How would you describe QTalk to someone who’s never experienced it?
Qtalk is a mash-up of the best parts of television’s The View, Ellen and 60 Minutes. It is simultaneously fun and serious, silly and smart. Think old school style variety hour show with a twist. We promote open and honest dialog between the LGBTQ and straight communities in a way that has never been done before; we focus on what makes us similar!
Why is QTalk important for our community to have?
Our community needs to be seen in the media in a smarter and more sophisticated way. We had the early pioneer’s like Billy Crystal on TV’s Soap as the flamboyant gay son, we had Ellen’s first “gay” kiss. Today, we have show’s like Rupaul’s Drag Race, Glee, and Modern Family (which we love) all depicting various aspects of our community. Qtalk is the next logical progression in our community’s projection in the media.
Qtalk promotes all aspects of our communities in a comfortable, entertaining, non-threatening atmosphere where we can talk about what makes us the same and what makes us different. Yes, we are the flamboyant son, the butch cousin and everything in between, but we are also lawyers, doctors, fathers, mothers, and smart everyday people. We mix it up and discuss it all. Nothing is off limits: from current events and politics to latest Hollywood gossip.
How did QTalk get started?
In July of 2008, during the height of the controversy surrounding Proposition 8, it seemed that the media focused on both sides of the argument, and not the real people caught in the middle. There are truths and perspectives on both sides that can be agreed upon and broadened but the media only portrayed the extremists. Additionally, we found that there were some members in the LGBTQ community who were either ambivalent or disinterested in the politics of our community. We decided it was time to create a forum that was both fun and entertaining and this became Qtalk.
What sets QTalk apart from other venues?
We have the opportunity to show another side of the LGBTQ Community that the main stream media, and even some of the Gay Media, does not show. We have intelligent, funny, caring hosts that show the diversity of our community. It provides us the opportunity to show that we, as LGBTQ men and women, have some of the same concerns that the straight community has; ensuring our loved ones are taken care of; ensuring we are taken care of in our old age; being loved; and myriad of other life goals which, once you take out the idea of who you sleep with, we all have in common as human beings.
It is also an opportunity for the LGBTQ community to take a look ourselves and address some of the issues within. For example, there is bigotry, prejudice and discrimination within our own community.
What have we learned along the way?
Keep it fun and entertaining! Tackling serious issues is important, but to sustain an audience, it must also be fun. We have also learned that anything can happen in a live show. Let’s just say, we need to be careful when we ask for audience participation in a bar setting!
What are you proudest of in terms of QTalk?
We are most proud of the fact that we have successfully found a way to entertain and educate our viewers and broaden some perspectives and that we have created a venue to showcase some great entertainers along the way (LGBTQ and not).
After the shows we did on gay marriage, legal rights and DADT. viewers said that they learned so much that they never knew before.
After our show on gender Identity viewers indicated how they appreciated the ability of having open discussion on such a sensitive topic.
After our show on LGBTQ health, both viewers and us hosts, alike, were much more aware of what they needed to talk to their own doctors about.
After our show on mixed HIV status couples viewers indicated that they were struggling with some of the very same issues and learned that they were not alone.
How does one go about seeing Qtalk?
Seeing the show via the web www.qtalk.tv is a great way to catch up on our previous episodes and staying current in what is going on with us and our communities. You can also follow us on twitter @Qtalktv and join us on Facebook . Seeing us live is a completely different experience; the audience is invited to ask questions, voice their opinions, interact with the hosts and guests. This discussion often leads to some heated and serious debates and some unexpected hilarity.