On TikTok, queer people are free to be as creative, funny, honest and innovative as they choose. Queer creators are the ones inventing trends, setting the cultural agenda and offering up inspiration to over one billion people all around the world. Whether you’re a LGBTQIA+ creator uploading videos and crafting content, or a lurker lying in bed laughing as you scroll through your For You Page sending TikToks to friends, it’s a place where anyone can explore who they are and express their identity.
What’s more, queer content on TikTok is popular. Hashtags such as #lgbt and #pride have racked up a whopping 66 billion and 10 billion views respectively just in the past year, and the use of hashtags such as #QueerSounds and #QueerOwnedBuisness are helping put LGBTQ+ musicians and artists to the forefront. On TikTok, all LGBTQIA+ folks are welcome.
This Pride season, TikTok has brought their ongoing emphasis on LGBTQ+ allyship into focus with You Belong Here, a dedicated hub amplifying the platform’s active and inclusive LGBTQIA+ community that celebrated queer creators.
Along with inviting users to join the conversation around Pride with the hashtags #ForYourPride, #QueerSounds and #Drag, You Belong Here featured queer creator spotlights and bespoke playlists crafted by LGBTQIA+ musicians Saint Harison and girli.
“You Belong Here is our 2023 Pride campaign, when we recognise and celebrate the incredible LGBTQIA+ community who are thriving on TikTok,” explains Maria Hutchens, who works in Community, Programmes & Events at TikTok UKI & Nordics. “We’re proud to champion our community not just during Pride Month, but every day at TikTok. Throughout the year we will be hosting unique community celebrations, as well as curating in-app programming and LIVE events.”
With the support of GAY TIMES, TikTok UK also launched the ‘For Your Pride’ TikTok Unpacks series. Running from June through to August, the series features beloved queer creators all coming together to empower and educate the LGBTQIA+ community with videos that explored everything from Disability Pride Month, the journey of being a queer musician, non-binary fashion, and lessons on queer history.
Many of the creators chosen to contribute were named earlier this year as TikTok’s 2023 LGBTQIA+ Trailblazers, individuals who bring authenticity and creativity to everything they do while leaving a real impact on the wider queer community.
The ‘For Your Pride’ TikTok Unpacks series features contributions from the likes of Leo Kalyan, a queer non-binary pop star known for their incredible mashups of South Asian music and songs by Beyoncé and Sam Smith, non-binary advocate and model Jude, whose ‘For Your Pride’ video highlighted all the ways that trans allies can support the community, Milly Evans, who spoke about the importance of LGBTQIA+ inclusive sex and relationship education in schools, and queer illustrator Beeillustrates sharing a pocket history about the Stonewall uprising.
“Our community of creators is vibrant and diverse, and everything we do at TikTok is about providing a safe space for people to share their voice and their creativity no matter who they are,” says Maria.
To ensure that TikTok remains a supportive environment, the platform strives to stamp out hate and harassment, be that allowing users to report comments or content that violates the platform’s robust Community Guidelines or ensuring that users have control over their comments with the comment filtering tools. TikTok will also take action, too, removing content or comments from accounts that engage in harassment, bullying, hate speech, and hateful behaviour, such as deadnaming or misgendering.
As Maria says, “We are committed to listening to feedback and working alongside our community to ensure TikTok continues to be a supportive space where everyone can thrive.”
As Pride season for 2023 nears its end, TikTok is cementing its position as a staunch advocate and ally for LGBTQIA+ people by crafting a space that allows queer people to inspire, empower, educate and entertain. So, whether you’re a drag queen teaching complex arithmetic, a non-binary artist opening up about your process, or simply a queer person wanting to share more of your life with the community, there’s no better time to get creative.