Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,and Questionable rights have evolved over the years, and have had many challenges along the way, but without the help of social media, they would not be where they are today. The importance of social media in the movement for LGBTQ rights is imperative, but many different social factors added up to the monumental effect of the media. Influences of stars, along with the simplicity of meeting new people, and advancing information on social media leveraged majority groups to change their beliefs.
Meeting new people on social media, plays a big role in changing others to become more accepting, and the progression of LGBTQ rights is how it is today because of the community sharing their ideas, and opinions. Although this is not related to social media, it is what started interactions between gays, lesbians, and transgenders, which then led to LGBTQ members communicating online. Morris states, “The disruptions of World War II allowed formerly isolated gay men and women to meet as soldiers, war workers, and other volunteers uprooted from small towns and posted worldwide.” If not for disruptions during World War II, our society might not even know that LGBTQ exists. This just proving how important meeting, and sharing company with others is and was to gaining equal rights for all sexualities. For example, a research study conducted by Pew Research Center, tested the usage of social media, and exactly how much it affects teen social life, and friendships made online. Amanda Lenhart illustrates, “57% of teens have met a new friend online. Social media and online game play are the most common digital venues for meeting friends.” Judging on the high percentage of teens that made friends over the internet, it is obvious social media is a easy, and positive outlet for teens to interact, which leads to conversing, and sharing beliefs. Furthermore, from Salzburg University, this article capitalizes, on the big effect social media has with the forwarding of information on social media. Salzburg University writes, “Social media, particularly Twitter, have given a greater voice to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities around the world.” Because the major effect of social media, explained by Salzburg, it is easy to clarify that it allows everyone to have their own voice, which benefits the LGBTQ society. Basic concepts of interacting with new people, and the ability to make new friends over the internet helped progress rights of gay, lesbian, transgender.
Not only society sharing their ideas helped push LGBTQ equality, but how effortlessly anyone on social media can share information, and spread awareness. In addition, after the deaths of 2 male teens committing suicide after being bullied for their sexuality, Dan Savage, a sexual health columnist, took time to make a YouTube video, explaining the incident, and starting the “It Gets Better” campaign , and spreading awareness. Explained by Salzburg University, “The ‘It Gets Better Project’ was one of the first social media campaigns that successfully reached out to teens — both gay and straight.” The “It Gets Better” campaign was what got the U.S.A to legalize same sex marriages. This campaign was monumental for advancement of equal rights, and started the trend of movements online. This all started because of a simple video online, showcasing the power it holds. Arguably, social media is a great place for teens to express their feelings, in a safe environment at least, which is a big cause that helps information spread, despite opposing opinions. Lenhart describes, “Social media helps teens feel more connected to their friends’ feelings and daily lives, and also offers teens a place to receive support from others during challenging times.” Some people may believe social media has a negative effect on kids, and doesn’t teach kids moral lessons. However, social media is a great platform for teens and kids to learn valuable lessons, while still being entertained, and finding support with newly made colleagues. Moreover, a charity, Critical Media, has a main goal of informing anyone that is interested on the presents of LGBTQ online, accepting money to try and put a stop to bias, and stereotypes that are put out there. Critical Media produced a video with people confessing, and explaining their troublesome stories of being bullied, and almost killing themselves, because they felt they were not accepted. They then explain how the campaign “It Gets Better” really helped them progress in finding hope. With that video out on the internet, not only does it extend understanding, but it offers support to people who feel they are going through the same thing. In the act of meeting new people, progression happens in everyone’s life, not only the LGBTQ community, but other oppressed groups.
Social media stars had the biggest impact, especially the younger generation, showing them the people that they look up to, and anyone in everyday can be apart of the LGBTQ community , and it doesn’t change anything. Game Theory, a popular youtube channel, stresses stereotypes that are shown in video games about the LGBTQ community. Game Theory, emphasizes on many examples of characters that are attracted to same sex, and transgender on video games, being portrayed as villains, mentally challenged, or clueless. Many popular youtube channels, assess this issue we see in a lot of television, and video games. But the fact that these are youtube channels that get millions of views only speeds up the process of equality. The Trevor Project is a non profit organization fighting to end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people, and a very popular Youtube figure, Tyler Oakley openly supported it, and fans exceeded his expectations. The Trevor Project annotates, “In the following months, fans and supporters from all over the country chipped in, quickly surpassing Tyler’s initial goal and bringing the final gross total to $525,704!” Because of Tyler’s presents, on social media, his goal was broken very easily, which can apply to many more causes, not just charities, which is why social media is so vital. At this point, the now famous talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, was not always known as she is today, and her announcing a very important message,was a monumental change. CNN News spells out, “Comedian Ellen DeGeneres comes out as a lesbian on the cover Time magazine, stating, ‘Yep, I’m Gay.’” After her coming out as lesbian, she was then offered her talk show, which was controversial with many people, but after seeing and understanding what her show stood for, it wasn’t long before minds changed.
The immunity of the LGBTQ community, has been fought for through many years of evolution, but not until the existence of social media, did they truly have a fighting chance. The effects of transmission of advice, and enlightenment, along with recognizable stars, and meeting new friends on the media, is what helped start the uproot of LGBTQ equality.