With all the bad press social media gets when it comes to teens, its significant benefits to LGBTQ youth – including relating to others like themselves – can be overlooked, mental health experts and queer teens say.
Members of racial and ethnic groups who have long been underrepresented or misrepresented in the media often say they find it empowering to follow and watch influencers with whom they can relate.
In turn, they feel more understood and accepted. Queer social media influencers are willing to talk about topics general audiences may be uninterested in, but what can be frequent occurrences in the queer community, such as disrespect, bullying, misgendering and loneliness.
Influencers draw from their own life experiences. Whether on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok, queer youth are able to connect with stories and insight that they not only relate to, but can use to help cope with and resolve their own struggles.