For eras together, society has repeatedly echoed this community to be abnormal; blamed to be playing attention seeking gimmicks or even worse, terming their sexual orientation to be a disease.
Discrimination, bullying, mockery, and marginalization have always over-shadowed the LGBT community, this is when social media stepped in to give a tad bit complacence by providing an identity and voice to the otherwise silenced group.
The internet tends to provide a veil of anonymity serving as a refuge for suppressed minority groups in a frantic quest of freedom of expression, support, and acceptance from the mainstream society.
Denise Caruso the Digital Commerce Columnist of New York Times quoted, “It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the Internet has evolved into a force strong enough to reflect the greatest hopes and fears of those who use it.”
The internet created a safe abode behind the screens, thus, revolutionizing the manner individuals belonging to the LGBT section can communicate. Moreover sided with the community in strength and empathy, the recent attack at a gay club in Orlando is a proof where the entire social-verse stood up with #OrlandoShooting and #OrlandoNightclubShooting to ridicule the attack and give a shoulder to lean on.
Hatred is the single most deadliest epidemic to destroy the world . Live and let ‘live’ ?#OrlandoNightclubShooting
— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) June 13, 2016
— Masato Jones (@masatostudio) June 16, 2016
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) June 13, 2016
Same gender love reflecting over the social-verse
Always lusted over liberalism, social media has emerged to be the ultimate portal for expression of thoughts, believes, and opinions. The hushed group saw a beam of glow when the social-verse stood in support for the LGBTQ populace multiple times
Back in 2013, Facebook decided to go red in support of marriage equality, allowing millions of people around the globe to filter their profile pictures in the red and pink logo of the Human Rights Campaign. The extra ordinary campaign grabbed massive support for equality utilizing the viral nature of Facebook.
After the Supreme Court of United States of America legalized gay marriages, the social world turned into a rainbow. Facebook let netizens paint their profile pictures into a rainbow filter to showcase their support towards equality. Facebook claims that 70% of users in the United States are connected to a friend who has expressly recognized themselves to be a part of the LGBT community on their timeline using #PrideConnectsUs.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared through his handle, “Our country was founded on the promise that all people are created equal, and today we took another step towards achieving that promise.”
The overwhelming tweets, supporting the LGBT community sparked Twitter too as it automatically included rainbow emojis with #LoveWins or #Pride.
Instagram’s official page repeatedly celebrates and covers pride parades around the globe thus lending support through their end towards the community and amplifying the message of love.
Celebrating love, YouTube too became the portal to support gay rights with its inspirational #ProudToLove video which was a compilation of snippets from YouTubers and celebrities coming out to fans, folks, and friends.
Social sphere has always revived the sense of belonging to the community which has been pushed away, shushed, and ridiculed.Facebook sheltering this community, has blossomed groups and pages to nurture the familiarity of this community allowing people to tick off conversations, plan pride queer parades or simply discuss the upcoming Beiber album. Some of these groups are Gay Professionals, Transgender world, Transgender support, Queer Azadi Mumbai, GLBT Writers and Readers, LGBT Advocate, LGBT Pride Support, and many more.
Brands raise their voice too
Around the global, brands took up social media to express their support through campaigns out of which hospitality global brand Marriott came up with #LoveTravels.
Heineken too pushed a Pride Month initiative through Instagram earlier this year in February, titled, #LikeForLove, where it involved six photos of real life LGBT couples that when liked on the social media app, formed a virtual Pride flag within the Instagram feed of the user.
A photo posted by Heineken US (@heineken_us) on
A photo posted by Heineken US (@heineken_us) on
Oreo gave their cookie a pride inspired makeover on social media in 2012 with a note, ‘Made with crème colors that do not exist,’ which received a massive backlash.
Narrowing it down to our home country where a section still grumbles over heterosexual intimacy, the LGBT community’s security in this case is still dangling by a fragile thread. But, India hosted a few initiatives which somewhere raise our hopes that love is not yet lost.
Supreme Court’s verdict on December 11, 2013 against Section 377 had its own after effects of waving flags and protests for the LGBT community; that is when the campaign, ‘Gay for a day’ came to live on Facebook and Twitter, when users shared pictures of them kissing the same gender, in support of the campaign.
Ethnic apparel brand Anouk, on social media touched upon the dark, unspoken LGBT issue in the country with their campaign.
Amul too, is well-known to bring out current thematic campaigns and post the Supreme Court verdict the famous Amul girl was featured in a creative on Twitter talking against the verdict.
Amul Topical : Supreme Court verdict on Section 377. pic.twitter.com/Pd0jK4LZp7
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) December 12, 2013
Tanishq also took to Twitter to express that two of a kind always makes a beautiful pair.
‘Move on’ says Fastrack from the rugged, ruthless traditions, the brand that has always stood up to be the voice of the youth through its campaigns this time does not shy away to support the LGBT community.
— Tanishq (@TanishqJewelry) December 11, 2013
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) December 12, 2013
— Fastrack (@Fastrack) December 11, 2013
— Allen Solly (@allensolly) December 12, 2013
When Bollywood came forth
Many took up to Twitter to express their support towards the LGBT community and against the Section 377 within 140 characters.
Amitabh Bachchan, a global representative of the country expressed his anguish towards the verdict, following that filmmaker Karan Johar too sympathized with the gay community.
T 1320 -Question : How will the law authorities decide or apprehend those that commit this ‘crime’ !!??
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 11, 2013
#Sec377 is not just a violation of human rights but also makes democracy seem like a mirage in our country….
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) December 11, 2013
Celebrities like John Abraham, Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Parineeti Chopra Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar and more became the voice of India by backing the homosexuals.
Only God has the right to give and take life #OrlandoNightclubShooting cannot imagine the pain.
— Shahid Kapoor (@shahidkapoor) June 13, 2016
RIP the victims of the #OrlandoNightclubShooting! u’ll were proud of who u were and that is how you shall be remembered. Prayers and love.
— Sonakshi Sinha (@sonakshisinha) June 13, 2016
What is happening! Prayers for the victims and families of #OrlandoNightclubShooting. Heartbroken
— Parineeti Chopra (@ParineetiChopra) June 13, 2016
Actress Kalki Koechlin always pouncing on off bear roles this time has come out to support the LGBT population with the digital campaign for IICE Vodka, titled Kinki Chilli, where she addressed issues of same sex love and proposes liberty to love without inequality.
Social media has been the digital string that binds the global together, been a source that granted exposure just by sitting under your home roof and gave a volume to your tone towards any issue. Speaking about the minority group battling for its sexual orientation, social media if not diminished the hounding or mocking has undeniably provided a comfortable space to speak out maintain anonymity and raised hopes higher towards acceptance in the norm.
On closing lines, keep the rainbow flags waving gaily.