Meet the Queer Media Society

Sophie Charlotte Rieger
Sophie Charlotte Rieger

Meet the Queer Media Society and Susan S.Reck

The Queer Media Society  was founded by Kai S. Pieck in 2018 and made its first appearance at this year’s Berlinale. The aim of the organization is a representation of queer people in all media branches that corresponds to their share in German society, which the European Dalia study  found to be 7,4%. This also refers to stories and characters in fictional film and TV. At Filmfest Munich the QMS hosted a panel discussing the pros and cons of public outings.

After the panel, EWA-Blogger Sophie Charlotte Rieger met with director Susann S. Reck, a QMS member, to find out more about the organization and its activities.

Why did you join the Queer Media Society?

I think, Kai S. Pieck hit a nerve. Especially in the past year there hasn’t been done enough for queer people and diversity. When I visited the QMS website, I understood that immediately. So I wrote to him and became a member.

What do you mean with “he hit a nerve”?

I think there have been better times for queer people, just talking about the movie industry. There was a time when Germany had a Queer Cinema with people like Monika Treut and Rosa von Praunheim. But it somehow slowly disappeared. Pro Quote Film is doing a really good job right now fighting for women’s rights in the business, but I think we as queer people can make an important contribution in respect to diversity.

But the QMS is not only active in the movie industry.

We’re developing different branches right now: literature/publishing, film/TV/radio/web, music, advertising, journalism, theater/events, and games. So right now we’re trying to build a network and find people to get involved in these branches.

QMS at Filmfest München

How is the QMS organized?

Until now it is just a network. Everyone can join and get involved in the branch they are working in. The idea is to establish teams and discussions. Right now we’re trying to figure out: What are the aims of the different branches? Where do they want to get involved?

So what are you working on in the film branch?

We’re trying to get in touch with politics. For the new German film law (FFG) we handed in suggestions to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters on what to do for more diversity. Also we created a workshop called “QueerLab” that is supposed to be intersectional. People from the branches of literature as well as film can participate to work on ideas how to break stereotypes and how to make queer life visible without sexualizing it.

On instagram you call yourself QMS Germany. Are there other Queer Media Societies across Europe?

As far as we know, there aren’t. But of course we can’t know what the future brings. And I would love it. Also if there are similar organizations out there, please get in touch. Within Europe it’s so important to build a common network. Actually that’s important beyond Europe as well.

I have the impression you easily get in touch with the movie industry, like the panel here in Munich that you did with the help of Bavaria Fiction. Thinking back to the early days of Pro Quote Film, they seemed to have a much harder time to build this kind of connection. Why is it easier for you?

Pro Quote Film started as Pro Quote Regie (directing), so it was about female directors only. We are LGBTIQ, which means we include gays, lesbians, inter, queer and trans people. So we have a much broader approach. And in our society, gay men have been in position of power for quite a while. Maybe that’s why it’s easier for us to build these connections, because there are already queer people at some of the key positions. But I’m not sure. That’s just a theory.

Does one have to be queer to join the QMS? By the way: What’s “queer” anyways?

Anyone can join, heterosexual “friends” as well. For us queer is a collective term describing everyone living and thinking outside of heteronormativity.