HUMAN OF THE WEEK ⋆ CHARL SUMMERS
This week’s Human of the Week features Charl Summers, from the United Kingdom. Charl is the founder of ‘Unite UK’, an online LGBTQ+ publication focused on amplifying LGBTQ+ voices. She also hosts her own podcast series, ‘Lestalk’.
Charl Summers refers to herself as a ‘Professional Lesbian’ over on the Lestalk podcast, where she and her girlfriend, Aislinn, discuss everything Lesbian & Queer Womxn-related. Through the podcast, the couple hopes to help normalise stigmas and taboo topics at the intersection of femininity and queerness. In doing so, they have created a safe space for queer women to celebrate their sexuality/identities and embrace who they are.
Charl’s influence as an LGBTQ+ content creator does not end there. As the founder of the platform ‘Unite UK’, she works endlessly to amplify, listen to, celebrate queer voices. Unite UK provides the community with a myriad of valuable resources, including advice to help cope with bullying, discussions about mental health and wellness, and more. Unite UK has now over 19.7k followers on Instagram and their reach continues to widen every day.
In this week’s Human of the Week feature, we spoke with Charl to understand more about her experience as an LGBTQ+ content creator.
1. What inspired you to start Unite UK?
2. We understand that you also run a queer womxn podcast ‘Lestalk’, could you tell us more about how it came about?
Whilst I run loving Unite UK, as we grew I stopped sharing my own opinions as I didn't want the platform to just be about me anymore & it became more diverse within the voices shared. So one night, whilst having a few jagerbombs (drink responsibly), my girlfriend and I just recorded one of our conversations and with that, lestalk was created.
In summary, it's a space where we as queer womxn can express our frustrations, experiences and normalise many lesbian/queer womxn topics. But really, it's something that we love to do & it's my highlight of my week!
3. We love your artwork, could you share your illustration journey with us?
4. What are some of the most memorable experiences you’ve had so far? (When interacting with guest hosts, hearing stories or reading comments etc)?
5. Share with us some difficult moments you’ve experienced as a vocal member of the LGBTQ+ community.
6. You have been so active in sharing LGBTQ+ voices, do you have any words of advice for other LGBTQ+ platforms out there?
It's going to be hard, you're going to be met with homophobia & something I never even considered, hate from within the LGBTQI+ community. Be open to grow & learn, and if you make a mistake, be open and honest with it. We still make mistakes as we're humans and our community is ever-growing, but be willing to learn with your community.
I also would say, you're not going to please everyone & there will always be a few individuals who disagree with your content. We had a graphic that went viral for the wrong reasons & whilst we never meant to cause any harm, we acknowledge our intentions were missed. It's moments like these you apologise, state your intentions and grow from the experience.
7. Are there any artists or platforms that you look up to or have inspired you?
8. Do you have any goals set for Unite UK and Lestalk in the next 5 years?
9. Any words of encouragement for your viewers and supporters?
If you're doing something you're passionate about, whatever that may be, don't give it up. I think we compare ourselves to others so frequently, that we forget what we're achieving.
You may find Charl Summers on Instagram at @CharlSummersUK