“I think we’re used to seeing surface-level queer characters that aren’t complex and don’t accurately reflect the people in our lives,” says Kirsten King, a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who addresses the trials facing women, including queer women, today. Through her powerful essays about holding her girlfriend’s hand in Trump’s America or watching her ex fall in love on social media, King is trying to change those superficial portrayals. As a senior editor at Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, the digital media giant’s division for in-depth visual storytelling, King creates videos that examine queer relationships, rape culture, consent and mental health. “I got into digital media because it felt like the best way to connect with teens who are struggling with the same issues I did,” King says. “I want to write diverse narratives about real people”—paying their bills, falling in love, living normal lives—“and hopefully play some small part in helping someone better understand and accept themselves.” In addition to Buzzfeed, her work appears in the Huffington Post, Politico’s Weekend Reads, Cosmopolitan and Elite Daily. “I think when you’re visible and out online, that can be really terrifying,” she says. “The internet can undoubtedly be a mean and scary place, but it can also be a beautiful community if you find the right people.” —KL
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