Unfortunately, in many states in the U.S, schools are banning certain topics of curricula. The censorship and banning of books regarding racism, sexism, sex education, evolution, and LGBTQ+ topics is on the rise, which means future generations will be less equip with the knowledge of what our deeply complex society is made of. To combat that, Israeli company Fiverr partnered with The Old Gays, a Tik Tok sensation with over 7 million followers, to spread awareness of the importance of inclusivity and acceptance, by making a children's book.
The Old Gays are a group of four men, Robert Reeves, Bill Lyons, Jessay Martin, and Michael “Mick” Peterson, from Cathedral City, California, who make various skits and trends on Tik Tok that encapsulate the meaning of friendship. They started gaining traction as a group after they did a promotional video for Grindr, the largest dating app for LGBTQ+ people. The Old Gays have since appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show and NBC’s The Today Show, all to promote awareness of the challenges of coming out– something they experienced firsthand, in an even harsher reality, as the taboos around homosexuality were even worse during their youth 60 years ago. They will soon have a docuseries about their lives released through NBC. but have recently also made a book on the matter.
The children's book, My Four Fabulous Uncles, sends a message to young children everywhere that no matter what, you must stay true to yourself. As Mick Peterson, a member of the quad said, “Don’t be afraid to go out there and shine. For members of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s especially important to stay true to yourself, despite anyone’s efforts to keep you from speaking your truth.” The book touches upon themes like acceptance and identity, through the story of a young student, Finley, who is bullied for his colourful clothing. But with guidance from his ‘four fabulous uncles’, characters inspired by the Old Gays, Finley is able to find the confidence and courage to embrace his differences.
Fiverr, the Israeli company that offers a global marketplace for services by freelancers felt that it was their duty to use their global platform for good. Gali Arnon, CMO of Fiverr said “It is our role as a global platform to ensure that we are uplifting and supporting talent, no matter their differences or where they come from. Fiverr is extremely proud to work with queer Fiverr community members and give them the opportunity to share their work with a global audience.”
This is not Fiverr’s first LBGTQ+-inspired partnership. They are always working with their LGBTQ+ community as well as queer influencers on different campaigns. Moreso, each year around Pride Month, they do something special. Last year, Fiverr partnered with YouTubers Rose and Rosie and talented LGBTQ+ freelancers and allies in their community to co-create a children’s book about diversity, acceptance, and representation of different family structures. Rose and Rosie had their first baby on the way and so they wanted to create an inclusive book that reflected the diversity of non-traditional family types today. This year's special project for Pride Month is the release of My Four Fabulous Uncles.
On a structured, company-wide level, Fiverr is adamant that discrimination of any kind is against their community standards and terms of service and has a zero-tolerance policy around it. Moreover, since their platform is solely focused on talent, discriminatory instances are rare. Meaning, since users don't need to disclose backgrounds, disabilities, gender or sexual preference, sellers are judged by their talents and talents alone. For employees of Fiverr, there are many things done to encourage engagement and inclusivity, like their community hub Vesperr and Priderr, their LGBTQ+ community.
Fiverr is very proud of the message the book brings, which is open to the public for free download. Currently, the book is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch but will soon be translated into Hebrew as well.
***The feature photo was taken from the Old Gays Instagram account