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NPOBL (Nunca Pause O BL) Interview - A Portal for BL Content

Welcome folks, to another exciting and insightful discussion! Today, we're diving into the vibrant world of Asian LGBTQIA+ productions with a very special guest Gabbie from NPOBL. Hailing from the bustling portal of NPOMV, our interviewee has been championing the cause of diversity, inclusivity, and representation through engaging BL content. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on this riveting journey that will take us behind the screens of one of Brazil's most active online communities.


Get to know NPOBL...


Hi, my name is Gabbie! I am NPOBL manager and will be answering your questions today. I am actually very happy you've grown interested in our work. Thank you so much.


Presenting this project, NPOBL (Nunca Pause o BL, in Portuguese), means literally "Never Stop the BL" and it is a project that we created to welcome people who are interested in BL, into our online community, and raise awareness over the queer issues and our activism as queer people. NPOBL is the queer, colorful, cheerful leg of our main portal, NPOMV (Nunca Pause o MV - Never Stop the MV) that focuses on creating content over East Asian music as well as interactions, starting from K-pop and including other musical industries.


NPOBL emerged from a joke from a follower, back in June 2022. I've been working with NPOMV since 2019 and, I always tried to include BL in our page in a very sporadic manner. One day, a follower actually left a comment at a NPOMV post saying 'I really like your BL content, you should create a BL page" and this is how we decided to open the portal, in July 2022. We are very glad to represent Brazil in both Asia music and Asia BL media fields.


What inspired the creation of your Asian LGBTQIA+ focused news and interaction portal?


Everybody in the team produces over a different reason. For me, if I can say, I started it out of escapism, and I assumed the page management also because I felt comfortable producing such content. There aren't enough spaces for queer girls to occupy and, I feel so relieved to have the page, express myself and talk to other people. This is the most precious thing to me.


Can you share with us a memorable story from the early days of your portal?


Every single memory is always very cherished for our team. Every time a post blows and breaks through our expectations, every time we get invited to an event (...) Recently, we had the pleasure to attend OnlyOneOf's concert as npobl, and it was such a magical moment because I am a huge fan of their work and activism. It was the first time we attended a concert representing LGBTQIA+ empowerment.


How does your platform aim to contribute to the representation and visibility of Asian LGBTQIA+ productions?


I think, in Brazil, the BL industry has a lot of fans and for me it is very crucial to have this huge fanbase so we can discuss issues surrounding queer communities, political issues, equality, prejudice, etc. My main goal is to create a safe space for everyone to communicate. As for the industry itself, I think is very relevant to have a portal even if its for the fans and we are very modest about it, but we are talking about agencies and producing teams that survive out of fans support and social media visibility, so I always get overwhelmed wherever a fan or even an artist recognize us online and thanks us for the spread of their work.


How do you select the content and news to feature on your portal?


Usually, we try to vary between news and interactions for the fans, and we always try to include as many artists and productions as possible. Sometimes we fail to include everyone, since it is a pretty big industry, but we are trying to get better at this.


What are some of the challenges you've faced in managing an interaction portal centered around Asian LGBTQIA+ productions?


We usually lack the participation of people. Not from the public, but internally in the page. It's hard to manage the portal issues within the 'real life struggles' and sometimes we run out of people. But we try to manage better as possible and recruit new people once in a while. Nowadays, this is the main challenge. About producing over LGBTQIA+ media, the biggest challenge is making sure we are making people grow closer to us as a safe space, instead of pushing them away. This is why we are always trying to include a large amount of the community despite the lack of other representation than male to male couples in Asia media.


Could you talk about some significant moments or achievements that have occurred since the portal was launched?


Something that we always do with the followers is to organize a form and then they vote for their favorite … something. And then we make a big party to announce the "winners" these moments of direct interaction are the most memorable to me.


How do you handle the cultural nuances and diverse representation within the Asian LGBTQIA+ community?


This is a very important question because we always try to stay respectful and loyal to our purposes while producing over something that doesn't really belong to our culture, even though queer culture is quite global nowadays. The cultural differences can be confusing sometimes, because not every country will face pride, gender and sexuality issues the same way, and we understand that so we try to use a kind of detailed approach, and try to see the hindrances each culture faces, and what are the struggle of that particular community, socially speaking.


What role does audience interaction play in shaping the direction of your platform?


The public is always very listened to in our page, not only on the BL leg, but also in the main page (NPOMV), we always try to see the people and let them participate. BL fans are actually very charming and funny.


Can you share some insights about the demographics and interests of your user base?


As for Brazil, I see the public as more of a consumer of the mature series, or even plotlines that fly high from the radar and actually innovate. I can also sense that Thai BL is more consumed, and the Thai actors' fanbases are always larger. Probably there is a reason for that too.


How does your platform maintain a balance between promoting discussions and ensuring respectful interactions within the community?


We are actually currently working on this balance. We really wanted people to talk to us more and understand us as their close friends, we really want them to demand things from us. This is why I always try to write down my thoughts over something and post it right away. Is kind of a venting process but people usually like it. During the day, we promote the updates and usually at night we focus on interaction.


In what ways does your portal collaborate with Asian LGBTQIA+ production companies or content creators?


I think, not only us, but the other big portals in Brazil, play a big part in spreading information for people that consume BL and buy from the industry. We are very glad to be part of the supporting team of these artists, and so glad to be part of the growing of an industry that might take the world soon.


Can you share some success stories that resulted from interactions or discussions on your platform?


Recently, we are raising aware over a lot of social issues not only surrounding queer communities, but also most minorities in general. Even though we are actually a baby fanbase with almost 1 year activity, we already promoted debate ahead of race, gender, politics, bullying, harassment and other topics using BL content as the fuse.


What are some upcoming features or plans for your platform that your users can look forward to?


For the portal, we are really trying to correct some things before taking a step forward. There are a lot of things our team wants to do and, hopefully in the future we can grow more mature, more active and organized as a portal. For the next few months, we are producing a lot of special content and we have a lot of ideas, I guess we can put it to work with time.


How do you see the landscape of Asian LGBTQIA+ productions evolving and how does your platform fit into this picture?


I think Brazil is a Market that would embrace BL really well, in a performative way. We are hearing about companies bringing their artists here and we think this is a lovely idea. We really want to have concerts, merchs and everything too. There are a lot of things that stop this from happening now, but I trust that in the future it will be possible, and we will gladly embrace it too and will be our pleasure to support these events as NPOMV and NPOBL.


Could you discuss how your portal addresses the representation of different identities within the LGBTQIA+ community?


My objective was to make NPOBL to be a very political portal and talk over a lot of social issues in general, because I've always seen this work in a very active, philosophical way. So, even if our main point is BL, we always try to elucidate people over other groups in the LGBTQIA+ community, embracing every single particular identity and making sure people understand that the lack of trans/sapphic/asexual/ characters is also problematic, and raising awareness over the process of building good and respectful representation for bi and pan people as well. Even if we don't usually see these people in the series, it's important that our public that is very diverse, can see themselves in the content we create and in the environment we built out of a trustworthy manner.


How does your platform handle feedback or suggestions from its user base?


If it's not something really mean we love to listen to the feedbacks. It's actually important for us to calculate what people like or dislike. As I said, we are trying to create a safe space for everyone so, I hope they feel free to always send feedback.


What are some trends you've noticed in Asian LGBTQIA+ productions that you believe will shape the future of this genre?


There are a lot of classics that are always loved by people like enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, etc. Nowadays people really like office romance, and musicals. But honestly, I think public interaction is the new trend. People get easily attached to artists that actually enjoy their works and update fans on social media. Being edgy and charismatic might be the new trend.


As an online interaction portal, how do you manage to keep your community engaged and active?


This is very challenging. Every time we feel like people are letting us slide a little, we try to change something about our content. We are not professionals of producing SNS content but, we know what can call attention from fans since we are also fans.


What is your vision for your portal in the next few years and how do you plan to achieve it?


We really wanted to grow on social media. We don't really have a goal in numbers, but our plan is to make NPOMV and NPOBL become equal. Let's see what happens in the future, right?


As we conclude this interview, what message would you like to share with the followers of your portal and fans of Asian LGBTQIA+ productions?


Thank you for talking to us and enjoying our reflective huge posts over life, acceptance and real-life struggles. It is most definitely amazing that we can interact with you and share our craziness and passion for BL and queer content. Please, look forward to our outgrowth and feel free to talk to us anytime. We really love producing for you guys.


From the heartfelt sharing of their struggles to their unwavering commitment towards expanding representation, this has been an enlightening chat that reflects the spirit of the vibrant community of NPOBL. Remember, their door is always open for a hearty chat! Until next time, keep the conversation going, spread love and acceptance, and continue to support Boys Love media.

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