Queer Design Club
Published in

Queer Design Club

A practical approach to queering design

The future of design is queer. What does that mean in practice?

An illustrated skeleton skipping over the words, “Be Gay Do Design”
Illustration mine
Wrappers for female condoms designed for men who have sex w men
An infographic for safer sex practices that are ungendered
A cartoon buttplug saying, “No Ifs Ands or Butts”
Some of my decade-old work for Fenway Health. LEFT TO RIGHT: wrap-around covers for the “female” internal condoms targeting men who have sex with men, a safer sex infographic that doesn’t reference gender or sexuality, a shameless plug for butt health.

Working with the queer community is a gift, not because I see my own identity reflected in the work but because the diversity within the community has broadened my understanding of the world while deepening my sense that I belong here.

Design is already pretty queer

LEFT TO RIGHT: Queer Design Club co-founders Rebecca Brooker and John Hanawalt and members Kelly Small, Seth Katz, Alex Chen, Richard Wade Morgan, and Jordan Green.

How do we queer design further?

LEFT: The Gilbert Baker pride flag, RIGHT: photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Queer design is expressive

“If I wait for someone else to validate my existence, it will mean that I’m shortchanging myself.” — Zanele Muholi

LEFT: Sylvia Rivera Law Project graphic, RIGHT: ACT UP protest featuring Silence = Death poster, June 26, 1988, EugeneGordon/New York Historical Society

Queer design is collective

A lot of queer designers I’ve talked to feel they are able to more fully put themselves in others’ shoes because of how much time they’ve spent pretending to be someone else.

“I am not a beginning. I am not an end. I am a link in a chain.” ― Keith Haring

LEFT: Guerrilla Girls, Hot Flashes, 1993, Volume 1, Number 1, RIGHT: The Male Figure, Fall 1957

Queer design is subversive

“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” — Bayard Rustin

Nordstrom x Nike Epic React Flyknit BETRUE Running Shoe, not a good example of queering design

The future of design is queer



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
John Voss

Designer with a heart of gold and mouth like a sailor. Cares about how the work we do impacts others. Also talks fitness and feelings. www.jovo.design