EveryFOL Is Awesome: An Introduction to GayFOLs

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View image at flickr

A few weeks ago, when I reported on Brickworld Chicago, I mentioned that there were several group layouts, but also a first: it was the first time that the members of GayFOLs had an official area at a convention. The builds were imaginative and wonderful, the builders were warm and personable, and the GayFOLs area made for a great addition to the show. But what is GayFOLs, and how did it get to Brickworld Chicago?

Read on to find out how it all started with a rainbow flag…..

A few years ago, an AFOL came out of his dark ages, started building, joined a LUG, and started attending conventions to find fellow LEGO fans. He wondered, "are there others, or is it just me?"

That sounds like most of us, and most of us can find like minded people in a LUG, whether it's online or in person. However, for this AFOL, that wasn't quite enough. This AFOL happens to be gay, and he wondered how many other gay AFOLs there were, or if he was largely on his own. He was only aware of one other gay AFOL in his LUG.

To find out, the AFOL in question, Bruce B. Heller, wore a rainbow flag on his brick badge when he next attended Bricks by the Bay to see what reaction he would get. It didn't take long before Bruce ran into BayLUG members Erez Powell and his then-boyfriend Mike (they married May 2019!), who noticed Bruce's rainbow flag and complimented Bruce on it. For the immediate term, Bruce's search was over - he wasn't alone! The conversation that night included the (then) hypothetical question: "What if there was a community of LGBT AFOLs to connect with?"

With that, the seeds were planted, and with all things it took some time to grow. In the meantime, Bruce created a group on Facebook called "GayFOLs", a playful twist on the word AFOLs. He liked the term, but didn't have a purpose for the group at the time.

Many of you may know of the Facebook group AFOLs of Facebook. For those who aren't members, it's a group dedicated to AFOLs (of course) who share MOCs, ideas, recent purchases, and so much more. Last June, someone posted a MOC celebrating the start of Pride Month. The ensuing conversation - which was not unlike a recent discussion here on Brickset around a particular brick in a recent Architecture set review - demonstrated the need for LGBTQ+ builders and their allies to have their own space.

Bruce mentioned the existence of the previously unused GayFOLs group, and then things started to take off. Although the group is named GayFOLs, the intent was always for the group to be welcoming and to provide a safe space to a diverse membership: lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, pansexual, asexual, and allies. The group had almost 50 members within a month, and right now stands at just over 300 members.

The group had the full endorsement of the admins of the AFOLs of Facebook group. Paul Lee, one of the most visible and vocal admins of AFOLs of Facebook, understands the need for GayFOLs, given the experiences of the LGBTQ+ members last year. "Because even to this day, homophobia and bigotry persists." he says. "It is only right that those in the LGTBQ+ community have a place where they can be themselves and be free of the harassment." Paul says that there are those who think the two groups are mutually exclusive. "That's never been the case. We have many, many members in common. I am a member of GayFOLs myself, as an ally. As an admin of AFOLs of FB, I hope that we can one day be a space that is free of harassment for its members as well. We are working towards that goal every day."

GayFOLs had its first informal gathering at Brickworld Chicago last year. The group was small, but there was some brainstorming as to how the group could have a greater presence the following year (2019). This was an aspirational goal as not only would 2019 mark one year for GayFOLs, it was also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. What better time for GayFOLs to make its event debut?

Thanks to David Pickett, the other GayFOLs administrator, the group got some dedicated display space at Brickworld Chicago. All members of GayFOLs were invited to display. There was also a GayFOLs mixer, which had over 30 attendees of all ages and LEGO experiences, from well known LEGO veterans to a trans teen and her parents attending their first show.

Then there were the MOCs! In a truly inspired idea for a collaborative build, there were ABC vignettes of memorable LGBTQ+ moments. Here are a couple stretches of the alphabet.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Samuel Hatmaker had some amazing MOCs. Much attention was paid to his Madonna CMF collection.

View image at flickr

Though I think my favourite of his MOCs was this one of Divine. To see more of Samuel's work, you can visit his website.

View image at flickr

I also liked this Lunar Pride Parade. Those members of GayFOLs who couldn't make it to Brickworld Chicago were encouraged to take pictures of their Pride MOCs and send them in. There was a screen set up right above this MOC that had a continuous slideshow of the members of GayFOLs' Pride creations, so there was a Virtual Pride Parade happening right there in the display hall.

View image at flickr

Bruce B. Heller also managed to have a couple MOCs of his own, including the Bullocks Wilshire. You can see more of Bruce's work on his website, or follow him on Instagram.

View image at flickr

There was also a rainbow White House and an Orlando Pulse Memorial.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

In addition to displaying MOCs and hosting the mixer, GayFOLs also gave out trophies. One trophy (the Inspiration Award) was given to the previously mentioned trans teen, who had some amazing Bionicle MOCs. The GayFOL trophy is on the left - the stack of colourful 2x4 bricks on the black base with the GayFOL brick badge.

View image at flickr

Grace Stemp-Morlock also won a GayFOLs trophy - the Visibility Award - for her incredible and touching "Out of My Head" series, dealing with different aspects of mental health. More of Grace's work can be found here, or you can follow her on Instagram.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Interested in joining GayFOLs? It's a closed group on Facebook, which means you can search for it but won't be able to see any content unless you join. When you apply to join, you'll be required to answer a couple straightforward questions before acceptance. GayFOLs welcomes a diverse membership: lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, pansexual, asexual, and allies. An ally, as the members of GayFOLs defines it, is not just someone whose best friend is gay. An ally is a person who would stand up for people in the LGBTQ+ community, and support their causes.

I'm proud to be a member of GayFOLs as an ally, and I was thrilled to get an GayFOL brick when I attended Brickworld Chicago. I’ve found GayFOLs to be a warm, welcoming and friendly group.

If you're attending Brickfair this weekend, you can find this out for yourself - there's a members of GayFOLs event scheduled for Thursday. All LGBTQ+ persons and allies are welcome. The theme - EveryFOL is awesome.

That's a sentiment on which I think we can all agree!

151 comments on this article

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By in Germany,

Love the rainbow version of the White House. Someone should send it to Donald Trump.
I'm sure he would be thrilled ;-)

Joking aside, those ABC vignettes are really cool.

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By in United Kingdom,

I’d never even given thought to gay expression through Lego - some of those builds are very cool and it gives me an excuse to buy Lego for my gay friends!

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By in Australia,

Love this so much, especially the marriage equality White House and Pulse memorial!!
EDIT: and yes as written in the article, it is great that allies are welcomed... <_<

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By in Netherlands,

Gayfols, because the best solution to bigotry and harassment is to put yourself in a separate group instead of engaging in conversation with people about what they do and trying to create a more open and positive community together by actually engaging with each other.

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By in Netherlands,

@risdek: They ARE engaging in conversation with people. It's just that not everyone is listening.

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By in United States,

That Divine is FILTHY! :D ...That Madonna plaque is cool too. I’m not so sure she deserves it (Madonna=meh), but Mr. Samuel did a good job.

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By in United Kingdom,

Not sure what the point is to be honest. A group of AFOLs have a shared interest in LEGO. Why bring sex, politics, gender and/or religion into a LUG. Sub-groups do just that - sub-divide. If gay people want equality then just join in with everyone else. Now, does anyone know of a StraightFOL group I can join?

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By in United Kingdom,

This is awesome and a nice surprise to see!

To some of the negative comments above: obviously LGBTQ Lego fans spend most of our time enjoying Lego the same way as everyone else.

But consider how cool it is to discover you not only share Lego as an interest with other people, but also another major aspect of your life, and probably other interests like the ones represented above?

That is the point here. It's not about division - it's finding a new way to connect with other people, as opposed to the isolating feeling of "is it just me?" - as explained in the article. :)

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By in United States,

It's good to see as the laws of lands become more and more progressive and open, that we continue to attempt to segregate ourselves socially. Nothing breeds hate quite like non-integration.

If we all bonded over what makes us the same (hobbies? Lego? It's like sexual orientation has nothing to do with the hobby), versus what us different... maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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By in United States,

The 'segregation and 'separate group' comments make it clear you either 1. didn't read the article that clearly states the motivation for such a group 2. are willfully ignorant to the purpose of said group and complain to be divisive or 3. both. The only people not welcome in the group are those who are bigoted to the cause.

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By in United Kingdom,

I look forward to the future utopia when Adult Fans of Lego no longer feel the need to define themselves separately to children who play with Lego and even further ahead when we all just become humans who like stuff.

Until then I’m just going to be thankful that I’ve not, to my knowledge, befriended an Adult Fan of Meccano (if that’s you, please keep your metallic toy politics to yourself, I don’t want to know).

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By in Australia,

I hate the idea that I was born into this social and political movement that I didn't ask for and never wanted. Being gay has ruined my life. I hate that everything I do or say is filtered through this prism of something I had no control over. In my lowest moments I can admit that I would do almost *anything* to rip this thing out of my head and throw it away (like a cracked cheese slope). Yeah, it gets better. I'm almost 40, I've been waiting for things to get better for 25 years, now, I'm sure that will happen any day now.

And now my Lego has to be filtered through this prism too? I am speaking for myself, and only myself, when I say, quite unequivocally, that I am not comfortable with this at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

There are also plenty of other specialist groups on sites like flickr and facebook too. For example, an ancient history LEGO group that discusses ancient history MOC builds and minifigures. If people want to discuss things with like minded people, then why not?

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By in Netherlands,

Yes even more segregation based on sexual preference! Can't we just enjoy LEGO for what it is, no matter where you come from? Why do all of these MOCs and such need to have separate areas, or separate categories to win prizes?

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By in Singapore,

Obviously no offence intended to any LGBT builders but this really is very silly. In recent years one thing I've always loved about AFOL communities online is that we all share a love of LEGO and building amazing creations with the brick, and that all of us just enjoy good builds for their own sake and not because they were built by a man/woman/white/black/green/purple/straight/gay/anything builder. I am willing to assume that everyone is well-intentioned but I cannot tell you how dismayed I will be if identity politics ends up infecting this community (as it has so many others).

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By in Singapore,

Obviously no offence intended to any LGBT builders but this really is very silly. In recent years one thing I've always loved about AFOL communities online is that we all share a love of LEGO and building amazing creations with the brick, and that all of us just enjoy good builds for their own sake and not because they were built by a man/woman/white/black/green/purple/straight/gay/anything builder. I am willing to assume that everyone is well-intentioned but I cannot tell you how dismayed I will be if identity politics ends up infecting this community (as it has so many others).

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By in United States,

Ridiculous. #StraightPRIDE

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By in Russian Federation,

I'm assuming that every commenter above saying something along the lines of "ugh social segregation!" has never joined any community of like-minded people? Never gone to a class or a book group or a club? I bet you bores have spent your entire life existing "among all of society". Newsflash: sometimes mingling with people of all kinds can be pretty exhausting, or even dangerous to LGBTQ+ folks.

Anyway: what a lovely idea! I love the ABC exhibit – it's a great idea, and even educational; I've learned about a few very interesting historical figures that I'd never heard of!

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By in United States,

Several of you are telling on yourselves. A lot of the comments here are sad to see but really prove the point to why this group, and other groups like it, are a thing and why they're so important to the members. Could you imagine being part of a typical builder's group and getting 1 or 2 snide comments when you are moved to build a rainbow White House or Pride parade scene? Not from everyone. I'm sure many would be welcoming and encouraging. But all it takes is 1 or 2 to make you feel unwelcome.

"Why are you building that?"

"Why can't you keep your identity politics out of LEGO?"

THIS is why LGBT form groups like GAYfol. THESE COMMENTS are why. So they form their own group and people still complain and deride it.

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By in Singapore,

@Orange Jews I can't say that I have hard data to back up what I'm about to say, but I do have to imagine that the intersection between AFOLs and strong proponents of Sharia law is presumably vanishingly small.

@CDM there is a reason why LEGO itself does not sell Donald Trump Brickheadz or anything remotely political. It is instant troll bait, as this comments section demonstrates. Pointless and divisive. This is the first time in more than a decade of following AFOL sites and communities that I've ever heard the subject of "gay AFOLs" being raised and I am not surprised that it turned into an instant ____hole.

---

Also: if you have trouble distinguishing between a topical interest (Star Wars, historical builds, modular buildings, etc) and sexual orientation, you are really very confused.

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By in Sweden,

Great intro for GayFOLs. Great to see more people finding a way into the AFOL community!

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By in United States,

The comments here are disappointingly predictable.

The point of this group isn’t to disengage with general purpose AFOL groups. Most FOLs are members of multiple groups and sites, after all. But too often when people share MOCs or other photos that feature the intersection of their Lego fandom and LGBT identities, it leads to unpleasant comments and discourse about core elements of their identity that many such FOLs would rather avoid.

Is it any surprise that they might want a “safe space” where they don’t have to deal with that? If you truly don’t want AFOLs “segregating” themselves away from the larger community, maybe it’s time to take another look at whether those communities are truly as welcoming as they could be, or if they’re permitting behavior that alienates members who don’t conform to a narrow set of acceptable identities.

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By in United Kingdom,

Well everyone commenting is a member of this LEGO-focussed club, brickset. Why self-segregate and not just join a general toy club? Surely the point is to discuss things of interest with like minded people.

A lot of what is on display is essentially LGBT art. Displaying art on a specific subject combined with other like minded artists to people that want to see it makes sense. Telling the audience it is focussed allows them to decide whether to go further or not. The rainbow White House is displayed with context. If anything that Bullocks Wilshire stands out a bit, being somewhat off topic. That would fit perfectly well into a general LEGO architecture display. I don't think the rainbow White House would, and if it was put there people are likely to criticise it for making a political statement rather than fitting in with the theme. But in a Pride setting, it is right at home. If that setting was not available would the designer feel comfortable displaying it elsewhere? Possibly not.

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By in United Kingdom,

My original comment disappeared and I can't be bothered to write the whole thing out again, but as a straight white guy who once got harassed for introducing a bisexual character into a LEGO stop-motion, and derided on the main brickfilming forum for supporting the LGBTQ+ community, I can only imagine how big a much-needed breath of fresh air the GayFOL group is for the people who need it. And a lot of these comments show exactly why it's needed.

(Side note: I can only think of 3 LGBTQ+ brickfilm characters. It's a little sad.)

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By in United States,

I'm about equality and I believe everyone is equal and as long you're a good person, I don't care about sexuality, but this is stupid. Gaylug? I feel like if some created "straight lug" people would be extremely offended. I love to see different perspectives, so i'll lurking in the chat reading your comments.

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By in United States,

I'm about equality and I believe everyone is equal and as long you're a good person, I don't care about sexuality, but this is stupid. Gaylug? I feel like if some created "straight lug" people would be extremely offended. I love to see different perspectives, so i'll lurking in the chat reading your comments.

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By in Romania,

Literally no one: *nothing*
Brickset: GayFol are a thing.

Great job brickset, can we expect AntifaLug, ShariaFols, CommunistLug, PedoLug or NaziFols next ?

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By in United Kingdom,

@vlad88 some of these things are not like the other things...

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By in Netherlands,

Wow, @vlad88... you are really showing your colours here: as if GayFOLs is in any way comparable to the other idiotic suggestions you make.
Some of the posts here only reinforce my conviction that we are living in a world where LOVE is slowly eroding and HATE seems to be taking over. I most definitely understand why there's a need for a group like GayFOLs. More power to them, and I count myself an ally. As a straight guy I heartily endorse any sort of group which makes people feel safe, respected and appreciated, as long as they don't harm anyone else.

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By in Romania,

@Jack Rizzo explain the difference then ?

All i see here is the politicization of a hobby that should not be political.
I want to believe that most Afol's are like me , as long as you are an ok person we don't care what you do or what your preferences are.
However when you are pushing your life style, life choices, preferences and views on other people who most of the time just don't care and just want to escape the real world problems. then people of course the response will be negative, same thing they did with other fandoms. Some people wanted to virtue signal about how progressive they are and started wars in fandoms.
You can be a an Afol that's gay no problem there, but when you are a gay Afol part of a GayLug then it smells like political propaganda and virtue signaling.

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By in United Kingdom,

@vlad88 being LGBTQ+ isn't the same as being a pedo or a Nazi. Your comment was actually pretty cruel to the former. I really shouldn't have to explain why.

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By in United Kingdom,

@vlad88 so you're saying you don't see anything wrong with comparing members of the LGBTQ+ community to pedos and Nazis? Seriously?

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By in United States,

if people talked about me in the manner of several of the people in this thread i'd want my own convention too

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By in United States,

For what it’s worth, as mentioned in the article, I and a bunch of other people in the GayFOLs group are also involved in many other, less specific LEGO fan communities like the “AFOLs of Facebook” group, Eurobricks, and Brickset.

But GayFOLs gives me a place where I can more safely MENTION stuff related to LGBTQ identity without prompting an onslaught of trolling, harassment, and intolerance from people who think these topics are somehow “divisive” or “inappropriate” or “not relevant to LEGO” or “political”.

The idea that people should just leave their identities at the door when entering a LEGO fan group because they’re “not relevant” is silly. As illustrated here, there are plenty of people who build models that relate to this part of their identities, from Pride parades to same-sex wedding vignettes to models of major events or figures from the history of the LGBTQ community.

Not to mention the many OTHER discussions relevant to LEGO that might touch on gender identity or sexuality — I’ve brought up many in various groups that were met with disturbing amounts of vitriol, such as a discussion of whether people “ship” any characters from LEGO media that happens to cite two female characters as examples, or a post expressing hopes that one day LEGO might include LGBTQ characters in sets and media (much as other toy brands like Transformers, My Little Pony, and She-Ra have in recent years), or a post mentioning the LEGO Group’s in-house celebrations of Pride Month and public participation at Pride in London this year.

None of this stuff is any less relevant to LEGO than a vignette of an opposite-sex wedding, a model memorializing other categories of historic events or figures that are important to the builder, or any other kind of discussion of LEGO news or hopes for future LEGO products and media. It shouldn’t result in a deluge of trolling and political ranting from people who think it doesn’t belong in the community, but it often does — even here on Brickset, as we saw with the irrational homophobic rants in the replies of the Trafalgar Square review.

So sometimes even when sharing such MOCs in a more public LEGO fan group, people like to have a more affirming community to share that content as well, if only as a reminder that not all of the AFOL community is plagued with ignorant and intolerant rabble-rousers.

It’s also a place where we can freely discuss more personal ways our lives as part of the LGBTQ+ community relate to our LEGO hobby. In my case, a lot of my friendships in the Bionicle community and their feedback and support of MOCs that were subconsciously related to my gender identity helped me come to terms with being transgender and work up the courage to come out publicly and begin transitioning.

Many other LGBTQ+ people end up dating or marrying people they met via a shared interest in LEGO. Or want a place to ask for feedback of what minifigs would be suitable for populating a pride parade without straight and cisgender concern trolls making patronizing comments about how they’re perpetuating stereotypes or sabotaging their own efforts to gain full equality and acceptance.

But for now, even this thread speaks to how many AFOLs are so quick to blame us for our own marginalization and harassment… as if homophobia only exists because we don’t put in enough effort to teach people about why discrimination is bad and we deserve to exist and be ourselves. As if in a world where the vast majority of popular culture that ever deals with family or romance (including LEGO sets and media) focuses on straight couples, people only hate us because we keep “making everything gay”. As if we’re the ones being intolerant of THEM by wanting to be accepted as equals and calling them out on their homophobia when they talk about how gay stuff is “inappropriate for kids” or “unnatural” or “perverted”. As if we only feel alienated or uncomfortable in many LEGO communities or at many LEGO events because we IMAGINE everybody as potential persecutors, and not because we and people we know have experienced harassment and ho

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By in Netherlands,

I'm with those who comment on saying this separation wasn't needed. The sexuality of a builder has never crossed my mind, just like a race never crossed my mind. Or whether they've got tattoos. Have purple hair. Are vegan. Whatever. If I see a MOC and like it I like it for the build, not for the builder. I think it's all rather silly to make sure your sexuality is known, and it won't change anyone's perception on the LGBTQ community either.

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By in United States,

For what it’s worth, as mentioned in the article, I and a bunch of other people in the GayFOLs group are also involved in many other, less specific LEGO fan communities like the “AFOLs of Facebook” group, Eurobricks, and Brickset.

But GayFOLs gives me a place where I can more safely MENTION stuff related to LGBTQ identity without prompting an onslaught of trolling, harassment, and intolerance from people who think these topics are somehow “divisive” or “inappropriate” or “not relevant to LEGO” or “political”.

The idea that people should just leave their identities at the door when entering a LEGO fan group because they’re “not relevant” is silly. As illustrated here, there are plenty of people who build models that relate to this part of their identities, from Pride parades to same-sex wedding vignettes to models of major events or figures from the history of the LGBTQ community.

Not to mention the many OTHER discussions relevant to LEGO that might touch on gender identity or sexuality — I’ve brought up many in various groups that were met with disturbing amounts of vitriol, such as a discussion of whether people “ship” any characters from LEGO media that happens to cite two female characters as examples, or a post expressing hopes that one day LEGO might include LGBTQ characters in sets and media (much as other toy brands like Transformers, My Little Pony, and She-Ra have in recent years), or a post mentioning the LEGO Group’s in-house celebrations of Pride Month and public participation at Pride in London this year.

None of this stuff is any less relevant to LEGO than a vignette of an opposite-sex wedding, a model memorializing other categories of historic events or figures that are important to the builder, or any other kind of discussion of LEGO news or hopes for future LEGO products and media. It shouldn’t result in a deluge of trolling and political ranting from people who think it doesn’t belong in the community, but it often does — even here on Brickset, as we saw with the irrational homophobic rants in the replies of the Trafalgar Square review.

So sometimes even when sharing such MOCs in a more public LEGO fan group, people like to have a more affirming community to share that content as well, if only as a reminder that not all of the AFOL community is plagued with ignorant and intolerant rabble-rousers.

It’s also a place where we can freely discuss more personal ways our lives as part of the LGBTQ+ community relate to our LEGO hobby. In my case, a lot of my friendships in the Bionicle community and their feedback and support of MOCs that were subconsciously related to my gender identity helped me come to terms with being transgender and work up the courage to come out publicly and begin transitioning.

Many other LGBTQ+ people end up dating or marrying people they met via a shared interest in LEGO. Or want a place to ask for feedback of what minifigs would be suitable for populating a pride parade without straight and cisgender concern trolls making patronizing comments about how they’re perpetuating stereotypes or sabotaging their own efforts to gain full equality and acceptance.

But for now, even this thread speaks to how many AFOLs are so quick to blame us for our own marginalization and harassment… as if homophobia only exists because we don’t put in enough effort to teach people about why discrimination is bad and we deserve to exist and be ourselves. As if in a world where the vast majority of popular culture that ever deals with family or romance focuses on straight couples, people only hate us because we keep “making everything gay”. As if we’re the ones being intolerant of THEM by wanting to be accepted as equals and calling them out on their homophobia when they talk about how gay stuff is “inappropriate for kids” or “unnatural” or “perverted”. It’s tiresome. If you’re so desperate to tell us why groups where we feel accepted shouldn’t exist, YOU are the reason they’re necessary.

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By in Romania,

@Jack Rizzo Did you read my comments or just saw gay, nazi, pedo and got triggered ?

It's about the fact the it is pointless politicization and divisiveness of a hobby we like to use to escape the real world BS.

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By in Singapore,

As you mentioned a trans teen's Bionicle MOC, I'd like to add that it's been noted by many that a substantial portion of the Bionicle fanbase consists of transgender people, especially trans girls. It's pretty fascinating. Nobody, not even trans Bionicle fans, really knows why that is the case. (To be clear, while I do love Bionicle, I am cis/not trans.)

Those who are having a hard time understanding why a group for queer AFOLs needs to exist can simply compare this to regional LUGs. Why do regional LUGs exist when LEGO is an international toy brand and AFOLs are, supposedly, a global community?

My "apolitical" answer as some of you would like it: Because local communities are great, too. You get to bond with others like you in ways other than just liking LEGO. In the case of regional LUGs, that means meeting people who live near-ish you and who have similar cultural backgrounds. For example, in our first Singapore brick convention earlier this year, there were at least two areas dedicated to life-size and minifig-scale LEGO models of traditionally Singaporean and Southeast Asian things, which you can see here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/enblockbrickcon/photos/?tab=album&album_id=431090557459906 (The irony that Singapore is by and large still intolerant of queer folks is not lost on me, but I hope you get my point.)

And, especially as is the case with the group in question, it was created to be a safe space. Brickset itself is demonstrably not at all a safe or welcoming space for queer AFOLs. It's not even a safe space for me to discuss my favorite themes, sometimes. I even try to distance myself from the "AFOL" label as far as I can. But that's a topic for another time.

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By in United Kingdom,

@vlad88 I did read your full comments, but you're still missing the point. It's not even remotely a fair comparison, and it's a really cruel comment towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, whether you realise it or not.

But also, why shouldn't what fans build with LEGO affect real life? I'm personally very anti-gun ownership, but I'm not offended by the sight of guns in LEGO's action themes, nor by the amazing Technic-based gun models that often show up in my Flickr feed. Like any medium for art, storytelling or play, people should be free to express themselves how they like, and unfortunately for many LGBTQ+ AFOLs, they can't. Post a Pride model online and you'll likely get spammed with hateful comments. Until that kind of backlash is no longer an issue, why shouldn't GayFOLs have a place where they don't fear people lashing out at them for expressing who they are?

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By in United Kingdom,

Im gay, female, adult. Not particularly interested in being a GAYfol or a FFOL (female fan of lego...???) not even fussed about being an AFOL but at least it keeps those pesky little people away. COI mother to 3 year old twins.

Dont care about other AFOLs being straight or gay or whatever. I'm in the hobby to enjoy great mocs, build my own stuff and talk about new lego elements, anything else is rather irrelevant. Clearly some AFOLs have gone on to become good friends of mine and then I am more engaging with their wider lives but to the vast majority it's best to stay on topic ;-)

Sorry Im old and boring I guess.

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By in Netherlands,

The thing is, I'm sure many LGBTQ people are also very good at MOC making. So they should just show off their MOC, their sexuality has nothing to do with it. A lot of these MOCs here are not that impressive compared to everything that the world of AFOLs has offered, but sure, now they can award eachother for having both a decent MOC AND being gay. That has nothing to do with LEGO.

Also, an example like 'there are not enough LGBTQ characters in brickfilms' is not a valid argument. So what? If it has no place in a particular story someone wants to tell, such a detail does not matter. Diversity is fine, especially for the sake of a story, but forced diversity is garbage and is currently ruining the entertainment industry.

Also also, just because I do not like segregation based on such arbitrary identity traits, does not mean I am some kind of bigot. I am a straight white male, but in this community, I do not care about one's sexual orientation. Just show off your MOCs and passion for LEGO and be done with it.

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By in United States,

Looks like this post generated quite a bit of controversy. When will the comments be locked this time? As an aside, between this post celebrating gay pride in lego and one of Huw’s old posts asking for help supporting a catholic school, I find the dichotomy inappropriately humorous but ultimately wish this site would take up a more encyclopedic format and stay out of social and political issues altogether. That said, this is undoubtedly a well-intentioned post which I fully respect, but unfortunately posts outlining social issues in general tend to instigate fervor and bring out the worst in people.

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By in United Kingdom,

Whilst I don't entirely agree with the LGBT community, I think that it is wonderful that they are able to create a community where they can belong, and can express themselves how they want.

On behalf of those who, like me, hold different views, I would like to apologise for those few who have been, and are being are rude and are just generally being bigots, and that now have made you feel that you need your own separate community.

I wish you guys the best and hope your group thrives :)

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By in Russian Federation,

Sweet, sweet traffic.

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By in Singapore,

@Lvl you've hit the nail on the head, which is why I say that the whole thing is pointless and divisive. You have one tiny group which is utterly convinced that the AFOL world is overwhelmingly populated by monsters who want to hunt sexual deviants for sport, and another tiny group which is utterly convinced that the shadowy LGBT cabal is going to turn the minifigs gay.

Meanwhile, the rest of us just want to play with our Fabuland but we can't because we're now all up to our waists with human excrement.

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By in Romania,

@Jack Rizzo you are proving my point. If you want something to be like in the real world just go out in the real world it's really easy.

You just don't get it, if a group with an ideology starts using a hobby as promotional or lobby tool for that ideology, guess what other will do ?
Also what do they have to fear inside a LUG ( Lego Users Group ) ? It never heard of an AFOL assaulting another AFOL let alone a straight AFOL assaulting a GayAFOL.
We are talking about Adults who build or collect lego here, we are not talking about prison gangs or drug cartel members.

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By in United States,

Tip: If you're about to say, "no offence intended to ___ but" you're probably about to be offensive.

What type of person you are attracted to and fall in love with is not political. Why are so many people saying something like "why make Lego political" and "why bring politics into this". They didn't. "LGBTQ+" is not a political term. When a man says "my husband..." or a woman says "my wife..." in conversation (perhaps discussing whether their spouse supports their Lego addiction), it's not political.

If something doesn't affect you, why criticize it? You don't want to participate in this user group? No problem - you don't have to. But other people want to. It's not harming you, so why bash it?

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By in United States,

These comments are going about as well as one would expect. If you don't like this, think it's dumb, or anything other than support then don't comment? I do not understand people sometimes, let people express themselves however they want. It has no effect on you.

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By in Latvia,

Oh no! You reminded me of the architecture controversy! Now I can't unsee it!)

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By in Latvia,

Oh no! You reminded me of the architecture controversy! Now I can't unsee it!)

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By in United States,

I don’t understand how so many folks jump to the conclusion that this group is “political”.

Everytime gays (or girls, or men, or farmers, or Steelers fans, or bakers...) get together to have a discussion it has to be about politics? Absurd.

They’re just folks sharing a hobby. They are not pushing legislation (that I’m aware of). They are not segregating themselves; membership is open to all and they are participating with the community at large at seen in the article.

If you find this group to be “political”, it says more about you than them.

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By in Singapore,

I love the "if you don't support it, don't join it" and the "if you don't agree with it, just ignore it" defence. Because I'm sure everyone would be totally chill with, oh I don't know, Wife-Beater LUG. Hey, if you don't support it, just don't join!

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By in Canada,

Well, I'm already becoming less and less interested in professional sports because of all the politics that has been injected into it over the last decade or so and now this...

I wish they would just leave hobbies like LEGO, D&D, video games etc alone. A lot of people get into these hobbies to get away from the constant negativity and divisiveness of politics.

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By in Canada,

Well, I'm already becoming less and less interested in professional sports because of all the politics that has been injected into it over the last decade or so and now this...

I wish they would just leave hobbies like LEGO, D&D, video games etc alone. A lot of people get into these hobbies to get away from the constant negativity and divisiveness of politics.

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By in United States,

Whelp, disappointingly, I would say that a large percentage of the comments here make it pretty dang clear why exactly LGBTQ+ people might want their own group. If the mere visibility and existence of a group of LGBTQ+ LEGO fans causes you as much anger and disgust as is being shown in these comments, then the issue isn't with the group, it's with you.

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By in Latvia,

I just want to say, no need to have such communities! I'm not a LUG member, unfortunately, but is it a real problem that gays at LUGs are harassed or trolled? I hope LEGO fans are not so cruel!

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By in United States,

Guys, being Gay is bad! Why would you all support such a stupid idea?!

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By in Latvia,

Also, I don't have anything against gays. If it's what you like, do it! It's like LEGO, if you like it, don't listen to all people who think LEGO is for kids!

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By in Russian Federation,

@Aanchir

Thanks for such excellent post!

For as I see this situation about wider AFOL and more specific GayFOL, there is exist a long-established belief LEGO is no way should interact with realities - it all about ideal world of imagination free of conlicts. serious problems and so on. Such idyllic La-La-Land.

But as it is all about imagination and creation, so it should include and self-representation, even if it connected with reality. Somewhere I saw quite politicized MOC - a police squad suppressing a group of IRA (Irish Republican Army) supporters. There was even the "graffiti" with IRA letters in colours of Irish flag.

I suppose it is the touchy subject for someone.

I agree not every aspect or reality deserves the representation in LEGO (so it should exclude Nazi, pedo, and other such heinous things...). But being someone from LGBT+ and do not have aBIlity to represent themselves in fear of "too politicizing the idyllic La-La-Land of chaste LEGO"? So, I suppose, this GayFOLs group is indeed necessary. But, as I recon, there may be different thing altogether: derison and rejection of "safe-space" idea.

The logic is such - if someone wants safe space instead of fighting in open, so this person is, presumably, weak and infantile, not "true man or woman", but leftist-constructed weakling feared the "true" dog eat dog world.

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By in Netherlands,

@ericjohn: Their statement reads;

GayFOLs welcomes a diverse membership: lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, pansexual, asexual, and allies. An ally, as the members of GayFOLs defines it, is not just someone whose best friend is gay. An ally is a person who would stand up for people in the LGBTQ+ community, and support their causes.

In other words you're only welcome if you support their causes. That's what makes it political.

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By in United States,

Just an observation—the people complaining about injecting politics into Lego seem to be the ones intent on making this a political discussion, rather than just highlighting a budding Lego community. LGBTQ visibility doesn't have to be political; ideally, it shouldn't be. But it can't when people treat the mere existence of minorities in their fandom as a political problem.

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By in United States,

I really like the ABCs MOCs and especially the limitation of only being on an 8x8. I've been interested in microscale lately and I love seeing what people can do in this smaller scale.

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By in United Kingdom,

Sexuality does have something to do with most of the MOCs shown. Many of them are pride MOCs or MOCs of LGBT interest. I'm sure many of the builders also build great non-LGBT MOCs too and would be happy to show them at a general AFOL display as they would fit in with the other MOCs on display and not attract criticism because of what they stand for.

But imagine showing the rainbow dragon in a City display at a convention. Or the rainbow White House. Someone would complain about the political agenda spoiling the display, and say that this type of thing should not be shown - that the display should be about LEGO and not the builder's views. But why should that builder not be allowed to express their views? Surely that is the point of this group. People can show and discuss their MOCs with other like minded people that want to see them. People that don't want to see them due to their own views can just avoid it. It doesn't stop the GayFOLs displaying their other work outside of the group in more general displays. It may even be that by displaying their gay focussed works to like minded people first, they get feedback on it and then the confidence to display it elsewhere to a more general audience.

I imagine some people might be scared to shown a gay themed MOC at a convention if they have never done it before, wondering what reception they will get. If someone else in the group tells them they have done it before and it was fine, then they get support to show theirs. Or they might get feedback not to show it at convention A but instead go to convention B, where the audience or organisers tend to be more tolerant of the subject.

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By in Australia,

Leg godt = Play well

^ remember that?

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By in Canada,

I don't understand why people see this any differently than groups who focus on 'space' or on 'city' or any other keen interest? The Lego community is global and has room for anyone and everyone, no matter how specific their interests are.

Lego is a medium of expression. I, for one, am rather chuffed at having seen Divine rendered in Lego. Brilliant!

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By in Canada,

Being LGBT is not political. And the only negative thing about this, is coming from the people mad that it exists and is being talked about.

Thanks for sharing this Megan!

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By in Netherlands,

GAYfol here too and I know some official set designers are gay too.

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By in United States,

Jut joined as an ally! Looking forward to some additional MOC content on my FB feed.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don’t know any other GayFOLs than myself so this is great!

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm am so upset to see the way this comments thread has gone, so much hatred for the LGBTQ+ community. So much intolerance. I no longer feel welcome here, especially as the mods don't seem to want to intervene or stand up against this hate wave and state that Brickset is open to those only that can behave respectfully to all other users on the site. These messages are hateful and need to be addressed otherwise hate will feel like its more welcome here than acceptance. Thank you to those who've defended the original intent of the post it's really appreciated, I hate virtue signalling but what I've seen here appears like genuine support. I'm holding out hope Huw will take ownership of this problem and take this hateful posting to task, expressing that respect for all others above anything or your not welcome.

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By in United States,

@Phathead I'm not for or against your comment. Just pointing out that censorship is NOT illegal. The right to free speech in the US Constitution a) only applies in the US, and b) says the *government* shall not infringe on free speech of the people. It does not apply to non-government organizations or individuals. Example: Twitter can legally delete Tweets it doesn't like because they are a non-government organization.

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By in United States,

There's a show on Netflix called "Designated Survivor". One of the episodes ends with a gay couple making up, as one of them was mistreating the other. It's a show that can remind us that love is love, no matter if it's sexual or romantic, or even friendliness. How many of you have said "Aww..." when an animal such as a dog is caring for another dog or creature? What about children caring for and taking care of siblings or friends? Older couples doing what they can for their ailing husband/wife? THAT is love. I for one am disgusted by such a beautiful thing being turned political by a few cold-hearted people, people who I sometimes feel never got enough love themselves growing up.

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By in Austria,

So AFOL are not Adult Fan of Lego? Only Hetesexual Fan of Lego? So it should be HFOL? What the hell is going on?
To be honest this is disgusting.
I do not care if AFOL is hetero, homo, pedo, or whatever he wants to be, if someone is AFOL he is on the same wave as me and that is important for me.

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By in Canada,

Fabulous Mocs. Glad you all have found a lego community where can be your authentic selves.

As for all the negativity on here.. wow. I’ve never been ashamed to be a part of the lego community before now. You all just need to calm down.. it’s a group of likeminded adults enjoying a hobby. If you’re not into it.. just move along.

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By in United States,

Thanks very much, MeganL, for an interesting post!

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By in United States,

Ok, this will most likely be the most hippy-dippy thing I ever write on here, but Love is Love, and only Love conquers hate. Love is not political, as others have brilliantly mentioned, it is a warm feeling of fondness shared between humans. Are all those who have posted comments on this topic human? Really not sure, and leaning towards "nope!" Glad there exists a safe and welcoming place for a community that has been so often crapped on. And for all the trolls, you can always form your own group, may I suggest "TrollFOL's."

Ps. Thanks MeganL for the post, and for sharing some great MOC's. Which leads to my only real question Re: the Madonna Minifigure display. Did she ever actually play a guitar?

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By in United States,

Sorry for my previous comment, I didn't know the amount of backlash (I didn't post anything negative, I just kind of assumed the community would be more positively receiving of this after Huw posted his "stop being mean" thing a while ago). I am in full support of LGBTQ+ and would never mean to offend or insult the community in any way.

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By in Canada,

@LegoSolo77
Typical love is love person. Begins by talking about how love is good and hate is bad. Then proceeds to state others that don't agree with them aren't human, and ends by calling them trolls. The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.

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By in Belgium,

@Mica86 Where is the "so much hatred for the LGBTQ+ community"? Can you point it out to me.
I only see critical comments towards a group of AFOL that want to distinguish from other AFOL by bringing sexual preference into the game.
The AFOL community is already inclusive. Why insinuating it is not by having to start a separate group to create a "safe space"?
It's actually insulting to all AFOL that have been very tolerant to the LGBT+ community all these years that being LBGT or other is something special and something that needs special protection. Specifically in the AFOL community, my impression is, that any hostility to the LGBT+ community as a whole will be received very critical to say the least. I think this is why you see the critical comment to this LGBT+ group that wants to segregate. Since the AFOL community is very inclusive (to my knowledge).

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By in United States,

Nothing against the LGBT+ Community, but why is it necessary to bring sexuality into lego; a toy primarily targeted at children. Can the adults not just be AFOL's with their own business? Why must this be included to further separate different groups of lego fans?

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By in Ukraine,

It is very sad to see such a topic here in Brikset! I thought Lego fans are coming together here. And now this scum is trying to stand out and attracts attention even here.

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By in United States,

Blistering barnacles. I was expecting some negativity, but not this much vitriol! Wow.

I think this is great. Making a safe place where LGBT+ AFOLs can make specifically LGBT+ MOCs without the kind of nastiness seems like a good idea. After all, if there were cries of "why does everything have to be political?" and "identity politics is ruining Lego fandom" and "building MOCs like this is pointless and divisive" every time that someone built a church or a Nativity MOC, I imagine Christians would also want their own sub-group where we could share Christianity-related MOCs without being treated poorly and having every MOC turned into a debate instead of constructive comments about the MOC itself.

Interestingly, it was Lego that was the tipping point in my transition from being anti-LGBT to being pro-LGBT. So I'm all for this! Thanks for the article, MeganL.

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By in United Kingdom,

Rho your being totally ignorant read the comments again and tell me how anyone LGBTQ+ can feel comfortable here. If you really don't see it after looking through again then there's just no explaining to you.
The spirit of most of these messages are the very validation for such a group.

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By in Latvia,

It looks like this will be the most controversial article in the history of Brickset, and that's kinda sad, because it's not a bad set review, weird move by LEGO, or anything related to LEGO, this is controversial because of gender thing, that sometimes can be really strange on the internet

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By in United States,

@rho76: You say that "The AFOL community is already inclusive." Yet in this comment section we have people calling LGBT-specific MOCs political and ridiculous; we have a commenter calling LGBT folks "scum;" we have a member comparing LGBT people to pedophiles and Nazis; we have that same member saying that making LGBT-focused MOCs is "pushing your life style, life choices, preferences and views on other people who most of the time just don't care and just want to escape the real world problems." As people have mentioned before, it's not really segregation. These people aren't disengaging from AFOLdom as a whole; they're just creating a specific subset of like-minded people. Just like Bionicle- or castle-specific communities.

@kipper147: You said "Nothing against the LGBT+ Community, but why is it necessary to bring sexuality into lego; a toy primarily targeted at children." Do you have the same reaction when someone makes a straight wedding MOC, or has an MOC with a Lego husband and wife? How do you feel about MOCs and sets with alcohol?

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By in United States,

I don't see how GayFOLs, or an article about them, should have any effect on someone who's not into that.
Why would that even matter to you?

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By in United States,

@rho76: Look at the comments here and you'll quickly see that that "inclusiveness" is not always as widespread as you make it out to be. Some people only "accept" LGBT FOLs if their gender identity or relationships are never made visible (despite heterosexual relationships being accepted without question), while others refuse to even hide their disdain for LGBT people or communities.

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By in Belgium,

@Mica86 : I found Master Wu's comment. If serious that is disgusting. If ment as a joke it's quite bad.
I've read quite a bit of the comments (not all but more than half) and really don't see a lot of hate to the LGBT+ community. Just disagreement with the need for a separate GayFOL group.

Look at the statement from risdek "GayFOLs welcomes a diverse membership: lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, non-binary, pansexual, asexual, and allies. An ally, as the members of GayFOLs defines it, is not just someone whose best friend is gay. An ally is a person who would stand up for people in the LGBTQ+ community, and support their causes."

It's a very small percentage of AFOL that not fall into the category of "and support their causes".
We have one: Master Wu.
We should stand up to that minority. Not separate into a group insinuating that the group "and supporting their causes" is a minority.
This is not criticism/hate towards the LGBT+ community.

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By in Germany,

As a proud supporter, I wish the community all the best luck and congratulate them on not having to deal with comments such as certain ones in this thread in the group!

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By in Canada,

I came for the quagmire that the comment section would become, and was not disappointed (or rather, I was, but well, you know what I mean).

Aside from that festering cesspool, there are some great builds in a good article.

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By in Canada,

Using the unikitty cmf bases as the rocket blast in that space shuttle vignette is pretty clever. Really like that idea.

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By in United States,

@Bmuralles, there's no cognitive dissonance at all. I understand the term quite well as I did earn a BA in Psychology :) It's beyond simple; love is good, and those who hate, ie. bigots, are not just bad, but questionably human. People who crap on others just for the sake of perpetuating and stating their own bigotry are trolls. Hope that clears up any confusion, but if not you can start working on creating that subgroup I mentioned!

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By in United Kingdom,

By Matt Saderson in Czech Republic
I do not care if AFOL is hetero, homo, pedo, or whatever he wants to be, if someone is AFOL he is on the same wave as me and that is important for me.
--
Wow. There is a huge difference between being gay and being a paedophile. But you'd ignore their illegal actions and would happily discuss and collaborate with a paedophile so long as they say they are into LEGO?

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By in United Kingdom,

Not sure if all comments or blocked or if this gets through, I had a message not show, if my moderate polite msg was deleted when others full of hate weren't then I'm done here......I dunno what's going on.

This got through so I'm Wondering what happened to the other, I'll give benefit of the doubt that I wasn't unnecessarily censored. Weird.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Comments aren't always posting correctly today, on this thread or others. Cut and copy the post before pressing "post comment", just in case.

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By in United States,

“The AFOL community is already inclusive. Why insinuating it is not by having to start a separate group to create a ‘safe space’?”

This really made me laugh in a sad way. Taking anything about sexuality out of the discussion, how many comment threads about Clikits have included a comment like “I can’t believe 39 people actually admit to owning this set!” Belittling a fan’s collection is not inclusive.

There are many similar comments about anything that strays away too far from what AFOLs consider “Classic LEGO” (minidolls, anything that seems targeted towards kids instead of adults, IPs).

I stayed away from joining the Barbie community for a long time, because I really thought that it would be a cringe-worthy, catty place, but it was much friendlier than Brickset has been especially since (but a quieter general snobbery has been long present) there have been a handful of Clikit sets as RSotD.

Along with Barbie, Thomas Wooden Train, American Girl, Playmobil, Sylvanian Families, and Perler Beads are all toy communities that I participate in that are more inclusive than my experience in the LEGO community.

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By in United States,

Ok so does that mean we can now have separate groups then? Lets have GirlFOL's, BoyFOL's, MusicFOL's, ArtFOL's, actually might as well have every type of "Fan of Lego" now. Just saying since its now possible to do so.

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By in United States,

One of the things that I love most about LEGO is its infinite versatility for creative expression. When I see an AFOL (or heck, even my six-year old) create something that's deeply personal and meaningful to them, it's a beautiful thing, and the world needs more of that.

It's unfortunate that certain people are so threatened by certain categories of personal expression that they feel the need to express their fear and disgust at the top of their lungs. Groups like GayFOL originated because they experienced that level of vitriol in "mainstream" LEGO communities, so they created a space where they could celebrate something that could not be more personal and important to them. And having done that, they now get criticized for segregating themselves. They're damned if they do, and they're damned if they don't.

@MeganL - thanks for writing this article. I thought it was fantastic, and it opened my eyes to a whole new community of fellow AFOLs whose work I want to learn more about. I'm sorry that you are having to wade through a lot of garbage to get to the supportive comments, but I hope it doesn't discourage you from continuing to create and share your work!

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By in United States,

Everyone who said 'Straight Pride', you are just as bad as the people who say 'all lives matter' or 'blue lives matter'. Straight people aren't being harassed and murdered. It's time for you to grow up and wake up.

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By in United States,

Since when is one's sexual orientation an important thing when it comes to Lego!? Why does everything single thing have to be turned sexual or political nowadays?

This is a hobby not a propaganda tool.

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By in Austria,

@CCC - I do not ignore illegal actions, I just think it is disgusting to put sexuality to lego fan community, that is all. If all of us are Lego Fans why should I care abour your preferences in your sexual life? hm? The connection is Lego for us, so if you are homo, hetero, pedo, necro, etc I do not care as long as you do not bother me with that.

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By in United States,

Speaking of fans, I am not typically a Taylor Swift fan, but this is an awesome song.
You (folks who are complaining about the existence of this group) Need to Calm Down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkk9gvTmCXY

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By in United States,

I'm personally disappointed by this article because I do view homosexuality as immoral and a destructive behavior for a number of reasons. I honestly never thought that this would have to be discussed on Brickset but here we are. The majority of the comments in this thread have been overwhelmingly positive despite what the popular narrative here would have you believe.

@David1985, straight people are harassed all the time. Police officers are harassed all the time. Everybody is harassed all the time. This is just a fact of life. Saying all lives matter is a very inclusive thing to say because it's very meaning is to include all people regardless of their race, nationality, religion, orientation, or anything else. All human life is valuable and it is a very caring thing for people to be open and friendly with others that they disagree with.

I have always enjoyed Brickset as an escape from the controversies in life, but if this continues, I can walk away from here. It would be disappointing but I will not stand with a community that supports immorality. Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen.

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By in United States,

Brickset might lose some users today. Brickset has always been a place to get away from politics and world issues. Disappointed to see this article, not because I have a problem with people that identify as LGBTQ, but because you found a way to bring world issues to a Lego site. Let me enjoy my hobby without politics/world issues. If I want this crap I can go to Fox, CBS, NBC, CNN etc.

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By in United States,

Buh Bye, zipper. Don't let the door hit you on your bigoted ass on the way out.

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By in United States,

@vlad88, @Phathead, @Harmonious Building, @MattSaderson, etc: You guys are pretty deep in denial if you don't realize YOU'RE the ones introducing politics, divisiveness, and "real world BS" into the comments of a harmless post about a non-political group LEGO fans created so they have a place to retreat to that's NOT infested with hateful people like yourselves.

Even treating homosexuality and pedophilia as if they're part of the same category (not to mention acting as if pedophiles should be just as welcome in the AFOL community as anyone so long they keep quiet about their predatory inclinations — YIKES) is just making it clear to everyone that you see gay people as some kind of perversion or vice that should be kept private, rather than just as benign, natural, and legitimate as men being attracted to women or vice versa.

On the plus side, this thread is a great opportunity to grab screenshots of the kind of bigotry that homophobes vomit up every time LGBTQ+ people's EXISTENCE is so much as mentioned here on Brickset. Next time people ask why a group like this needs to exist I can just share examples of your shameless, hateful bile instead of wasting my time on another long comment like the one above.

And thank you @Phathead for making the first sentence of your post ("This is absolutely ridiculous garbage") an accurate description of its contents! From my experience a lot of your posts could benefit from that sort of helpful disclaimer.

@StarWarzFan7777: Have you considered that there's more to what people like about MOCs than technical skill, like whether it's inspired by or reminiscent of a subject that's important to them? For that matter, even the overall quality of a MOC is largely subjective, and there might be many Ninjago MOCs that Castle fans might not care for, Bionicle MOCs that Space fans might not care for, Town/City/Trains MOCs that Pirates fans might not care for.

The GayFOLs group is full of kind and supportive people, in stark contrast to the ugly side of Brickset that is showing its face in so many of the comments. But NOBODY in these groups is under any misapprehension that being gay alone makes your MOCs immune to criticism. On the contrary, sometimes having a group like GayFOLs is valuable specifically BECAUSE in other groups you often wind up dealing with intolerant commenters derailing the conversation to rant about how they they think the very idea of LGBTQ+ related MOCs is "inappropriate" or "divisive", or to make offensive jokes about the scenarios or subjects being depicted, yet having nothing at all to say that will actually help the builder improve in any way.

In GayFOLs, people have a stronger sense of community and can often better relate to one another's feelings and perspectives related to LGBTQ+ topics. This helps ensure that people will not just be dismissive of what the subject of the MOC means to the person who built it, or think of it as some sort of hateful assault on "traditional values". That way, and the conversation can stay centered on the model's actual strengths AND its weaknesses, rather than people's prejudices against the builder on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.

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By in United States,

@Ninjaballrun: For what it's worth, there IS a StraightFOLs group on Facebook, but it's private and I'm not straight so I have no idea what goes on there. All I know is it only has three members, so unless activity picks up there it seems like there aren't many people who care about a group that serves no useful purpose — unlike one that is actively aimed at letting LGBTQ+ people be themselves without ignorant and hateful trolls seeing it as an invitation to share all their grievances about gay people.

It doesn't bug me at all that a "StraightFOLs" group exists — if I spent my days getting mad about the existence of online groups that aren't relevant to me, I would never enjoy anything. And to be honest, I would be immensely grateful if the kind of people here who feel some weird personal resentment towards the existence of the GayFOLs group WOULD make their own groups/sites instead of polluting sites like Brickset with their hateful drivel.

@Darth Studhilus: Please just check some of the comments prior to yours and it should be obvious that many AFOLs are more than cruel enough to harass or troll people whose sexualities or gender identities they don't "agree" with (as if such things are even anyone else's place to dispute!)

@LegoSonicBoy: The widespread interest among transgender folks in Bionicle might partly be generational — the rise of the Internet has definitely offered a lot of resources and support that make it easier to recognize that you're transgender or figure out how to "come out" and transition safely instead of suppressing those parts of themselves.

I think another part of it is just the way things like sci-fi fan communities, comic book fan communities, role playing game fan communities, the Transformers fan community, etc. have always attracted people who, for one reason or another, feel alienated or stifled by a lot of their experiences in the "real world", even if they didn't have a full understanding of why.

There's a lot of empowerment and validation to be found in fantasy stories where individuals or groups of friends have the power to solve problems much bigger than themselves, where good always eventually triumphs over evil even if new threats continue to emerge, and where good people find the strength within themselves to rise above the limiting or perilous circumstances they came from.

Bionicle in particular has the added benefit that it is primarily centered on building characters, not vehicles or buildings. So not only is it attractive to people who like diverse characters or escapist fantasy, but the experience of building with Bionicle parts can be a proving ground for exploring how a character's appearance can reflect their identity, and perhaps even learn about their OWN identities through whichever types of characters they felt most drawn to creating or related most strongly to. That was definitely my experience, and looking back there were MANY obvious hints during my teenage years as a Bionicle fan or even earlier that I was not cisgender, but which I didn't have the knowledge to pick up on.

And furthermore, the storyline had major and recurring themes of transforming or adapting, looking within rather than outside yourself for answers about your potential and life's purpose, overcoming internal and external voices pressuring you to believe that your background or physical form defines the limit of your potential, etc.

These would all naturally be relatable to people who feel uncomfortable about the gender identity they were assigned at birth and the roles associated with it, but are struggling to believe they have what it takes to make a real change in their lives and become the best versions of themselves.

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By in United States,

I really thought Lego fans of all people would be accepting of people different then them. My identity is not political. I did not choose to be bi. The fact that people can say so many horrible things about LGBT people, abd wonder why we want a place we can feel safe is absolutely baffling. Imagine if people were comparing straight people to pedos and Nazis. Would you not be bothered by that?

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By in Belgium,

Oh dear. Division is divisive, who knew? *shocked face*

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By in Canada,

By Matt Saderson in Czech Republic, 31 Jul 2019 13:09
@CCC - I do not ignore illegal actions, I just think it is disgusting to put sexuality to lego fan community, that is all.

---
You realize that Lego has sexuality and has since it introduced minifigures with gender, right? Every single Lego family that features parents and children, and this goes back even to the brick-built giant figures, features a straight couple. If instead of a straight couple, it's now a gay couple, does that mean Lego is being political? Adding extra sexuality? Pursuing some agenda?

Lego for decades has been pursuing the straight agenda by producing straight couples in minifigure form. How disgusting to include that sexuality! Female minifigures have printed boobs on them! Gross! Mini-dolls have molded boobs! Grosser!

Check yourself. And tip: If you're ever using homosexuality in any kind of comparison to pedophilia you're probably a bigot.

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By in United Kingdom,

By Matt Saderson
@CCC - I do not ignore illegal actions, I just think it is disgusting to put sexuality to lego fan community, that is all. If all of us are Lego Fans why should I care abour your preferences in your sexual life?

--
That is exactly why they feel they need such a group. You have just said it is disgusting if they make a MOC celebrating their outlook on life or their sexuality, such as the rainbow builds shown in the article or minifigures representing gay characters or celebrities, and display the MOC to the LEGO community. Hence they make a group where they can display them without the negative comments of people that think what they have made is disgusting as it represents their sexuality. If you don't like them making MOCs where their sexuality is expressed, you need not look in the group.

People express many ideas and aspects of their life through LEGO. You may as well ask why should I see your MOCs of pirate ships, or trains, or cars, or castles, or religion.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow dare to criticise a LEGO set like the Jurassic gate as uninspiring and the thread is shut down. Compare GayFOLs to nazis and paedophiles and not a peep from the admins. Great job in policing an inclusive website Brickset.

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By in United Kingdom,

By zipper ... straight people are harassed all the time. Police officers are harassed all the time. Everybody is harassed all the time.
--
Very few straight people are harassed because they are straight. They may be straight and they may be harassed, but the harassment is rarely because they are straight. Of course, gay people can also be harassed for other reasons too, and just because a gay person is attacked it doesn't mean it is necessarily a homophobic attack. Although unfortunately often it is.

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By in Singapore,

@Aanchir: Thanks for sharing your perspective! That makes a lot of sense. I never made any Bionicle MOCs except giving one of my Mctoran a different mask and calling them a different individual altogether, so I never got to really explore that aspect of character creation. And, being cis, I never contended with my gender identity beyond being merely, but very much, non-conforming.

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By in United Kingdom,

Homophobic and confrontational comments have been removed.

Brickset aims to be a safe, fun and friendly place for everyone. Please help me keep it that way.

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By in United States,

I think this is pretty neat! It’s one of the first times I’ve seen an abstract concept such as self acceptance expressed through LEGO, and I think having this sort of space to do that, and be more artistic with your builds, can only have a positive impact on spreading LEGO as an acceptable hobby for folks of all ages.

Also, as much as I and plenty of other A/TFOLs try to make these places accepting for everyone, the Trafalgar Square debacle from a while back proves that the struggle for equal treatment for everyone in the LEGO fan community is still sadly ongoing. No one’s forcing anyone to join this LUG but you can’t blame some people for wanting a bit of a buffer from more toxic elements of the AFOL community. It’s a sadly needed space so that everyone can enjoy and express themselves freely through LEGO.

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By in Italy,

I do not think to be gay or not is something linked to playing with Lego. Please just play and forget politics. Please

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By in Australia,

Comments asking why this is even a thing have been deleted.
How are they homophobic or abusive?

Would a RightFOLs group get attention? or does is that idea deemed too offensive?
It just irks me that there is this whole "All for one and one for all" right to equality being pushed, yet they still feel the need to branch off and make stuff their own.

In this day and age, if you are just a plain old person - all your views are bigoted.

The lean of this site is getting worse by the day.
I used to be here all the time, but the zero negative reviews - everything is awesome - is getting pretty old.

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By in United States,

I'm bisexual so the fact that this group exists is amazing! I had no idea there was a group of LGBTQ+ LEGO fans that big and I'm proud to be a part of it. I'm going to head over to the facebook page right now and join. I love the mocs that were shown above and all sorts of other pride builds from the event.

Megan L, thank you so much for this article. It's really important and I'm glad you brought it to everyone's attention. I'm sorry there were hateful comments left on this article, I love this site and the fact that negative comments is a problem here hurts me. If you're against this (shame) just stay away. Please don't try to spread your bigotry and keep Brickset a friendly, safe place.

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By in Canada,

@Mucktard, I can't speak for the moderator team but I personally would argue that asking why people need a space to express themselves isn't actually constructive, and typically is asked because people believe that this shouldn't be a thing. Also, arguing that being right wing is as difficult as being gay or trans is completely nonsensical. Being right wing is a choice, and an opinion. LGBTQ folks, like me don't choose to be LGBTQ, we just are.

You don't need to go to this extreme hellscape view of the world, where 'normal' people are demonized just for being normal, because it's just not accurate. It's the other way round, and the very fact that you position us as not 'normal' speaks to how you see us. You don't have to make us into some volatile 'other,' you can treat us as normal people too, even think of us as normal people.

@Phathead I hope this meets your requirements for rational discourse. I am however, very sorry to hear that you see certain people's existence as controversial and volatile. Please know that people don't have to justify their existence, including you. You are not under threat by the minority. If my comment doesn't meet your argumentative needs then feel free to find somewhere else to speak about politics. Perhaps somewhere other than a LEGO news and discussion site? It seems just a tad obsessive.

I'm so happy to see this article mention not just gay AFOL's but also trans and queer ones too!! As a queer/trans AFOL this really warms my heart, especially seeing there's another trans Bionicle builder in the group!!! I'll be joining the facebook group today for sure. Thanks for sharing about this group, I had no idea they existed!!

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By in Singapore,

@Huw if folks want to post articles like this one, just lock the comments right from the get go if you don't want anyone to discuss it. From what I saw last night no one was being homophobic or disrespectful but hey that's just me.

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By in United States,

This site is going to turn into a joke if moderators are just going to pull comments that they disagree with. There were a few hateful comments, but most of the ones deleted were simply people stating their views. You clearly stated what side of the isle you stand on. Don’t put articles with political/world issues on a lego site if you don’t want people sharing their political views/views on world issues.

I’ve always enjoyed coming to this site because It’s been a place to get away from the world and have fun with a hobby/toy. Let’s not segregate the community by putting these kinds of articles out.

@Huw serious question. If there was a StraightFOL group would you post an article about it here?

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By in United Kingdom,

Even if I didn’t know anything about the background of the group before, I love the range of MOCs on offer in the showcase Megan brought back in photos - a sense of colour can often be sorely lacking elsewhere and the more artistic mental health pieces are something quite different from the norm at Lego shows, tackling a more serious topic in a more abstract way.

Why not have another interest group of like minded people? I thought a group like GayFOLs already existed but I’m surprised to hear how recently it’s actually been formed. But with the overly negative knee-jerk responses from *some* of the members here I guess it just reinforces the fact that it’s helpful to have a sympathetic community to fall back on.

As suggested by others, please don’t assume the now-censored comments (and likely more yet to appear after this one) are representative of Brickset as whole. I’m not a great fan of censorship but the original thread was getting unusually toxic and potentially burying interest from genuine LGBT fans - so I can understand why it was deployed in this case.

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By in United States,

I support GayFOLs' freedom to express and be themselves and to find community in this hobby we all enjoy!

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By in Canada,

Everybody is as welcome as I wish everything would be awesome. People enjoying LEGO and not getting that such a creative toy can invite such a diverse crowd don't really get it. At all.

And if you don't get it, fine, enjoy your bricks: just let others be. And don't be a troll!

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By in United States,

I've been on this site for over 4 years now. I came for the useful catalog feature and stayed for the helpful and friendly community. This recent trend of being allowed to speak one's mind only when/if one is of a like mind is frankly disturbing. People have different opinions. People like different things. To assume that everyone who shares a love of a given hobby will automatically have the same world view is naive. If comments are going to be censored because they might offend someone, then all comments should be removed. In our modern self-entitled age, everything offends someone. That said, I'm sad and disappointed to see a site that I have truly enjoyed going this way.

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By in Netherlands,

@Huw
(and in general @anyone who cares just for a second about my proverbial two pence.)
How ironic, to have an article on your website devoted to inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance, and yet not extend that to different opinions on this subject that essentially revolves not so much about being a fan of Lego, but identity politics. TLG aims not to produce sets that are religious and/or political, nor any themes/sets that deal with sexuality (after all the core target group that plays with Lego are still, believe it or not, not adults, but prepubescent children), thus far to my knowledge Brickset always tried to maintain that neutrality too, until now.

I don't care about other Lego fans their: sexual orientation; ethnicity; nationality; political persuasions; religious creed etc. It is about Lego, so the only thing that really matters is that they like Lego too! Suppose you get in touch with other Lego fans (the forum is to some extent useful for such things), you might become curious about other non Lego related things that interest them and/or in part define them, and any Lego fan is free to do so as he/she sees fit, but that is not what Lego or (at least to my knowledge) this website and 'LUG' forum was ever about. It was primarily about sharing your passion for this construction toy.

If some Lego fans (as if the term AFOL is not already cringe worthy enough, regardless of the context of this article) want to start their own not so inclusive club, that excludes all those who obviously don't fit their qualifying qualities, fine, do what ever you like, but why advertise that here?! Unlike other Lego websites, and forums no one here on Brickset advertises other aspects of their identity (other than their country of residence or origin on the forum). I am sure all those people, whether it is a little rainbow flag, a crucifix, a crescent, david star etc. etc. will find each other anyway if they so desire. Why engage in identity politics on this site when it never catered to any such political activism before, and most importantly it is not at the core of what this website is about?!? What is next? Will you now start catering all sorts of other 'special interest groups', and where will it end?

Moreover, groups of people who most likely are not and will not become parents themselves IMO should not dictate to those who are parents how and when the subject of sexuality (which generally speaking is outside the realm of toys for children) ought to be broached. The visitors and fans, who as diverse as they are, will have their own ideas on parenting and raising their kids for whom they, not GayFOL, are responsible.

Of course if this comment is too confrontational, you may erase, suppress and censor it, after all I am merely a participating visitor and fan of your website. Furthermore, I do not know what comments were posted that have now been removed, as I only read the 17 comments that are displayed as I write this.

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By in United States,

My girlfriend and I met through LEGO, and I truly appreciate the community becoming more friendly and open to all types of people and feeling less like a club of boys with bad opinions.

Side note: I haven't been to a single LEGO convention that didn't have some form of Bible-related booth, MOC, stop-motion video of the crucifiction playing around the clock, or other Christian paraphernalia. If I, a non-Christian, can put up with this proselytization forced into a "non-political" children's toy, I'm sure those of you kicking up a fuss can also put up with queer people making a big visible space for ourselves.

Have a beautiful day!

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By in United States,

@The Big Legoski: this is a LEGO news site. A new club/LUG/group is news. GayFol is a new group. I don't see the problem?

Then you start talking about parenting, and I'm just confused...did we read the same article? I didn't see any preaching or anything - it was just "hey, here's the story of a new group".

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By in United States,

@The Big Legoski: this is a LEGO news site. A new club/LUG/group is news. GayFol is a new group. I don't see the problem?

Then you start talking about parenting, and I'm just confused...did we read the same article? I didn't see any preaching or anything - it was just "hey, here's the story of a new group".

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By in Australia,

@toa tris

You lost me when you started putting words in my mouth. Where did I say "normal" people.
That's a projection of your own feelings. I never said that.

The comment stated plain old people, which bleeds into the entire idea of Lego, that we are all one. There is no war, no politics, no sides being taken.

Then we end up here, with groups created by those who feel the need to make the rest of the world see their views. And the demonish our views because they differ.

The simple fact is, you have to respect my views as much as you expect me to respect yours. And having @huw censor and moderate to make a safe space for said people flies in direct opposition to what Lego stands for.

Can we get some articles about the ChristFOLs group? Or is religion deemed offensive?

The point is, we are all one. Let's play that way. Stop screaming for inclusion and then setting up exclusive clubs.

The only decent thing about this site is the database. The reviews are so biased it's not funny. It's almost as though they're scared of saying anything bad and losing review sets. Show me one negative review on Lego and I will walk away.

I'm pretty sure I remember even the angry birds sets getting praised heaped when the community clearly disagreed.

Now we are stepping into indentity politics and censoring anyone right of centre.

Good luck at alienating your core user base

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By in United States,

I'm sure Brickset will miss your patronage very much.

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By in Singapore,

@Huw: It would be great, though certainly not obligatory, if you could restore my comment and Aanchir's reply to me (trimmed down to just my mention of Bionicle and her reply to me at least) — although I did get a chance to read it before the comments were pruned, I think her perspective on Bionicle's significance to the trans community would be very useful to other transgender people and to allies.

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By in United States,

Guys, guys, chill! As I read this thread, it seems to just get more and more far from the original article. As I see it, the article Megan L posted was a simple, not biased, non invasive news article informing the LEGO community on Brickset about a new LEGO group.

Some of you may not like what the group is, but that’s okay! Just don’t say anything! There is no problem with Brickset posting this, it shows how inclusive LEGO fans CAN be. Live and let live, right?

Also, for all you people screaming about censorship, chill! As a bisexual individual, I hate reading comments that insult, demoralize, or serve to attack my sexuality. I respect and thank Hwu for removing those offending comments so people don’t need to read things that might serve to ruin their day.

Going back to some other comments I read, there’s no need to post an article about a StaightFOL club because one already exists! They’re everywhere. The reason this was posted was because it was news. New news for people who have been underrepresented or discriminated against in other groups. It was a light hearted article and when I read it this morning, I felt really good, really happy. I’m sad that after reading some of these comments and the negative reactions that I can’t still feel that way.

Also Brickset totally posts negative reviews! Sometimes I’ll be reading a review and who ever writes it will talk about something being bad or too small or to expensive. Maybe it’s not as negative as some would like, but it’s nice to read. And whatever the tone, the reviews serve to provide info for you to pick whether or not to buy the set.

I came to this site to share in LEGO news and I have never, not once been disappointed. Let’s keep it that way and everyone, regardless of age, gender, opinion, comment, sexual orientation, whatever, have a fantastic day/night.

Thanks Brickset! Love you guys

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By in Canada,

Unfortunately, I think we’ve all just proven the theme of “EveryFOL is awesome” to be decidedly inaccurate, regardless of your views on the particular topic of this article.

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By in United States,

Very well put, @Toa Tris. When I saw this article, for the first time I felt like I found somewhere I belonged as an AFOL. I had been reluctant to join AFOL groups on Facebook for the very reason exhibited in this thread and I would have never found GayFOL without this post. There is absolutely nothing political about being LGBT....zero...natta. Being LGBT and expressing it through LEGO is as political as being from Paris and building the Eiffel Tower. What is political is people who use their prejudice to make others feel less than and treated as second class citizens for no other reason than being born differently than them. And sadly it's not surprising to see the same tired old arguments and accusations of being intolerant of someone's intolerance and comparing a trait where that never has to face discrimination to one where so many face discrimination, and in some cases violence, daily. Choose Life. Choose Love. Reject Hate.

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By in United States,

Since Lego groups can get attention like this, can other groups get more attention as well? I still think it's funny that this kind of response was unexpected... Lets keep this kind of stuff outside of Lego. Good to know it exists, but no need to make it like Lego just announced a new theme.

Also, were all the previous comments hate comments? Did they say LGBT should be expelled from the Lego community? There might have been a couple but not all of them were that, but most were just people speaking their thoughts on the announcement of this. Not everyone has to make happy comments. If you disagree with someone, just ignore them. Don't force their silence.

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By in United Kingdom,

@The Big Legoski
You state LEGO does not include sexuality in sets. Please then explain the many two parent families in LEGO sets, the LEGO Valentine’s Day sets, the LEGO brides and bridegrooms etc. It’s very easy to not see majority culture especially if you are part of that majority.

As for he parenting nonsense. There are many gay parents out there myself included. Whilst most children who play with LEGO won’t be gay many wil have gay parents, family members or friends why should they not see the wonderfully diverse world they live in reflected in their toys?

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By in United Kingdom,

I like that rainbow dragon

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By in United States,

@thatStructVector If you disagree with someone (like the existence of this group/the existence of LGBTQ people/the right of LGBTQ people to express themselves with LEGO, same as any other group, instead of keeping it to themselves because you consider being LGBTQ """political"""), just don't comment.

I'm grateful that Brickset made this announcement and put it on the front page - this is the first I've heard of GayFOLs, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. The visibility lets us know that not only is there a place for us to meet that isn't constantly steeped in poisonous comments like the ones expressed here, but that the Brickset staff actually give a damn about us enough to moderate those who can't keep their bad opinions to themselves. You bring nothing to the discussion other than stomping your foot and making sure everyone hears that YOU don't like queer people playing with the same toys as you.

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By in Netherlands,

As much as I understand the arguments for removing comments, I saw just a few hateful(ish) one-liners; other comments, both positive and negative (for lack of better words) were well circumstantiated. I think it’s a shame so many were removed because having that discussion (as long it’s respectful) is very valuable! If anything is gonna change people’s minds, it’s thinking about it, hearing other opinions, challenging their own.

I can also think of reasons for Brickset not wanting to “host” discussions like this but, honestly, couldn’t that be expected when posting such an elaborate article about a delicate subject?...
Still, I really understand the difficulty of finding the right balance between moderating and standing by.

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By in United States,

My comment was removed and I was supportive of the new group and just questioned the need for it asked about their original goals, I thought it was very constructive and fair and i was not trying tot offend anyone and i'm lgbt for goodness sakes.

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By in Latvia,

The removed comments are for the good, I'm not against it, thanks Huw

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By in Latvia,

Also, I love the Erling MOC!

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By in Latvia,

I will try to build it from regular erlings

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By in United Kingdom,

A little disappointed my supportive comment was deleted, and not sure why the comments section has been reopened after it was expunged and closed last night.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have decided to undelete all the comments because I didn't do a particularly good job of just removing the obnoxious ones (sorry @edemontes and others), and also because it's been pointed out to me that:

"without a clear record of exactly the level of hatefulness that was on display, it risks contributing to the false perception by many of the less overtly hateful skeptics of the GayFOLs group that the AFOL community is already tolerant and that as such a group like GayFOLs is unnecessary."

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By in United Kingdom,

I received this message via the contact form after comments had been closed. It shows why posting this article was the right thing to do:

I’m Bruce Heller, the founder of GayFOLs mentioned in the article. First of all THANK YOU for all that you’re doing and all you put up with. I would not want to be in your shoes. This day has been an emotional rollercoaster, reading all the comments here and everywhere online. It’s all worth it though. The exposure. The discussion. By morning we may have over 100 new members since this was published!

There’s one thing that hasn’t been discussed here. When LGBTs like me walk into a room, we look to see if we are safe. Do we have enemies here? Do we have allies? Can I be myself? Do I have to hide? For believe me, we KNOW how to hide. We KNOW how to blend in. We KNOW what to say and what not to say to make you think we’re straight. We know that dance all too well. It’s exhausting. It’s a survival skill, but it eats away at our souls.

So then LGBTs come here (or FB groups, or conventions, or LUGs), and ask “Is it safe here?” and they see these comments. Some of these people might be closeted. The negative comments will reinforce and deadbolt the door of their closet. Their resolve to not be themselves around others increases. There may be someone who is in a critical state, wanting to reach out and find a friendly hand or safe space, and instead they find people saying that they have no place in the world of LEGO. Or even the world of the living.

That’s why GayFOLs exists. That’s why it must exist. It’s existence is vital.

Maybe you don’t care about the closeted, the suicidal, the lonely. Maybe you have no stake in any of this. Whatever. That’s fine. If you haven't figured it out yet: this isn’t about you. GayFOLs doesn’t exist to annoy you. It has nothing to do with your feelings on the subject. Just stop denying us the right to commune and belong and bond over our love of LEGO. And if you don’t care, scroll on instead of leaving a dismissive comment. You never know who’s reading your hateful words. You never know who your words will hurt — or even kill.

I created GayFOLs. I’m it’s main Admin. I do very little there. The group pretty much runs itself. The members have made it their home. It’s clearly filling a need. I had no idea it would become what it is today (and lord knows what it will become). But every day people tell me what a difference it has made to them, what a gift it is to have that community, and what wonderful people have gathered there.

We’ve always been in the AFOL community. We’ve just been hiding. You can’t expect us to do that anymore, so you’d better get used to us. We’re not going anywhere.

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