In 2020, millions of people across the globe turned to TikTok for their daily dose of joy. The platform is overflowing with funny dance routines, cute animals, and self-care tips (
#spanightroutine, anyone?). But I'd argue that nowhere is quite as joyous, informative, and authentic as Queer Tok.
While the very real phenomenon of
shadowbanning cannot be ignored, queer voices continue to push through and thrive on social media, helping to build community and educate users on issues surrounding homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination.
With Pride Month 2021 well underway, now is an amazing time to profile activists and members of LGBTQ+ communities who are doing the most to enact change – including on social media sites. While these creators are doing great work 365 days of the year, the month of June presents an opportunity to shout even louder about their achievements.
Below, I have selected seven of my very favourite TikTok accounts run by members of LGBTQ+ communities, all of whom have gained massive followings in the past few years for their authenticity, openness, and commitment to do good. Keep reading to find out more about them and to see how you can follow and support their work.
With 1.3 million followers and counting, Lily-Rose Hinton is a bonafide TikTok sensation. Her videos are funny and totally unapologetic.
Lily-Rose is a member of The Byte House: a house in London occuped by of six viral UK TikTok creators. So don’t be surprised if you see Shauni Kibby, Katie Franklin, Jake Sweet, Seb Wood, and Monty Keates popping up in Lily-Rose’s videos.
Follow Lily-Rose here. Jade Stone
Belfast-born Jade Stone prides herself on being a creator that keeps it real. The 21 year old’s page has delicious recipes and life hacks, positive affirmations, lots of Q&A sessions, and messages about mental health.
Belfast Live about her channel she said, “There was all sorts of videos, all types of people, each doing their own thing and me being a typical Belfast girl; the noisiest of the bunch, I started reading through comments and was amazed at how much support people were giving each other and raving each other up in the comments."
Stone’s channel has grown monumentally since she started TikTok. She now has over 55k followers and 979k likes.
Follow Jade Stone here. Shaz
Shaz is a 22-year-old Londener. She told the BBC that she didn’t even realise there was
a LGBTQ+ Muslim community until she joined TikTok. Shaz considers TikTok her “safe space” were she can create content that feels authentic to her and connect with likeminded people. She speaks to her 50k followers about self acceptance, self love, tips on coming out, and living freely if your family are less accepting of your sexual identity. She uses #LGBTMuslims to connect with others. Follow Shaz here. Jessica Out Of The Closet
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard’s TikTok offers an insight in her life with wife Claudia, who recently became pregnant, and is a space where can share information about what it’s like living with a disability and a chronic illness.
Jessica and Claudia also run a
YouTube channel where she aims to create “uplifting and educational content that should help you get through tough times and not feel alone.” Follow Jessica here. Cat Burns
Singer-songwriter and BRIT school alum Cat Burns uses TikTok to share her music, which she describes to gal-dem as “
pop with a South London touch.” Cat’s fanbase has exploded over the past few years thanks to the success of songs such as “Sober” and “Cheater” – and she’ll be supporting JP Saxe on tour later this year – but music fans who want to be the first to know need to follow her on TikTok. Follow Cat here. Yaz Finney
Yaz Finney’s bio reads “giving trans goddess realness” and let’s just say she
totally lives up to that title. If you’re in need of some outfit inspiration or killer comebacks, consult Yaz’s TikTok immediately. Yaz has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and now her social media success is being translated onto screen as she’s landed the lead role in Billy Porter’s directorial debut What If?. The story will follow Kelsa (Yaz) and Khal as they navigate new love and complicated feelings during their senior year. Follow Yaz here. Teddy Edwardes
Teddy runs LICK, an event night for LGBTQ+ womxn and non-binary people. Before the pandemic, she shared clips from LICK’s club nights and you’d be forgiven for feeling totally jealous. In 2020, though, she’s given us snippets of her home life, posting cute videos with her girlfriend, British former bicycle motocross racer and track cyclist Shanaze Reade.
Notion in April this year, Teddy said, “My permanent happy place is at home with my girlfriend. Even now we are out of lockdown. I struggle to enjoy leaving the house because the sofa with a cup of tea is my favourite place to be.” And, thanks to TikTok, we get to share in that happiness! Follow Teddy here.