episodes relatively quickly and relatively cheaply.
At the time there weren’t very many Chinese people who were willing to appear on camera to speak openly about LGBT topics. From the beginning, we decided that we wanted to show people without mosaics or other things blocking their faces – we wanted to present a positive representation of LGBT and wanted to disseminate a message that it was OK to be LGBT, that it was nothing you needed to hide or be ashamed of, that it didn’t necessarily have to be a problem to be LGBT.
The talk show format was a good way to really highlight these few openly out people – we deliberated together with them on a topic they would like to talk about/could talk about, we featured them as expert talk show guests, and we completed the episodes with outside footage either of passers-by in the streets, or of other people we found who were willing to openly talk about the topic at hand.