ROMEO

Introducing Caring Kevin

Hey I’m Kevin, one of the newest members of the PLANETROMEO team. My official title is Project Assistant Care. So, what does this involve?

The Care team is made up of two people, Marc the chief Care bear, and me. We receive emails with all types of requests and questions. Under Marc’s guidance, I will assist in responding to these questions appropriately. One way we can try to Care for the LGBTI community is to provide some of our services for free.

In countries where being gay is illegal, we provide free PLANETROMEO PLUS accounts. We hope this can make it easier for people living in these places to communicate in safety.

We also offer free banner advertising to non-commercial LGBTI initiatives that we believe in. We select campaigns that are close to PLANETROMEO’s own values of tolerance, inclusion, and equality.

Then we have PlanetRomeo Foundation, which is the flagship of the Care team. The Foundation tries to identify and support grassroots projects around the world that work to make LGBTI life easier or better for the people living in disadvantaged communities. We have supported many educational projects, shelter programs, and community-based initiatives. You can find out about the specific projects we provide funding for, via our Facebook page.

PlanetRomeo Foundation has a board of very dedicated volunteers who meet to review applications and decide which projects the funding should go to. We offer financial aid of up to €5,000 per project and we hope this can start to get things moving on the ground.

I actually got to attend a board meeting in my first week which was a great experience, especially as I didn’t have to take notes. I’m sure that will not be the case next time.

We’re always thinking of additional ways the Care department can help and we have to be realistic about what we can achieve. We can’t relocate people around the world, but we can listen, and, if it’s possible to help, of course we will. Recently we got an email from a PLANETROMEO member who was trying to leave his own country where it’s illegal to be gay. He was applying for asylum in the US and he wanted us to prove he had an active PLANETROMEO profile since 2011. We were able to confirm this which added some credibility to his application.

Of course Kevin and all of us at PLANETROMEO can’t wave a magic wand and fix the world overnight. We can use the resources available to us, to shine a little light in dark corners and to help people to feel included.

We are delighted to add Kevin’s personality and skill to our Care department. When not working to support the Care team he can sometimes be spotted out dancing on the vibrant and free gay scene of Amsterdam. He’s always been aware of inequality in the world but has never worked so close to the people it actually affects.

“Everyone knows there are places where gay rights don’t exist, but I was never really exposed to it before. Being gay is only one part of my full identity and to hate me for that seems crazy. When I connect with someone from a country where gay rights don’t exist then I feel like we have a duty to do this work.”
— Kevin Schram