THE CRUX OF GUTS
GUTS is ultimately about discovery as queer people navigating New York City. As the city with the highest concentration of LGBTQ-identifying residents (700,000+) and a vital and diverse array of resources and businesses, it can be overwhelming to know how to hone in on what to do, who to know, where to be, etc. (Not even talking about visitors) GUTS is here to facilitate exactly that.
The idea came about while thumbing through many guides in many different cities and realizing that the way we navigate and digest information has drastically changed within a very short amount of time. With the advent of Yelp and Google Maps the idea of carrying a magazine around can feel a bit outmoded. This was the initial problem GUTS sought to solve.
The GUTS app works with businesses and institutions that provide NYC’s queer community with our safe spaces, our go-to bars, the places where we converge to discover and engage with our friends and peers, and also to play in an element of variables where one thing can lead to another.
The app gives you real time results of your proximity to the deals and events that could otherwise be easily overlooked. Users are also able to provide information by using the GUTS Mild to Wild scale, where once the user checks in, they can rate and adjust the level of activity of that space. So if you are looking for a quiet place to go to talk with a friend, a business with a “Mild” rating would be preferable over a “Wild” club better suited to people seeking high-energy environments.
Businesses also have the opportunity to offer users incentives for their loyalty with our check-in feature. Perhaps a free well drink or draft beer with every 10th check-in, or complimentary admission after 8 check-ins, could be a great way to both offer value to the user and encourage reliable patronage. That’s a win-win.
How can anyone expect to facilitate your road to discovery without knowing you? One thing that is painfully apparent is the way that queer culture is presented simplistically when we are one of the most diverse and nuanced communities. This extends into race, age, interests, gender, mannerisms, professions, and on and on.
GUTS encourages users to make their profile as robust as possible. It should really feel like a virtual model of what makes them unique. Unlike hook-up apps rife with sweltering torsos and one-liners, GUTS is a conduit not only for discovery but a means for you to become discoverable in a way that is more substantial. Share your work—The thing(s) that you do best. We want you to be recognized for what you uniquely bring to the table.
Whether you’re a best selling author, a writer working as a waiter, a photographer working in retail, a model with an extra vertebrae, users are aspiring on some level. There is so much raw talent that this city attracts and fosters, and whether they blog or Instagram or are doing sold out shows at Terminal 5, a lot of content already exists. Wherever it is that you find your gut feeling, share it and be discoverable. It is an act of generosity and courage on your part but also a gesture towards connectivity with like-minded people.
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED…PAID AND PUBLISHED
The team at GUTS will be very vigilant in moderating and scouting content. This means that when we find compelling user content that fits within the very loose criteria of being GUTS material, we will pay you fairly to publish your work as a featured entry on our app and website. Furthermore, GUTS will compile a quarterly annual, which said entry/user would be included in. The objective of the annual is to shine a light on queer NYC’s incredible raw talent regardless of “qualifications” or “experience” and to show the world that our community is a complex, creative network of individuals, and to dismantle the idea that we can be simplified to some cultural monolith. It is also our belief that this open-source form of acquiring content is inherently more indicative of NYC’s dynamic demographic and is rooted in fair populism.
GO FORTH AND DISCOVER
Through the app you can explore and discover other users through tags and comprehensive and effective search functions. In the event you check-in at your favorite bar, for example, you can see other users who are also checked in, giving you the opportunity and information to engage on a more substantial interest level. Users are encouraged to engage with one another on professional and cultural levels. You never know when and where you will meet someone that can change the course of your life, or you know…there’s also hook ups (if it comes to that). What’s paramount is that your presence on GUTS is rich with evidence of your character and that’s a lot more to go on than a t-shirt with a clever slogan.
COST vs. VALUE
The app is free to download but we want to be able to keep GUTS afloat without having to pander to external interests and without interrupting what should feel as natural of an experience as can be expected through a virtual format.
To do this, more robust features like unlimited uploads and messaging, and profile customization will be available at a fair subscription rate.
The thing to consider is that if you are generating undeniably rich content, the potential for you to be paid enough that your check from GUTS as another source of income will increase. It’s almost like Mega Millions, well not really, but if enough users subscribe, after the costs to run GUTS, the lion’s share of it will go into paying users for doing what they love to do and are most likely already doing.
The more users/subscribers GUTS has, the more published content will be bought and become available to be enjoyed. So it is like the lottery only in the sense that you are paying for a service which allows you to discover, find value, engage, while adding to the “jackpot.” Only the outcome is not dictated by something arbitrary or random, it is persuaded by the level of content you submit which is not arbitrary at all but uniquely deliberate.
We will also invite businesses to sponsor content for GUTS. In certain cases a certain project may require several roles and may be highly collaborative. This is an amazing chance for users to engage and work with like-minded users. These projects or gigs act as a type of organ and are a way of keeping the creative blood flowing throughout the larger organism of GUTS. A certain level of competition challenges users to produce their best work and to push creative boundaries and professional excellence.
AND THEY WILL COME
While we fine-tune the app before its launch we will be looking for submissions and in these pre-app stages your opportunity for exposure will be high since it has yet to generate a user pool large enough to earnestly be called populist.
We are looking for quality submissions so that in the future, other users will know that we are really focused on setting the quality of our dialogue and creativity at a very high standard in order to be published. Once the tone is set, we hope people will know that they can casually submit work with an understanding of GUTS’ dedication to promoting highly provocative, thoughtful, and unique content.
This probably all sounds very serious but the spectrum of what we are interested in is quite broad. We want funny. We want sexy. We want dangerous. Satire. Comics/illustrations. Mixtapes. The whole shebang.
What is important should be your sense of authenticity and that you have something to say in this post-modern time of intersections and unprecedented visibility and freedoms.
Please send all stories/pitches/content to firstname.lastname@example.org