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Media Literacy

Welcome to the LGBTQ + language and media literacy program


WHY WOULD VideoOut, a non-profit LGBTQ + organization, is a partner of Men’s Health magazine? For me the answer is crystal clear.

As a kid in the 90s, I remember flipping the glossy pages and learning about myself and the way the world perceived masculinity. It was eye-opening training, to say the least. But I rarely saw each other back then.

Much has changed over the years. Now, if you search LGBTQ on the Men’s Health website, you come across a very impressive list of articles, from a queer activist with a disability fighting for a more inclusive pride to the latest LGBTQ + performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ironically, as Men’s Health has evolved over time, I’ve also evolved.

I’ve always been queer, but I haven’t always had the language to talk about. I often aspired to be what I saw on the Men’s Health pages. Now I know a lot more about myself and am learning what it means to be me. So refreshing to see myself reflected on the pages (and on screen) of Men’s Health.

So many people assume that men’s health is only for cisgender, straight, masculine presenting men. I’m here to tell you as a queer trans non-binary person that this is wrong.

That year, VideoOut launched a multi-phased initiative, the LGBTQ + Learning Project, with resources that shed light on the intersectional history, culture and lived experiences of the LGBTQ + community. In developing our first phase – the LGBTQ + Language and Media Literacy Program – the Google News Initiative supported us every step of the way. Not only did Google fund the creation of this resource, but they also facilitated the launch between VideoOut and Men’s Health. Together with Polygraph, this passionate group of partners has created something unique in the world.

VideoOut worked with a group of seasoned linguists from the LGBTQ + community to research the origins, evolution, and current uses of words and phrases used to talk about queer and transgender people. Polygraph made all of this research interactive in a beautifully designed web tool. And now, I couldn’t be more excited to see how Men’s Health will contextualize this research, adding more depth and perspective to words, which range from clinical terminology (like HRT and dysphoria) to niche terms (like Dip and Maricón).

This is where it’s important to always have the language to talk about yourself – and to know how to use language to speak respectfully about others. Thank you, Men’s Health, for supporting such an important tool.


Jordan Reeves (they / she / he) is the Executive Director of VideoOut, an LGBTQ + nonprofit that is building an insightful media center for everything you need to know about the LGBTQ + community, and the founder of VOE, a production company, the LGBTQ + narratives on television and film.


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