[Editor’s Note: Welcome to Pride Month on the ChatterBlast blog. Throughout the month of June, we’ll be publishing weekly features in celebration of the LGBTQ community’s contributions to, well, just about everything. Stay tuned as we highlight and pay respect to the people and community members that inspire us to take pride in who we are.]
The internet has, by design, become a melting pot of ideas.
Think about it: By democratizing global, rapid communication the way “going online” and social media has, we as a society have reached critical mass for progressive change. Social media is a tool that hypercharges conversation, and it’s very easy to argue that minority groups and fringe identities have used this tool to organize and empower themselves in the 21st century.
The LGBTQ community is a perfect example. Social media has enabled a new kind of visibility for queers of all shapes and sizes (especially looking at you, Tumblr), resulting in an overall societal shift. New voices are being heard by the people who need to hear them, whether it be the red-state teen working up to courage to come out of the closet, or the parent coming to terms with their child’s identity.
Without further ado, these are the people and groups who are shaping—and reshaping—the conversation around LGBTQ rights and identities. Whether they inspire us to act, challenge your preconceived ideas, or just give us a good laugh, they’re worth your attention, and worth hitting that follow button.
— Everyone Is Gay (@everyoneisgay) November 11, 2016
An organization and social media presence whose main objective is to provide an outlet for advice to LGBTQ teens, adults and parents, Everyone is Gay fascinates conversations surrounding queer topics in a judgment-free and friendly manner, creating accessibility for those who are struggling with their own identities, for parents who are learning to adapt to their children’s sexual and gender expressions.
— Everyone Is Gay (@everyoneisgay) January 8, 2017
Through high-impact engagement, content creation (Everyone is Gay’s advice video series is pretty excellent) and more, Everyone is Gay harnesses social media’s rapid-fire rate of communication to encourage queer youth to seek out their peers, embrace themselves and light the fire of a new kind of LGBTQ youth community.
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) June 6, 2017
By now, you must know of Janet Mock. The trans activist, author, podcast host and media personality has done mountains of work to create transgender visibility not only through social media (where she coined the powerful #GirlsLikeUs hashtag) but as it translates into popular culture as well.
As the director of Masjid Al-Rabia, a Chicago-based care organization for LGBTQ and otherwise fringe-identifying Muslims, Mahdia Lynn has taken their efforts to a new level with their Longest Days, Sacred Nights campaign, a month of programming coinciding with Ramadan that celebrates and champions the LGBTQ Muslim community.
— Autostraddle (@autostraddle) June 2, 2017
From open letters, to mixtapes, to an increasingly trending Twitter hashtag, Lynn and Longest Days, Sacred Nights sheds light on an oft-forgotten portion of the larger queer community. “I want to show youth out there that not only is it possible to be like this, but that you can thrive in a supportive community and have a family to come home to,” she tells Autostraddle. “I want youth to be able to look at me, to look at us, and see possibility.”
Artist and illustrator Britt Sabo’s work can be characterized in a number of ways: fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons-inspired, whimsical. But by keeping an LGBTQ-oriented bend into her work, Sabo’s doing a subtly strong amount of groundwork by weaving queer characters and storylines into science fiction comics.
Her long-running comic, All Night is a great example of this. Check it out.
Since coming out as transgender in 2012, Laura Jane Grace has augmented her career from singer and guitarist of seminal 2000s punk rock band Against Me! to passionate and vocal trans activist. She’s hosted an AOL original series, penned a powerful memoir, and helped inspire countless young fans to live their authentic selves.
You may remember the time Grace made headlines at a 2016 Against Me! concert in North Carolina, where, in protest of the state’s widely criticized House Bill 2, she lit her birth certificate on fire.
— Kathryn Wymer (@kwymer6) May 16, 2016
BONUS: The Babadook
Just having a goof. TGIF, EVERYONE.