TikTok and LGBTQ+ Community

Goals

To gather information regarding TikTok and the LGBTQ+ Community, including information on TikTok Live in the US in order to build an overview.

Early Findings

  • TikTok is generally associated as an LGBT+ positive space. It has launched the openly-gay rapper Lil Nas X and hosted 51.8 million videos under the hashtag #comingout across the world. It has inspired and encouraged the embracing of gender and sexual identity online.
  • TikTok has become popular among LGBTQ+ teens in the US, who are not out to friends or family and consider the platform as a place where they can be out. Others have used the platform to come out to friends and family and record and share their reactions. According to them, this method of coming out is "less formal and relieved some of the pressure and paralyzing fear."
  • LGBTQ+ teens from Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, and Michigan agree that TikTok provides them "support and acceptance" as this is difficult to find in their real lives.
  • There are some reports from the LGBTQ+ community stating that TikTok removed some posts submitted by trans people. However, TikTok said that the videos were removed due to broken rules on smoking and nudity and that the platform is an "inclusive space for positive and creative expression" with a diverse community.
  • According to The Washington Post, watching LGBTQ+ TikTok is "like going backstage," where young LGBTQ+ users share their feelings. The community's videos in this app are supportive and confessional.
  • In 2019, TikTok admitted that it removed videos posted by people "vulnerable to cyberbullying," including people with disabilities, those whose bios had hashtags like "#fatwoman or #disabled," and had bios with any LGBTQ identifiers.
  • TikTok is moderating LGBT+ content in some countries with conservative morals. Banned content includes same-sex couples holding hands. However, these bans do not seem to apply in the US.

Proposed next steps:

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