Read Time: 2.75 mins
Social media has people at its heart. Without people, it would be empty. We asked Esther Swaby, a budding young creative writer, to address a topic of her choice, and she chose to focus on inclusion on social media.
June is widely recognised as 2017’s ‘Pride Month’. A month where everyone is invited to come forward and unite with LGBTQ+ people against discrimination. It’s a time to spread love and acceptance for all people.
No matter who we love or what gender we identify as at the end of the day we are all human and all deserve to feel pride in who we are.
For a long time, gay and trans people have been harassed on the internet, where people think it is acceptable to say whatever they want from behind their phone or computer screens. We have reached a time where people as a whole should accept one another for who they are, rather than slandering them and creating offensive internet content to turn their struggles into jokes. In 2017 old ideals that segregate people by race, religion, or sexual orientation should be archaic. However, a lot of people are trapped in outdated prejudices.
We are all humans and all deserve to be respected equally.
As a 17-year-old living in a constantly changing society I have first-hand seen how the positive actions of governments and social media platforms support the LGBT people around me and have felt giddy at the possibility of complete equality. However, I also witnessed first-hand how the negative actions of people leave a grey smear across the faces of people who deserve to be happy and deserve to feel safe.
Through social media I have seen Lauren Jauregui (of Fifth Harmony) pen an open letter to Donald Trump where she bravely came out as a proud Cuban-American bisexual woman, practically screaming in the face of discrimination. I have seen my close friend almost cry the day the first gender neutral toilet opened at my college, somewhere he finally felt he could go without being judged; these moments made my heart swell with pride for society. But I have also been made aware of gay couples who haven’t been allowed to dance together at prom, and of trans people who have had things thrown at them in the street. Today people are so torn between love and hatred, discrimination and acceptance, that everywhere you look there is an opposing opinion.
An opinion that directly affects somebody else’s life, somebody else’s sense of self, and somebody else’s future.
And so, to celebrate Pride this month social networks have shown that they stand with LGBT people. Many different platforms have come forward to show their support, including;
- Google, where if you type in Pride or LGBT a rainbow will appear in the border of your screen.
- Facebook, where they’ve added a rainbow react icon that encourages people to like their official Pride page.
- Snapchat, who’ve added a list of rainbow love hearts and gay/lesbian kissing emojis.
This wide inclusion has raised a lot of awareness for gay pride and has spread a positive vibe throughout the internet. The little things go a long way in showing that social media and majority of people stand with LGBTQ+ people and that those who don’t, are few.