TikTok releases its latest Visionary Voices list in honor of Pride Month. Credit: TikTok
Mashable celebrates Pride all year long and honors Pride Month in June by exploring and championing the modern LGBTQ world in all its glorious queerness — including the leaders, conversations, and spaces, both online and off, making up a community that embraces and continues to fight for the freedom to thrive as our most authentic selves.
As Pride Month kicks off, TikTok has joined in the celebration of LGBTQ identities, history, and communities in its own way: shouting out a select bunch of LGBTQ+ creators and small business owners who the platform says have helped “build connection and community” on the app.
TikTok’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Visionary Voices list(opens in a new tab) is accompanied by new platform-wide initiatives, and company commitment to protecting its LGBTQ users, known as the “You Belong Here” campaign.
“As a platform that thrives to inspire creativity and bring joy, TikTok has been powered by the contributions of our incredible LGBTQIA+ community who inspire millions through their creativity, passion, and advocacy. In honor of Pride Month, we are celebrating and recognizing the collective visibility and impact of our LGBTQIA+ community by introducing our 2023 LGBTQ+ Visionary Voices list and Pride campaign, You Belong Here,” the platform wrote in its announcement.
The app will launch its #ForYourPride hashtag and hub, with TikTok LIVE events and other programming with creators and LGBTQIA+ owned businesses including @lovewithpride(opens in a new tab), @rainbowcertified(opens in a new tab), @everywhereisqueer(opens in a new tab), @icedabove(opens in a new tab), @milky.tomato(opens in a new tab), @musiccitycreative(opens in a new tab), @thegrowinggroves(opens in a new tab), @queerency(opens in a new tab), @verygaypaint(opens in a new tab) and nongovernmental organizations like @itgetsbetter(opens in a new tab), @translifeline(opens in a new tab), @humanrightscampaign(opens in a new tab), @gamergworls(opens in a new tab), @glaad(opens in a new tab), @pride_site(opens in a new tab), and @lgbtq(opens in a new tab).
Other highlights include a #PrideAnthems activation on the app’s Sounds page, which will feature special music guests like Grammy winner @samsmith(opens in a new tab), rapper @villanoantillano(opens in a new tab), country music duo @brothersosborne(opens in a new tab), singer-songwriter @fletcher(opens in a new tab), singer-producer @victoriamonet(opens in a new tab) and more, as well as curated playlists.
The platform will also host webinars and in-person events, like the TikTok Pride Creator Ball celebration in Los Angeles, California.
While the “You Belong Here” campaign and TikTok’s Pride Month efforts acknowledge the need for protections and safeguards to keep LGBTQ creators safe, the app’s ecosystem has created an easily permeable division between safe space for LGBTQ users to explore their stories and find community, and hateful content and interactions — like many other spaces online.
Accounts like the infamous Libs of TikTok(opens in a new tab) have built a following spreading misinformation and doxxing fellow creators. Popular trans and nonbinary creators like Dylan Mulvaney,(opens in a new tab) James Rose(opens in a new tab), and Jeffrey Marsh(opens in a new tab) have become figureheads of anti-LGBTQ tirades, bearing the brunt of campaigns against their images and messages. Broadly, LGBTQ creators on TikTok still have to contend with the app’s frustratingly confusing moderation policies.
“We believe that people should be able to connect with one another, express themselves authentically, and thrive on the platform,” TikTok wrote. “And we know that fostering an inclusive space requires prioritizing the needs of our community. We strive to protect our LGBTQIA+ community on TikTok by taking action, including removal, on content and accounts that engage in harassment, bullying, hate speech, and hateful behavior, such as deadnaming or misgendering — as explained in our Community Guidelines(opens in a new tab). We also empower people to create the best TikTok experience for themselves by providing a range of safety features, such as confidential ways to report(opens in a new tab) potentially violative content and accounts, comment filtering tools(opens in a new tab) and privacy settings(opens in a new tab) to choose who can engage with their content.
“Honored and humbled to be part of our community’s path to Pride, we will continually look for ways to build an inspiring and inclusive platform for all voices.”
The full Visionary Voices list can be found below.
CreatorsDevin Halbal (@hal.baddie(opens in a new tab)), a trans social media icon, lifestyle and travel vlogger, and meme queen.
Jae Gurley (@jaegurley(opens in a new tab)), a nonbinary performer recognized for their “Bougie B” lifestyle content and personal storytelling.
Mercury Stardust (@mercurystardust(opens in a new tab)), a professional home maintenance technician, performer, and award-winning activist known as the app’s “Trans Handy Ma’am.”
Jake Shane (@octopusslover8(opens in a new tab)), a comedian and content creator who gained a following for his PSAs and Gen Z reimaginings of significant historical events.
Am and Noey Zletnis (@thezletnis(opens in a new tab)), a queer sister duo who post about self-expression, inclusive fashion, and LGBTQ+ advocacy.
Industry DisruptorsSaucy Santana (@saucysantana(opens in a new tab)), a recognized artist and performer known for TikTok-popular hits like “Walk Em Like A Dog” and “Material Girl.”
Tate Farris (@imbabytate(opens in a new tab)), a multi-genre artist whose discography has become viral on TikTok with sounds like the confidence-boosting “I Am,” the playful “Hey, Mickey!,” and her feature on Ashnikko’s massive single “Stupid.”
Mick, Robert, Jessay, and Bill (@oldgays(opens in a new tab)), the minds behind humorous The Old Gays account, known for their trendy and heartwarming videos.
Jonathan Kung (@jonkung(opens in a new tab)), a chef and creator with a mission to teach others how to combine their cultures and personalities in their food.
Andre Isaacs (@drdre4000(opens in a new tab)), an associate professor of chemistry who uses his platform to challenge stereotypes of the STEM community through dances, skits, and educational content with his diverse student lab staff.
Small-Owned BusinessesJodyann Morgan (@ctoan.co(opens in a new tab)), the Black, queer candle business owner of CTOAN Co.
Eunice Straight Head (@n00nice(opens in a new tab)), an Indigenous artist (Mnicouju Lakota, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) who combines photography with fashion, cosplay, beading, sewing, and Indigenous representation.
David Yi (@goodlight.world(opens in a new tab)), a journalist and Korean American co-founder of the gender-inclusive beauty brand Good Light Cosmetics.
Jack and Bec (@jackandbec(opens in a new tab)), sisters, illustrators, designers, and makers, who create art centered around body positivity, deaf pride, LGBTQIA+ pride, mental health awareness, and social justice.
Nicholas Scheppard and Jenson Titus (@verygaypaint(opens in a new tab)), comedians-turned-painters and owners of Very Gay Paint, a muralist company centered around their own queerness and colorful designs.
Chase joined Mashable’s S