‘We can’t speak for the LGBTQ+ community, but we believe allyship is all about standing up for those people who need you, even when they’re not around’ – today’s Spotlight is on Kelly and Zoey of Our Transitional Life, a blog aiming to ‘challenge society’s misconceptions, one day at a time’.
Sharing life as a transgender family, Kelly and Zoey don’t shy away from the bigger issues happening in the LGBTQ+ community – read on for what they’re doing to support the BLM movement, what they love most about blogging, and their take on some of the viewpoints recently shared by a certain author of popular children’s books…
How did you originally get started with writing about LGBTQ+ issues?
When Zoey came out in 2019, we didn’t plan on talking about it on the blog that Kelly was running back then. But as time passed, we realised two things. One, there weren’t many positive stories out there about trans relationships, and two, we wanted to own who we were as a couple and family. Soon after this ‘epiphany’, we started Our Transitional Life, a name that was inspired by Zoey describing her transition as ‘our transition’.
What’s your favourite thing to post about (updates, reviews, advice pieces) and why?
Our favourite things has to be events! We love meeting other people, and it’s always such a joy to meet people face to face. Blogging can be solitary, so hanging out with people at blogger events/theatre/launches, etc. is one of our favourite things to do.
How have you had to change your approach to blogging, or your content, during the COVID-19 crisis?
We have spent a lot more time online doing lives and chatting to people compared to writing blog posts, and that’s been a lot of fun. We’ve had more time to really get to know our online community, and for that, we’re very grateful.
Have you been covering the intersection of race and LGBTQ+ issues on your blog?
As we’ve said, actual blogging has been quite quiet, while we spend time on social, and also educating ourselves and our children more about the BLM Movement. With regards to ‘coverage’, we took part in #AmplifyMelanatedVoices, sharing content from black creators for a week, and not sharing our content at all. We continuously strive to share important information, and we did have our say on the ‘she who shall not be named’ issues surrounding trans rights. We’ve also started a new business, KelZo Jewellery, and we have a PRIDE range with 20% of profits going to LGBTQ charities.
What is one thing you wish straight cis people would take on in their day to day lives to be better allies to LGBTQ+ people?
A lot of the straight cis folk we know do everything they can to help support the trans communities, in fact, we’d go as far to say that it’s the people that don’t want to learn or change that are the problem. Our focus is to educate and support, but we’re always learning too. We can’t speak for the LGBTQ+ community, but we believe allyship is all about standing up for those people who need you, even when they’re not around.
Do you think people should boycott Harry Potter books in light of JK Rowling’s recent comments on social media?
That’s a tough one, and we recently recorded a vlog about supporting the work of disgraced celebs, from JK to Weinstein and beyond. We didn’t really come to a conclusion as a couple, but our followers had a lot to say, and it was a super important topic to talk about, and keep talking about. I do think buying her books now would be off the cards for us, as well as promoting anything to do with anything she is part of, but that’s our decision, and you have to be comfortable with yours.
How do you collaborate with brands and which kind of brands do you really like working with?
We have a weird time with brands. We don’t fit the ‘normal’ family stereotype, and some brands want a cis, white, straight family, end of. So, when brands reach out to us, we can’t help but feel lifted up and seen by them, and I know the LGBTQ+ blogger community get excited when brands work with other LGBTQ+ bloggers!
We offer lots when it comes to brand work, from video to written content, as well as social sharing. We go above and beyond for each brand, because we are super proud of our work, but we’re also super honest about products or events. We love working with brands who appreciate how hard we work, and who champion the LGBTQ+ community all year round, not just for Pride.
For PRs looking to work with you and your blog/website, how would you prefer they approach you and with what kind of content?
We tend to focus on email because messages on social media can get easily lost. We’re happy to work with most brands, depending on their ethos and moral standing. We also like longstanding relationships with brands, and love to come up with fun and exciting ways to promote products!