TikTok is not the first place I've looked to find a queer community. All social media platforms have some form of a queer following, with influencers and celebrities that have their own little corner to speak about the LGBTQ existence.
The TikTok community has done something different than other platforms. It's created a queer space that completely immerses the user in the many beautiful and painful realities of being LGBTQ today.
Told from the perspective of everyday people, not influencers, and many times in a witty and humorous way.
To understand the extent that TikTok can immerse you into the queer community, the algorithm must be taken into account. The algorithm is intense. You can watch the suggested videos change over the course of hours (or sometimes even minutes) by what you are liking that day.
It is an instantaneous change, that will fill your feed with current interests.
In my case, as I started liking content with hashtags like #lgbtq or #queer, my feed became completely dominated by queer people. Which was heaven.
I never had an outlet where there was access to hours and hours of content about what it means to be a modern day queer person, while also being able to laugh and feel seen.
For queer youth on TikTok, seeing video after video of funny queer people living there life may be the only experience they have with their community. It serves as a space to feel "normal", when in many places across the world queer people are not visible.
There also is the added benefit that you do not have to follow any queer accounts to see their content or be constantly feed it on the "For You Page". For queer people that haven't come out, this is key because there is no worry of leaving evidence of their identity if parents or friends were to find their account somehow.
Another key aspect is that there aren't many TikTok celebrities — especially within the queer community.
Yes, people are "TikTok famous". But it is much more common to have a single video go viral than to actually be an influencer.
This gives space for everyone to contribute content and have a wide variety of voices within the wider umbrella of the queer experience. You can find people speaking about transitioning, coming out, and addressing common stereotypes, so many discussions you may have never imagined as a young queer kid.
All while still being funny, relatable, and accessible.
If TikTok is banned, the LGBTQ community that has developed on the app will be lose an amazing resource to learn and laugh about being queer.