It’s no secret that LGBTQ+ representation in Star Wars has been basically non-existent in the movies — though TV, books, and other media are starting to come around. But featuring a queer character in a book or TV show isn’t nearly as important as the Star Wars fans fighting to be seen, heard, and appreciated not just in the franchise, but also in the Star Wars fandom. Spaces, an app created by and for queer people, is trying to give these fans a sense of community they don’t often find online — and it’s making a real difference.
Bryan from the Pink Milk Star Wars podcast can personally speak to the positive impact an app like Spaces can have on queer people in fandom. The podcast’s Space has even attracted more LGBTQ+ allies than any other — meaning it’s a welcoming, inclusive, and fun place to be.
Bryan took the time to answer a few questions about how the podcast became involved with the Spaces app and the positive impact he hopes the experience will continue to have on the larger queer Star Wars community moving forward.
Dork Side of the Force: Spaces was created by and for queer people to give community members a place to connect over things they like. How did the Pink Milk Space come to form?
Pink Milk: They reached out to us several months before the app officially launched to be one of Spaces’ “Faces” at its launch. It was really nice! I appreciate that we’re recognized by the Star Wars podcast community and its listeners, but there is something really special [about] being recognized as a queer podcast and community specifically.
Dork Side: Your community on Spaces is growing! Tell me a little about what it’s like for community members to ‘hang out’ there. Is it anything like the Steam Room? I imagine it’s similar, but extra chaotic (in a good way).
Pink Milk: Hahaha! You know, I imagined it would be a lot like the Steam Room, but I have to be honest…it’s a lot more tame! It’s a really nice place to just talk Star Wars! We talk about how gay characters are or moments without the annoyance of outside people telling us that “we make everything gay”! It’s just a really relaxed vibe. Maybe it’s because it’s just “us” for the most part. I will say that I was told that our Space had the most allies in it which is just really great!
Dork Side: How do you foresee the Pink Milk Space impacting the queer Star Wars community in a positive way, especially with real-world issues escalating that negatively impact the LGBTQ+ community as a whole both within and outside of fandom?
Pink Milk: You know, this really is just a scary time for so many people. Rights have been taken away and there are threats of more to come. It feels like we’re living at the end of Revenge of the Sith and the first season of The Bad Batch, where there is a good amount of people cheering as they turn in their rights hoping that the ruling power will take care of their best interests! It’s just absolutely unreal.
I think as far as Spaces goes, I’m hoping that it might be a place where people can come together and truly express themselves. As both our federal government here in the United States and our state governments take this time to vilify us queer people that should be feared and kept away from children, the public acceptance of outward homophobia is going to become acceptable again. I worry about some of the younger queer kids out there that have grown up in a time where it was more socially acceptable to be queer. I really fear it’s going to go away. With all of that said, I hope that I hope our Space can be a refuge to come and laugh and maybe come to get some guidance or motivation for the fight that we have in front of us. As someone who was in the streets in the ’90s, I know the power of a laugh or a wiggle to keep the hope alive that brighter days are ahead.
Dork Side: You helped create a Space for queer Star Wars fans to discuss a galaxy far, far away, but I know you’re a multi-fandom kind of guy. Are you a part of any additional Spaces on the platform? What has that experience been like?
Pink Milk: Haha! I do enjoy all sorts of nerd stuff for sure! I am part of a few other “nerd” Spaces! There is a BIG MCU Space for Marvel fans that is a lot of fun and active. There is a lot of speculation in there that is always fun to read. There’s also an X-Men Space, I’m a really big X-Men fan, and that Space is just very queer — which fits with X-Men! I love this platform so much, it feels just so great to speak with other queer people!
If you’re a queer nerd looking for a place to hang out, laugh, and be part of something special, Spaces is ready and waiting for you.
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