If you’ve trawled through every streaming service during the COVID-19 lockdown, then you’ll know the struggle of falling into the content-recession.
However, there’s no need to worry, because we have just the thing for you.
Asia’s first LGBTQI focussed video-streaming service, aptly named ‘GagaOOLala’, has launched globally after its humble beginnings in Taiwan, and is bringing all manner of queer and curious content from all areas of the globe.
Launching at the beginning of May this year, GagaOOLala’s global growth also marks the one-year anniversary of Taiwan becoming the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.
Portico Media, the company behind GagaOOLala and one of the co-founders of the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, decided to globally launch GagaOOLala in the hopes of representing greater diversity in a predominately white-washed pool of LGBTQI media.
The CEO of Portico Media, Jay Lin, explained to Star Observer that specialising in queer content from countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan helps boost greater visibility for the LGBTQI community, while also fostering the growing market for international collaboration.
“There is a high concentration of Asian LGBTQI content on our platform. I hope our platform will create two effects,” Lin said.
“One. More visibility for Asian LGBTQI stories and characters in places where there is little availability in existing media and also little representation in real life. I hope this will, in turn, give more confidence and assurance to many Asian LGBTQI people who feel invisible or unaccounted for.
“Two. I hope to foster international collaboration and co-productions with creatives from different parts of the world. I truly believe that we can have a renaissance of LGBTQI content.”
GagaOOLala currently has over 400,000 members and even services countries where homosexuality is still illegal, such as Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia.
Since its initial 2016 launch in Taiwan, the epicentre for Asia’s gay culture, GagaOOLala now has more than 1,000 feature films, shorts, web series and documentaries for people across Asia and the world.
As of 2016, the streaming service has produced many ground-breaking originals, including one of the first Asian queer films portraying a same-sex orgy, Sodom’s Cat, and the first Singaporean series to star a lesbian couple, Handsome Stewardess.
Despite its global expansions, Asia’s strict censorship of content, as well as its traditional attitudes, means that there is very little LGBTQI content available in Asian mainstream media.
As a result, the Lady-Gaga descended streaming service decided to move away from distributing Western content and steadily branched out into original Asian LGBTQI media with the help of its development arm, GOL Studios.
“There was a lack of LGBTQI content available all year round in Taiwan and the rest of Asia. A physical film festival happening during a few days was not the solution, we needed something 24/7,” Lin said. “The situation in many Asian countries is still dire, in some of them, homosexuality is still considered a crime. We needed to provide easier access to LGBTQI stories to let them know they are not alone.”
To commemorate its global launch, GagaOOLala is releasing its original documentary, Taiwan Equals Love, which follows the island nations path towards marriage equality.
More original productions are set to be released during 2020.
GagaOOLala is now available worldwide on all platforms for 11 AUD per month, and is also offering a free section of films for those staying at home during the current global pandemic.
All films include English and Chinese subtitles, with more languages coming soon!
So get online and start viewing some good ol’ fashioned same-sex orgies – after all, it’s not NSFW if you’re still working from home!