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Wikipedians Convene for Queering Wikipedia 2023: The First International LGBT+ Wikipedia Conference

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By Hexatekin, Jsamwrites and OwenBlacker
Queering Wikipedia 2023. Actividad del nodo Argentina, Charla y debate: ¿Qué pasa con la memoria LGBTT+ y Wikipedia? Image: Anuka Fuks

Wikipedia is a heavily relied-upon source for LGBT+ information on the Internet. Wikipedia articles provide millions of people with information about LGBT+ topics across culture, history, health, law and justice, biographies, and more. Behind these articles are Wikimedians, who edit to maintain the integrity of Wikimedia platforms and information on LGBT+ topics and advance representation across many languages.

Documenting queer topics on Wikimedia projects is a challenging task. For example, the question of how to write biographies of LGBT+ people from the past is a very significant one. Usage differs across languages and evolves; people may not have expressed themselves in the terms used today. Such complex issues were at the core of Queering Wikipedia's May 2023 programs.

Queering Wikipedia Online May 2023

Dr Nishant Shah, Professor of Global Media and Director of the Digital Narratives Studio at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Communication and Journalism, delivered a keynote

On May 12, 14, and 17, 2023 Queering Wikipedia 2023 was hosted by Wikimedia LGBT+, Queering Wikipedia Organizers, and partners. Queering Wikipedia was an online conference with 12 distributed trans-local, in-person meetup Nodes in 5 continents. Queering Wikipedia provides opportunities for LGBT+ Wikimedians, allies and guests to celebrate the vibrant community working to advance representation on Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects, and to organize conversations to further develop this work.

Presentations, panels, and workshops during the QW2023 online conference program included conversations about developing best practices; safety and wellbeing; gender and Wikidata; community engagement and strategy; ethics and AI; and the nuances of translating terms important to identity. Presentations and discussions provided insight into LGBT+ rights in many regions, including: Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Poland, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, and Bahrain. WMF staff also presented on these issues; the WMF Human Rights Team presented on "Human Rights Amid Rising Anti-LGBTQ Efforts", followed by a live Q&A with Maggie Dennis, Vice President, Community Resilience & Sustainability.

Queering Wikipedia 2023 celebrated the launch of Wikipedia and the Biographies of LGBTQ+ People – a translation and localisation of the Spanish-language guide produced by Wikimedia Argentina last year. As well as translating their original text Wikimedia Argentina worked with Art+Feminism and Wikimedia LGBT+ to add new essays from Argentinian travesti activist An Millet and British trans writer and heritage practitioner Kit Heyam.

Art+Feminism researchers presented on the report Unreliable Guidelines: Reliable Sources and Marginalized Communities in French, English and Spanish Wikipedias for the project "Reading Together: Reliability and Multilingual Global Communities", Amber Berson, Monika Sengul-Jones and Melissa Tamani, released June 2021.

Participants had the opportunity to propose and engage in brainstorming sessions, while the Creative Program included queer poetry performances and art uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Keynotes were delivered by Dr Nishant Shah, Professor of Global Media and Director of the Digital Narratives Studio at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Communication and Journalism, and Esra'a Al Shafei, founder and Executive Director of Majal and WMF Board trustee since 2017, and were complemented by a panel discussion organized by Jenni Olson, Senior Director of Social Media Safety at GLAAD.

Another main attraction of the conference was its multilingual nature. There were translators between Spanish and English for many conference sessions, with some sessions also having interpreters for Turkish and Portuguese. Conference organizers focused on translation as part of a larger effort to de-center English and the English Wikipedia in LGBT+ Wikipedia efforts. Through coordinating discussions across languages, Wikipedians can explore shared goals, and the unique differences across Wikipedia language versions.

The full list of QW2023 events is available in the online conference program.

Queering Wikipedia node events held internationally

Presentación del Queering Wikipedia Pucallpa en Masato Presentation at Queering Wikipedia in Pucallpa, Perú Image: QM Keen
Wikimedia Colombia - Encuentro LGBTIQ+ para sumar juntxs - Queering conference 2023

Autonomous Nodes also organized Queering Wikipedia events internationally. Nodes events were developed by local organizers and included panels and discussions, editathons, and "watch parties" of online QW2023 conversations and workshops.

Continuing efforts

Organizers hope to continue to the momentum developed during the conference through ongoing conversations and partnerships with LGBT+ Wikimedians and allies, and those interested in maintaining quality information about LGBT+ topics on Wikimedia platforms.

Wikimedia LGBT+ and Les sans pagEs invite participation in Wiki Loves Pride, an annual, global campaign to expand and improve LGBT+ content across Wikimedia projects. See: Wiki Loves Pride/2023.

Queering Wikipedia is an initiative of Wikimedia LGBT+, a Movement Affiliate, with funding from the Wikimedia Foundation. The mission of Wikimedia LGBT+ is to encourage LGBT+ cultural organizations to use Wikimedia projects and to adopt the values of free culture and open access; to promote Wikimedia projects as a tool for strengthening LGBT+ communities; and to create and expand the overall quality of content of interest to LGBT+ communities on Wikimedia projects in all languages.

Disclaimer: OwenBlacker was heavily involved in organising Queering Wikipedia and Hexatekin has provided administrative assistance with the conference. Jsamwrites is involved in related WikiProjects Wiki Loves Pride and Wikimedia LGBT+ but was not involved in organising Queering Wikipedia.


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ThadeusOfNazereth - Anyone interested in these topics is welcome to join the next Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group meeting on 30 May, 2023 m:Wikimedia LGBT/2023-05-30 and also propose items for the agenda. =) Hexatekin (talk) 22:54, 22 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]

misleading WikiProject report category

WikiProject report category is a bit misleading as the event was organized by WM LGBT+ User Group and Queering Wikipedia organization team, not any WikiProject, though some WikiProjects were presented at the event, they were also not the majority. --Zblace (talk) 13:06, 22 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]


Hi thanks for the article ! Could you please insert the global link for Wiki Loves Pride 2023 which is ? Hyruspex (talk) 10:29, 26 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]


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