Take a break with some much-needed words of encouragement.
A new campaign from an LGBTQIA+ healthcare company, FOLX Health, is spreading love and hope to members of the community who are having a tough time finding encouragement and inspiration through messages from LGBTQIA+ celebrities and activists like Munroe Bergdorf, Rain Dove, Gigi Goode, and more.
1-888-FOLX-FAM is an old school hotline that offers a type of connection away from social media and screens in the form of a party line. For those who are too young to remember, a party line was a popular, pre-chatroom way for you and your friends to talk before the age of the internet and social media — especially in the 1980s and 1990s — through a landline phone.
True to the party line form, FOLX even created a jingle that is a perfect reminder of hotline commercials from the 1990s and early 2000s.
These special, spoken messages are a way for LGBTQIA+ kids and young adults to get some uplifting words and support from people who understand what they're going through, as well as paying tribute to the party line trend and technology.
For Miss J, runway coach on America's Next Top Model, the hotline is a special way to connect with likeminded people. "Always remember everyone, even friends and family, are not going to understand your journey and terms through life. But there are several organizations in the LGBTQIA community, like 1-888-FOLX-FAM, that will," the ANTM star said. "I encourage everyone on this path to find their happiness and joy by being fierce, being fabulous, and always being and doing you!"
"As a longtime community builder in the trans and queer space, I often think about how many systems fail to take care of LGBTQ folks. We aren't always seen and valued as people — much less seen as people deserving of love," said Rocco Kayiatos, VP of Marketing at FOLX, in a statement. "I approach marketing less as selling people on our services — which are valuable, but more so on how to offer as much representation, space and offerings that serve the community and celebrate us as individuals and a collective. Tragik (FOLX creative director) and I both grew up in a time where queer and trans kids couldn't imagine or see a future and party lines were a safe space to connect about your identity."
Tragik added, "I came out on the Chicago party line in the early 2000s. This is where I was able to find a queer and trans community and feel free enough to finally be myself. 20 years later I realize there are still so many people who might feel alone or have little to no support."
The company worked with a queer graphic artist to create imagery that is perfectly reminiscent of this time period. "I wanted the designs to give us a reminder to always work on loving ourselves, being compassionate and tender to every version and chapter in our lives. To enjoy the ride and appreciate the beauty and strength in our journey. We are constantly evolving and the days pass us like water. It's important to look back and be proud of where you came from and how hard you've worked to be where you are," Tragik said.
In addition to spoken messages, celebrities, artists, activist and other notable people are also sharing love letters to their younger selves as a way of also inspiring and helping younger queer or trans people.
Anyone who needs a little emotional pick-me-up can call 1-888-FOLX-FAM or visit the FOLX website to learn more.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.
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