The seventh film program titled LOOKING FOR QUEERDOM is dedicated to the adventurous search of numerous adolescents for a place of self-assurance and self-determination that exists outside of societies heteronormative majority. Where can young girls, young women*, lesbians, trans* and inter* persons find themselves? Who portrays their experiences truthfully? With which tools can individual pain and collective progress be made visible?

For young people, the Internet is the central place for queer empowerment. Most crucially in the unprotected public space of the Internet, teenagers need alternative spaces for their personal development in order to adequately negotiate the sensitive questions they face in dealing with queer identities and experiences. Self-help and third-party support in exploring one’s own sexual orientation and/or identity are the common features of these five selected online formats. Here, these strong voices aim to build resistance against hate speech and trolling online:

Just like german Youtuber Jans on his channel EINJANS, teenagers around the world use the possibilities of this video platform to talk about their own personal experiences. Confident and direct, Jans talks about everyday sexism in school, about gender ascription based on looks and behaviour, and about everyday life as a trans* person.

2 videos / Language: German

Equally empowering, Poliana Baumgarten's YouTube channel BERLINER FARBEN portrays committed Black and People of Color and LGBTQIA+ who shape Berlin's cultural and political landscape, including those responsible for the queerfeminist hip-hop party series "Hoe_Mies." Baumgarten, who taught herself how to work with a camera for the production of BERLINER FARBEN, creates impressive role models for young people in her documentary episodes and offers a platform where stereotypes are broken down and spaces for creativity and empowerment emerge instead.

1 Episode / Language: German with subtitles

The web series MIXED MESSAGES by director Kanchi Wichmann is also set in Berlin and paints a credible and undistorted picture of the queer-lesbian community around “Kotti“, Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. Originally produced as a miniseries and with the idea of making all episodes available online for the friends of the film team, the series is now available on Vimeo due to the surprising interest of a distributor. Entertaining and with a lot of humor, Mixed Messages tells the story of protagonist Ren's search for love. In the dating turmoil of queer Berlin, Ren constantly stumbles and falls, but never loses her footing.

3 episodes / language: German and English with subtitles

Similar to Mixed Messages, the Cologne film project GENDERS* emerged from the community for the community: For the first time in the German-speaking world, trans* people developed a series around the topic of gender diversity. On YouTube, young adults show the complex confrontation with gender identities in the style of an early evening series and negotiate experiences of non-acceptance and misgendering (the use of wrong pronouns or other gender-specific words).

2 episodes / language: German

AUF KLO, a YouTube offering from ARD and ZDF's youth channel funk, picks up where these successful social media formats and miniseries left off. The feminist talk format uses the intimacy of a toilet cubicle for private conversations and goes into the in-between. It loves and lives the breaks and answers precisely the questions many young girls* have that are often the hardest to ask. With youthful ease, the presenters talk with their guests about female* masturbation, body images, polyamory or body positivity and inform about a wide range of topics from sexuality to lifestyle.

4 videos / Language: German

While the internet enables a digital community worldwide, the SMU is an analog negotiation space for everyday experiences of discrimination. In this respect, the SMU with its seventh moon program is not only the appropriate place for the urgently needed representation of women*'s, lesbian, trans* and inter* life realities, but also becomes a workshop for moments of collective empowerment. In a film workshop as part of the program, young women*, lesbians, trans* and inter* (FLT*I*) were encouraged to think queer under the guidance of filmmakers Sanni Cabral and Mareike Bernien in order to question gender roles and sensitize each other to trans* and homo* hostilities. From July 18, 2018, the filmic results of the participants will be screened on an equal footing with the other works in the 12 Moons Film Lounge.