Alexander 'Lex' King
We spoke to Alexander 'Lex' King, creator of the hit new web-series,
Queerious. Lex is an LA based writer, director and producer. Queerious
the web-series has just been snapped up by Amazon Prime after proving
to be a hit with audiences on YouTube. The Queerious YouTube channel
has over 33,000 followers and there's a loyal, supportive and excited fanbase
pushing the series forward. We chatted about writing queer characters,
YouTube as a platform for queer content and the importance of safe space.
This interview took place as part of panel discussion with other queer
web-series creators. You can watch an episode of each before the discussion
panel which can be found here.
How did Queerious start?
Queerious came about from a conversation with a friend about how we’re
not represented in the film industry, and she was like, just write it! So I
literally wrote Queerious in one night and sent her the script the next day and she was like - we have to shoot this! We intended on shooting on the iPhone, as a passion project. There's been a lot of support. I was not expecting it to take off in the way it’s taking off. I would not ask for a better team, man. Everyone has been so supportive.
YouTube is of course a fantastic platform for many reasons, but what can it do to protect the LGBTQ+ community further?
I just think we need our own platform. We do get flagged often. We had one intense spiritual scene and it got flagged. I don’t want anyone to have control of the content that I want to create. We will eventually be moving to Queerious.com. I can put out what I want to put out, how I want to do it. It’s just another way for them to represent us in the way that they want to - and I’m not for it. I appreciate YouTube, don’t get me wrong! The scene that you just saw [S1 E6] we have a very spiritual connection. It's the first sexual encounter with Sam and Bisa, it’s not highly sexualised, because that’s not the image I wanted to portray. There is a huge fetish around lesbian sex and I wanted to portray what it’s like for me and not what it’s like for people who are seeking it. We got flagged immediately. I thought it was beautifully shot. I wasn’t going to take it down. I’d rather just take the mark. I left it up because it’s one of my favourite episodes. I’d rather do our own thing at our own time. When we want to do it, how we want to do it.
I’m going to leave Season 1 on YouTube. Without YouTube we wouldn’t be where we are and that’s just the honest truth. I’m at the point where I’m waiting for that investor to say we believe in your product, let’s get you some more money so that you can actually film other things. I have scripts for days! Ideas for days.
The scene flagged by YouTube in Season 1featuring Bisa (left) and Sam.
Safe space is something that is often referenced in Queerious. What is safe space to you?
Safe space is literally space for you to be human. That’s it. We go through a lot of things in our lives. You can hurt someone really, really bad when you don’t hold space properly for them. When you’re holding space, it’s not about your opinion, it’s about that person and what they need from you. For example, when I’m with my friends and I’m holding space, I don’t give them stories about myself. I’m gonna listen. What do you need me to do? Can I touch you? Can I give you a hug? What’s the next step? It’s about having space to figure out who you are, without feeling judged or that you have to sugar coat anything. This is why Sam is such a crucial part of Queerious because she’s the friend that challenges - like no something’s not right and I’m going to keep challenging it because we have to figure these things out. It’s ok to be human, it’s ok to have these crazy thoughts, it’s ok to question yourself. To have people around you to do that, it gets you closer to you being yourself.
Sam in Queerious, played by Cole Lawson
What advice would you offer for new queer writers?
My advice is to write based on your experiences and how you want to be portrayed. I’m sick of seeing queer women of colour that are more masculine being represented as these overly agressive, fight guys, want to compete with the guys. When in reality it’s like I don’t do that - I could care less. It was important to me to write proper representation of how we go through all these other things but you guys are so focused on our relationships with men and how we’re portrayed by men and I didn’t like that.
Were there characters or stories that you feel have influenced your work?
When I was younger I wasn’t into watching a lot of things because I couldn’t relate. When I said to myself I think you want to write film, for me Ava Duvernay and Lena Waits have been influential in black culture. Now what Lena is doing in the mainstream, she’s bringing that awareness of people like me.
Want to watch Queerious? You can watch Season 1 in full now!