Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Conversation series - LGBT+

statusNot funded
Conversation series - LGBT+
start date2023-01-012023-01-01T00:00:00Z
end date2025-12-312023-12-31T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)102075 USD
amount requested (USD)102075 USD
amount recommended (USD)34025
grant typeWikimedia Affiliate (chapter, thematic org., or user group)
funding regionNA
decision fiscal year2022-23
funding program roundRound 1
applicant and people related to proposalbluerasberry


organization (if applicable)Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group

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Applicant details


Wikimedia username(s):


OwenBlacker Zblace


Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?


H.1 Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?


M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Wikimedia Österreich

Additional information


R. Where will this proposal be implemented?


S. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope:


S1. If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

T. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Wikimedia Österreich



1. What is the overall vision of your organization and how does this proposal contribute to this? How does this proposal connect to past work and learning?

2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?

Many parts of the Wikimedia community approach Wikimedia LGBT+ with questions and problems related to supporting LGBT+ Wikimedia contributors. While we already have global LGBT+ membership and participation, the organization itself has never had resources to administer the diverse and multilingual community conversations which would be necessary to adequately discuss those issues and respond in a useful way. The change we wish to bring about is growing a culture of convening regular conversations to address major social and ethical issues so that when they arise, they are not pending and left unaddressed indefinitely with no plan to respond.

3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.

The brief answer is that we will convene community conversations on major LGBT issues in the Wikimedia community.

A longer answer is that we will do conventional community organizing in the established Wikimedia way to get community responses to difficult issues. We think this will be effective because it copies the successful precedent of what the Wikimedia Foundation did to get community development of the Movement Strategy and Universal Code of Conduct, but at a smaller scale appropriate for our community.

4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?

  • Surveying the Wikimedia LGBT+ community to identify the most important social and ethical issues related to LGBT+ topics in the Wikimedia Movement
  • Organizing meetups which invite broad and inclusive public participation to discuss those issues
  • Providing for security to enable volunteers and the public to participate in those meetings
  • When the meetings happen, document conversation and outcomes while being mindful of security
  • Produce a conversation summary, again while being mindful of security
  • Recruit community comment on the summary to confirm it
  • Publish that community comment within Wikimedia LGBT+ and on Meta-Wiki
  • Distribute the published community comment in social media, including the WikiLGBT twitter accouts and similar

5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      

Yes, for 3 years

5.1 If yes, provide a brief overview of Year 2 and Year 3 of the proposed plan and how this relates to the current proposal and your strategic plan?

Years 2 and 3 will be a repetition of the plan we have for year 1, but with different topical focus.

This proposal is to host a community conversation series with each event addressing a major social and ethical issue in LGBT+ Wikimedia organization. We have a topic list for year 1; to proceed to future years, we poll the community for feedback on which issues to address, then proceed with additional events.

Risks include the community not finding the conversation series relevant; if this happens, then there is no harm in halting after the year one pilot.

6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.

This project runs a series of individual events. Each event follows

7. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

This proposal requires hiring staff and consultants through an open call, and consequently, we do not have that team assembled.

We do have two other relevant teams: the governance committee of Wikimedia LGBT+, and the subcommittee for overseeing this particular project.

The subcommittee for this project is Lane Rasberry Owen Blacker

8. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Content Gender gap, Language, Sexual Orientation

8.1 In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge.

Briefly, there are problems external and internal to the Wikimedia Platform. External to the Wikimedia platform, most of the historically published sources about the LGBT+ Movement are centered on the Western World, with much of the world looking to the history of San Francisco and New York City as the origin of LGBT+ rights. The reality is that every major city has had its own gay rights movement and history but since the external world has not sorted these stories, there is little for Wikimedia editors to cite to showcase this.

There are useful things that Wikimedia editors can do globally, however, LGBT+ editors face specific challenges. Lack of sources is one, but others include new social and ethical challenges, not having global multilingual community coordination to discuss and address those challenges, and serious recurring harassment issues which show up every time LGBT+ try to organize to address these challenges.

9. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.

Advocacy, Human Rights, Diversity

10. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Please note, we had previously asked about inclusion and diversity in terms of CONTENTS, in this question we are asking about the diversity of PARTICIPANTS. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation

11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?

We already have years of collaborations with LGBT+ NGOs in various countries. We intend to use this series to grow these relationships and also to publish these talks as a way of deepening current relationships and attracting new ones.

12. In what ways are you actively seeking to contribute towards creating a safer, supportive, more equitable environment for participants and promoting the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy, and/or equivalent local policies and processes?

Wikimedia LGBT+ members were on the drafting committees of the first two rounds of the UCOC development process. We organized public talks to debate the UCOC. We were one of the groups which called for its creation. We were developers of the 2012 "Friendly Space Policy" on meta, which was a precursor to the UCOC, and we also compiled the Code of Conduct page on meta, which was another precursor to the UCOC.

We called for the creation of the Wikimedia Foundation community advocacy team before it existed.

13. Do you have plans to work with Wikimedia communities, groups, or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


13.1 If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

In the Wikimedia community, it is already common for every highly active Wikimedia chapter to present LGBT+ themed events. Those chapters have had their membership check in with Wikimedia LGBT+ regularly for years. As Wikimedia LGBT+ grows, more than other Wikimedia chapters, the collaborations and check-in system is already in place. When we advertise programs, the awareness that spreads is as good as anything else in the Wikimedia platform.

Some particularly engaged partner organizations with membership in Wikimedia LGBT+ include Wiki NYC, Wiki UK, Wiki Sweden, Wiki Deutschland, Wiki Mexico, and Wiki Brazil. There are more countries represented but it is challenging to know when to name them because their members request privacy on LGBT+ issues because of the harassment.

Discussed at

14. Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


14.1 Please describe these partnerships and what motivates the potential partner to be part of the proposal and how they add value to your work.

For this proposal we are unsure about whether to request external expertise from LGBT+ organizations because after years of probing, many of us feel that even expert organizations have less experience than our Wikimedia community members on issues such as online harassment, best practices in LGBT+ manual of style, LGBT+ writing in hostile environments, online community management such as moderation and translation, storytelling, and all the other fundamentals which our community has worked out for years. Because of this, we ourselves are leading the first year of conversations, and may consider having external guest speakers in the future.

We do want external experts in attendance and participating at our talks, just not as leaders. Our intent is to bring them into the Wikimedia culture of doing things, with the hope that both experts and the Wikimedia community can negotiate compromises with each other to collaborate more effectively. For example, there are many health organizations which seek to be diverse, but since they have no capacity for translation, they never endorse translations of their work. Wikimedia projects cannot compromise on our value of needing language diversity, so we have a fundamental conflict with any organization who objects to our translations. It will take time to build relationships and sort these differences, but for now, starting conversations and inviting partners to our events is enough.

15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

These are self contained projects and typical outcomes are Wikimedia essays, guidelines, or policies. Just as an English Wikipedia request for comment (RfC) needs little maintenance after its completion, so would these conversations and published documentation not require much upkeep after each is over.

We anticipate continued funding from the Wikimedia Foundation for as long as people find it useful to address LGBT+ social and ethical issues in the Wikimedia platform. There is no less expensive and more effective way to address a tough issue than convening conversation among volunteer editors and other community stakeholders.

16. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these. This can include factors such as external/contextual issues that may affect implementation, as well as internal issues, such as governance/leadership changes.

Here is a list of risks:
  • Conversations heavily biased to English and the Western World - mitigate by spending majority of money to increase participation by underrepresented groups
  • Harassment of participants - mitigate by paying to develop and implement online event security procedures
  • Community discussions lead to invalid outcomes - mitigate by documenting the method by means of which we organized the discussion, so that at least it can be a precedent for better conversation in the future

17. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.

Ensure Equity in Decision-making, Coordinate Across Stakeholders, Manage Internal Knowledge

18. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation


19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

This proposal seeks to use Wikimedia community conversation as a strategy for addressing major LGBT+ questions in the Wikimedia platform. We hope to learn answers to those questions. Here are some of those questions:

  • How do we present a common LGBT+ culture to a global audience?
  • How do we protect our editors from harassment and persecution?
  • How do we manage names and pronouns for transgender people in biographies?
  • What new ethical issues arise by converting Wikipedia LGBT+ content into structured data for Wikidata?
  • How do we collectively manage Wikimedia LGBT+ as an extremely multilingual and culturally diverse single community, when we all share in common similar problems which seem to have shared solutions?
  • How do we balance giving credit to contributors versus protecting the privacy of vulnerable community members?

20. Based on these learning questions, what is the information or data you need to collect to answer these questions? Please register this information (as metric description) in the following space provided.

Main Metrics Description Target
count of community conversations Organizing community conversations is the main activity of the project. A community conversation includes on-wiki documentation about a major social and ethical issue; one or more live community talks; a call for community comment on-wiki and in other channels; and finally a summary of what has been discussed. All of this is modeled after the usual way that global conversations happen in the Wikimedia platform. All of this requires language translation to some extent. 5
count of conversation participants count of all the people who participate in a conversation, including attendees and listeners who do not publicly speak out 750
count of contributor statements This is an attempt to count how many unique users post a position, statement, or comment for each social issue.

This is comparable to a count of participants in a Wikimedia "request for comment", except that it includes commenters in multiple places on wiki and off-wiki.

count of published summaries Each community conversation should have a report summarizing the outcome, and that report is its own media artifact. A report should explain the issue for an audience which is unfamiliar with it, summarize the community comments, give statistics about participation, and be citable for anyone on or off wiki who wants to use our precedent to address the same issue. N/A

Here are some additional metrics that you can use if they are relevant to your work. Please note that this is just an optional list, mostly of quantitative metrics. They may complement the qualitative metrics you have defined in the previous boxes.

Additional Metrics Description Target
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability N/A N/A
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A

21. Additional core quantitative metrics. These core metrics will not tell the whole story about your work, but they are important for measuring some Movement-wide changes. Please try to include these core metrics if they are relevant to your work. If they are not, please use the space provided to explain why they are not relevant or why you can not capture this data. Your explanation will help us review our core metrics and make sure we are using the best ones for the movement as a whole.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants This count includes all the people counted in main metrics, plus also people who view the videos, read the reports, or read a summary of the report in journalism about the event. 2000
Number of editors Most of the activity in this project is conversation which will not result in wiki editing. 50
Number of organizers We expect each conversation in the series to require 10 organizers. 50
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikispecies , then we could count it in that way. 5

21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.


22. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

on-wiki conversations - XTools editor count all media products - audience counters. On wiki that is Pageviews; off wiki such as on YouTube it is the platform's own social media counter.

Financial Proposal


23. & 23.1 What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.

102075 USD

23.2 What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

102075 USD

23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

The spreadsheet is there, or see on-wiki at

23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.

The budget is written for a single year. We anticipate the same cost for each additional year. For three years, $34,025*3=$102075.

Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final Message


By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.