Seven Minutes In Heaven With SafeWordSociety’s Founder Kristen McCallum

“There are so many other beautiful folks out here living full, thriving lives and people need to know that.”

Welcome to “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” GO Magazine’s brand new interview series that profiles a different queer lady each day, by asking her seven unique (and sometimes random) questions. Get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the groundbreaking, fierce forces-of-nature in the queer community.

Kristen McCallum was hungry for a shift in the representation for QTPOC everywhere. So what did this awesome force of nature do? She founded an amazing QTPOC podcast called the “SafeWordSociety” last February. The podcast garnered so much engagement and such a loyal following so quickly that now, less than a year later, “SafewordSociety” is now a full blast QTPOC visibility brand. 

Not only that but McCallum is also a fierce freelance writer, an alum to GO Magazine’s 100 Women We love (class of 2017) and a wildly adventurous entity who is “Making Shit Happen.” And if there’s ever been a time in this world where we “Making Shit Happen” people, it’s now, babes.

McCallum is an inspiration to all of us and we’re honored to feature her in today’s rendition of “Seven Minutes In Heaven!” Enjoy and be sure to stalk “SafeWordSociety” on social media!

Photo by Doreen Pierre

GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?

Kristen McCallum: My name is Kristen McCallum and I’m the founder of SafeWordSociety, a QTPOC visibility brand which began solely as podcast back in Feb 2017. The podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Stitcher…you name it and is now titled “The SafeWordSociety Podcast.” I’m really excited about the amazing roster of guests for this season, starting on 11/1, so I encourage everyone to get subscribed! Also—as the podcast quickly gained recognition and a loyal following, I noticed a resounding desire for engagement and collaboration within the community. I started to wonder how I could she enhance the reach and in July 2017, I decided to expand the roster and brand identity to also include—helping creators/brands develop and scale their creative strategies as well as curating and producing events for brands that align with the core mission. With that additional mission, my first task was to produce a gender-neutral evening wear presentation for NYFW this past September…it was amazing and for one of your other Seven Minutes in Heaven subjects, Fashion Designer Kris Harring! I’m also a freelance writer… but you know, I’m a Virgo so I do all the things!

Photo by Doreen Pierre

 GO: What is the driving force behind your career/activism?

KM: As a queer black woman, really needing to see a shift in representation for QTPOC pretty much everywhere. It has gotten so frustrating that I rarely watch shows or listen to podcasts or anything really that don’t acknowledge my community. It’s so unacceptable in 2017 to still be creating work that center mainly cis and mainly hetero people, there are so many other beautiful folks out here living full, thriving lives and people need to know that. The youth need to feel positively represented, we need to feel represented as whole, nuanced individuals…the community deserves better. That is why I do it, along with the help and feedback of my community….this is what I’ll continue to do. Show up and out for QTPOC.

GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted?

KM: Back to my work sometimes, it’s rejuvenating to see how far I’ve come because I’ve been through A LOT. In June when I made your magazine’s  100 Women We Love: Class of 2017 I was going through a hard time and that pushed me up a bit! If all else fails though, I head to the wilderness! My alma mater owns a wilderness retreat in The Adirondacks that I practically live at. I’m a huge fan of going somewhere that’s open, the air is fresh and probably little to no cell service…I get the most inspiration when I can forcibly sit with my thoughts and plan. I mean I even took an 11 hour Amtrak ride to Montreal and it had the same effect, so I guess I go on adventures too… yea.

 GO: Who are your biggest queer lady role models?

KM: Honestly, a lot of the queer folk I’ve come into contact with since I moved to Brooklyn this summer. I’ve met, worked and become friends with some truly amazing women and I’m constantly inspired by their work ethic and compassion. I also really love the work of Dee Rees…I’m putting a meeting with her into the universe!

GO: Describe yourself in three words?

KM: Making Shit Happen.

That’s really all there is to it these days…

GO: What music are you listening to right now?

KM: In the last week, I’ve been listening to a lot of Daniel Caesar, Sabrina Claudio, Moses Sumney and pretty much anything moody… I’ve been feeling very vibey.

Photo by Jelan Coley

GO: How can people find you?

KM: You can find me personally on Twitter/IG @_kriskaye, my brand is on Twitter/IG @safewordsociety and the website with links to the podcast is at  www.safewordsociety.com …let’s connect!