We’ve seen the term “slay” used everywhere from voguing to Beyoncé’s Formation to almost every other caption on our Instagram feeds, but for Sean and his husband, Terry, the term has a very important meaning - it is the name of their new global TV network for LGBTQ+ people of color.
36-year-old Sean Torrington followed his passion for filmmaking in 2013 when he created the “No Shade” web series on YouTube that focuses on LGBTQ+ people of color – a community that rarely sees itself depicted in gay or mainstream media. According to the 2016 GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Where We Are On TV report, around 72% of LGBTQ+ characters featured in cable and streaming platforms are white. After receiving an extremely positive response for his series, Torrington initially followed by beta-launching an app in 2016 called Artkutec that collected selected content about LGBTQ+ people of color from YouTube and put them into one central location. It has now evolved into what he and Terry call SlayTV.
The term “slay”, whose definition has transformed over the years to represent a female’s flawless nature, originated in the late 1980s from black queer and transgender culture; more specifically, that of the vogue ball culture – a dance scene that grew out of black LGBTQ+ culture. This reason, in addition to the pure excellence of gay black men, is why Sean and Terry decided for it to be its name.
“We have always been here and have always been killing it.”
- Terry Torrington to Huffington Post
SlayTV, according to Sean, is a network that gives black LGBTQ+ artists and entrepreneurs a chance to claim their own identity by creating their own content and gives them a voice that mainstream media often ignores while allowing them to make money so they can continue “creating the dope content they create.” It currently features show like “Other Boys”, a docu-series created by Abdool Corlette that explores what it means to be black and queer in New York City; “Love @ First Night”, a comedic love story about two black men directed by Terry that loosely depicts he and Sean’s relationship; and Torrington’s “No Shade” which is a dramedy about his coming to age story as a young black gay man.
SlayTV is currently available to watch online and on mobile phones by subscribing to slaytv.com. Starting May 15th, it will be available to watch on TV through Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Android TV devices, Chromecast, and Apple Airplay.
Learn more about the purpose behind SlayTV here and get a preview of some of the shows featured on the network below.