NowThis is the # 1 mobile news publisher in the world. They have a singular mission: to make news engaging and relevant for young adults by humanizing our complicated world. By providing insightful context from a youth perspective, NowThis has revolutionized how news is delivered today. Launched in 2012, NowThis’ entertaining, inspiring and informative videos are created for a mobile generation who consistently spend nearly 20M hours every month watching its content.
NowThis’ GLAAD Media Award-nominated, original series “Seen” embodies two of NowThis Pop’s most important pillars: inclusion and representation. “Seen” spotlights game changers in pop culture and people who are carving out their own niches after seeing a void in the zeitgeist. “Seen” gives a platform to those who wish to see themselves reflected in fashion, beauty, film, and television— and specifically, individuals who self-identify as LGBTQ+.
NowThis’ “Seen” uses personal narratives as a vessel to unpack issues like gender, sexuality and visibility — and how they relate to art and culture. The series’ core is an attempt to understand how different media platforms are pivotal in validating identities, and how—for too long—they have erased so many.
“Seen” strives to illuminate and elevate micro-celebrities and influencers who are using their own platforms to make a lasting difference on the cultural landscape—regardless of their status or recognizability. NowThis shows its young audience people whom they need to know and those who deserve to be seen.
“Seen” has explored numerous subjects and corresponding issues:
11-year-old ‘drag kid’ Desmond is Amazing is an instagram influencer and personality who’s showing his followers the fluidity of gender expression. Desmond and his mother both work on his drag together and use his platform as an opportunity to elevate and inspire other LGBTQ+ children.
Aaron Philip is the 17-year-old model who made waves in the industry after being signed to Elite NYC as the first Black, trans, disabled model to land a major modeling contract. His episode explores the lack of representation in fashion with regard to trans, black, non-binary, and disabled models.
Chella Man, a deaf, transmasculine artist and influencer, uses his Instagram as an opportunity to candidly show all aspects of his transition. Each week, he live broadcasts his testosterone shot showing his followers and anyone questioning their gender the very real aspects of transitioning.
Alok Vaid-Menon is a spoken word performer and LGBTQ+ advocate. Through their poetry, Alok explores the struggles of trans and gender non-conforming people. Specifically, they recognize the importance of representation as it relates to mental health, saying the opportunity to be seen in media actually validates the existence of marginalized groups.
Teddy Quinlivan came out as a transgender during fashion week in 2017. The model was previously assumed by the industry to be a cisgender women. In her episode, Teddy candidly unpacked the meaning of ‘passing privilege’ and how it related to her journey and career.
Lucia Lucas is a world-renowed transgender opera singer. She once thought she’d have to choose between coming out and pursuing her career — now she’s the first-ever trans singer to headline a major opera in the U.S.
Ahmed Shareef lost his sight and hand from stepping on a bomb as a child in war-torn Iraq. After seeking refugee status in the U.S., Ahmed found a passion for music and now plays at venues across the city.
Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson are disabled dancers who are also part of the disabled artist collective, Kinetic Light. Through the collective and their performances, they strive not only for artistic equity but for equity for all the people who participate in the shared experience, from the dancers to the audience members.
Nicholas Linnehan labels himself as a 'gay, disabled, Catholic addict' — he's the brilliant mind behind Identity Theater, an inclusive theater group for disabled actors and rising talent, based in NYC.
The series, which includes two seasons and 29 standalone episodes has seen the following success:
“Seen” was a 2019 GLAAD Media Award finalist for Outstanding Digital Journalism – Video or Multimedia.
18M video views on Facebook alone
More than 183K hours watched on Facebook alone
An episode following 11 year-old Desmond is Amazing, garnered over 6.5M views on Facebook alone
After the success of Season One, NowThis Pop debuted season two in April 2019, which is currently premiering episodes weekly.