How much information does social media need to know about our sexualities?
Social media has become a place for those in the LGBTQ+ community to express themselves freely and share their stories with the world. While there are an abundance of positive posts of individuals coming out and speaking their truths, there is also a negative side that social media plays in this.
'Accidentally' coming out
It is not uncommon in 2023 for social media influencers to create posts on platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, sharing their stories of coming out. An example of this is Amber Rose Gill, the 2019 Love Island winner, discussing how she regrets sending a tweet in 2022 that she was 'switching teams' as her way of coming out to the internet. While talking with Access All Areas on FUBAR Radio, Gill was asked if the tweet was sent by accident, stating:
“Accidentally, yeah. I remember looking at it [the tweet] and thinking, ’S**t, what have I said?’”
However, Gill has since then started happily posting on TikTok regarding her sexuality and new relationship with football star Jen Beattie, gaining a lot of love and support from TikTok users and the LGBTQ+ community. This is a positive example of how social media can be a great way of making people feel comfortable in their sexuality and feel accepted by others.
Safeguarding children online
Although social media is a safe place for many individuals to share their stories and raise awareness of the struggles facing the LGBTQ+ community, it can also have negative effects when used for the wrong reasons. An example of this is the Youtube 'vlogging family' The Saccone-Jolys exploiting one of their children who is transgender. The family will regularly create TikToks with their transgender child where the child's sexuality will be the main focus of the TikToks.
While this can be a great way to raise awareness of the importance of families accepting their children's sexuality, it is also a way for the parent's to capitalise on their children as they gain money from the views of the videos. It can be argued that while the family is allowing their child to express themselves and be open about their sexuality, they are not protecting their child's safety and possibly uploading videos against their child's will. Therefore, there is no way of knowing the impact posting your children's lives and sexuality on the internet will have on them in the future.