Safety and acceptance: Finding validity in the LGBTQ+ community


Pim Chu

Social media has played a large role in the evolvement of the LGBTQ+ community.

Itziar Carrasco Gomez, Opinion/Editorials Editor

The use of social media has risen to a total of 4.48 billion since 2020. With the growth of social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, the information and exposure to the LGBTQ+ community has become greater than ever, helping teens find a community within these apps.

This newfound support for the LGBTQ+ community has led to a higher amount of people coming out with their sexual orientation due to being more comfortable. While there are many positive outcomes for the community, some have taken a stance against the amount of people coming out, stating they are doing it just to feel like a part of something. 

Curating and creating a safe space for non-straight people has always been a goal of the community, with many members speaking up against homophobia, especially online. This has generated a new sensitivity towards homophobic comments for which people are now being held accountable. 

This increased accountability, which some refer to as “cancel culture” has made it possible for LGTBQ+ individuals to feel safer online. Homophobia being denounced so harshly has made it possible for people with homophobic beliefs online to be held accountable not just by LGBTQ+ individuals but other allies. Now when people spread homophobic slurs, they are more likely to be held responsible for their actions, a practice that wasn’t as common prior to the pandemic.

During lockdown, a lot more people took to the internet to voice their beliefs in the form of online activism. Content creators started posting about the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community. This reached hundreds of thousands of users, as the thing people turned to the most during lockdown was social media. With a newfound interest and belief in activism, more people came together to support the LGBTQ+ community, which eventually turned to taking a collective stance against homophobia. 

As people called out influencers and popular celebrities for their homophobia, members of the LGBTQ+ community felt safer about discussing their sexual identity and openly being themselves. Unfortunately, the large wave of new individuals coming out also led to criticism from others online.

Some people say the frequency in the amount of LGBTQ+ individuals coming out is due to the fact that the LGBTQ+ community has become a club people want to be a part of. They denounce people who have recently come out under the belief that they are faking their sexualities, and see being part of the community as a trend. 

This large amount of criticism has led many members of the community, especially bisexual individuals to feel invalidated. Bisexual is a label given to people who are attracted to both women and men, or two genders. Consequently, people have been setting standards to verify the validity of these people’s sexual orientations. This has led to people having to post statistics of their past romantic partners and crushes to avoid criticism. However, what critics fail to realize is that this inability to accept people negatively impacts the entirety of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The point and goal of the LGBTQ+ community is to accept people as they are and to provide a safe space for them. One that is free of the criticism individuals already face from people outside the community. When others are attacked for who they are and are questioned to the point of having to provide statistics and personal details to prove themselves it tears the community apart. 

It is important that the community remains supportive of each other without feeling the need to fight for who’s sexuality is the most “valid.” If people in the LGBTQ+ community continue to turn against each other, it will take away the ability to have a comfortable and accepting space away from those who are looking for a safe space.

It is essential that people reconsider and take a step back when criticizing others and question whether their invasive judgments will help or hinder the ability to maintain the community as a place where people can exist in peace.