WATCH | This pocket guide to queer terms is fostering equality in South Africa
Words crystallise perceptions, beliefs, and ideologies.
But when it comes to inclusive language surrounding sexuality and gender, society still has a long way to go.
Language can reinforce bias and prejudice, and the queer community has faced extensive bigotry and discrimination.
But digital artist Seth Deacon is ensuring that language no longer has to be a cause of misunderstanding.
He has created the Pocket Queerpedia, a guide to understanding LGBTQIA+ identity through an illustrated glossary of queer terms.
Deacon is the Visual Materials Developer and Curator at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education.
In collaboration with the non-profit organisation, he developed the Pocket Queerpedia for use in the South African context.
The organisation worked closely with other activists, translators, and academics to bring together the visual spectacle.
The book can be accessed in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, and the team plans to publish it in additional South African languages.
“Equality is not possible if certain forms of knowledge are only available to some,” Deacon says.
The 90-page book is a free resource that can be downloaded online, explaining everything from gender dysphoria to pansexuality.
Enforcing the significance of queer politics begins with creating awareness and accessible education.
Deacon and his team have created a body of work that affirms and empowers queer people.
“We need people to be able to find words that describe themselves and others in non-prejudiced ways that don’t perpetuate bigotry,” Deacon says.
With a pocket guide to understanding all aspects of LGBTQIA+ identity, we edge closer to a world that can confront the challenges faced by the queer community.
“LGBTQIA+ people exist and therefore we need to figure out how we embrace that and make life work for everyone,” Deacon says.