The World Economic Forum in Davos has come to a close, and out of the numerous companies and innovators being recognized for this year’s focus, “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” a Taiwanese LGBTQ rights activist was named among them.
Jay Lin, who began GagaOOLala, an Asian LGBTQ streaming platform, has a long history of promoting LGBT rights including creating the first LGBT queer film festival in Taiwan. “Many LGBT people in Taiwan stay closeted for fear of discrimination,” he explains to Newsweek. “I hope that they can find stories [on GagaOOLala] that resonate.” The service also has plenty of non-LGBT viewers. “Mostly, they come to be entertained by good movies, TV series and documentaries they can’t see anywhere else. But many also watch to learn about the community.”
His company has over 150,000 registered users, many of whom are straight. “Mostly they come to be entertained by good movies, TV series and documentaries they can’t see anywhere else,” Jay Lin says. “But many also watch to learn about the community, to learn that underneath the LGBTQ labels there is a group of people with diverse roles beyond their sexuality. They are someone’s son, partner or parent. Only when this idea is completely normalized, can we be seen as equal.”
While original series are part of the current programming on the platform, he says there is much more in store for GagaOOLala. “We kept considering how to import more foreign gay films for TIQFF in 2014; in 2016 GagaOOLala was born with the purpose of bringing LGBT stories to everywhere in Asia, even to some areas where homosexuality is still a crime. This year, we are announcing GOL Studios. It’s a film production platform to support queer films. You can upload your project and we will help you find the necessary shooting resources, funds and connect with the right people to make that project come true. We are taking the concept of community to the next level — you can be set wherever in the world and find the right team and resources in other countries to finally release your film for a global audience. GOL Studios plans on launching in March 2019.”