The VP Values Statement
We promote practices of inclusion, representation and diversity through active engagement and proactive measures elevating the lived identities and experiences of minority and marginalized members of our communities.
The VP Story
After reading a post on social media contrasting the experience of someone of marginalized identity entering a community where they do not see anyone or anything representing them and welcoming them as opposed to the opposite where they do, we began thinking about ways by which such visibility may be promoted.
“Where there is a need, we find a way to meet it” – was the philosophy we followed and thus began The Visibility Project. Officially founded in 2017 by Scarlett Sin and Cypher, it began with recognition of the need to increase representations that encompass the spectrum of gender, sexual and kink identities. In late 2018, Scarlett and Cypher established The FoundNation, a 501c3 non-profit, where The Visibility Project is now housed, alongside other projects.
The Flag Project (Phase One)
Having attended countless events in the kink, leather, and fetish realm, Scarlett noticed that, even when flags were displayed, they were usually restricted to the basic four of country, state, gay pride (rainbow) and lastly the event or specific community identifier. Upon inquiring why other flags were not displayed, she received answers ranging from lack or resources to supply them, lack of access to them and, on rarer occasion, the question of “how many is too many?” Thus the Flag Project was born.
Upon request, The Visibility Project has available to lend to an event a collection of our Pride/Identity flags free of charge. For events within the Los Angeles area, we will personally set the flags up at your event. For events outside of the Los Angeles area, we will ship them roughly a week before the scheduled event; we ask that the event covers the cost of return postage.
Since 2017, The Visibility Project flags have been displayed at numerous local, regional, national, and international events and parades. We have been delighted with stories of how well the flags are received, the pageantry that they add to an event, and, most importantly, how people have felt more welcomed when seeing their flag and many learning of identities and their meanings by the attached information cards.
As of January 2020, we have over 30 such flags and we intend to grow our inventory even more. Now when asked “How many flags are too many?”, we reply “until everyone feels welcome and invited, there is no such thing as too many.”
Scholarship and Grant Fund (Phase two)
As we grew, we recognized the need to broaden the scope of our efforts to support and empower underrepresented people. Phase Two is the creation of a scholarship and grant fund to promote representation of minority identified individuals in kink and Leather spaces.
The scholarship fund specifically seeks to remove financial limitations as a barrier of access for persons underrepresented in kink and leather communities and events and to offer opportunities for perspectives and voices not often centered in such spaces. Monetary assistance is offered to applicants to attend events beyond their financial reach and to compensate for labor performed towards the goals of diversity, visibility, inclusion and representation.
The grant fund provides support to applicants who are creating small and medium scale projects of resource sharing, content creation and establishment of best practices tool kits and guides towards the same goals.
In addition to providing monetary assistance, The Visibility Project will work to establish partnerships with existing and emerging events and organizations to provide spaces and opportunities for education, community spaces, capacity building and expansion of services; all of which are paramount to the success of this effort.
We are busy finalizing the details of this new endeavor and seek to launch it in the 3rd to 4th quarter of 2020.