Pride 2020 was history in the making. With a global pandemic set as the backdrop, LGBTQ+ communities around the world experienced a Pride Month unlike any other in recent memory. Gone were beloved and traditional rainbow-themed events, parades, and parties. However, the inability to celebrate in person provided the community with time to reflect on how far we've come, and how far we still need to go. This unprecedented time reminded us that there are still some who are fearful and threatened by the progress of LGBTQ+ rights.
This year TikTok is celebrating Pride Month with a unifying, global rallying cry: Free to be. Free to be you in any and all spaces, free to evolve into the person you are supposed to be, free to create content without judgement, free to take the time to understand other people’s experiences - free to live authentically you. This Pride Month, we want you to feel empowered and free to be you, #ForYourPride.
Introducing the next wave of LGBTQ+ TikTok Trailblazers
To kick off the celebration, we're proud to debut our second annual LGBTQ+ TikTok Trailblazers, creators who are at the forefront of the next wave of digital entertainment and defining what it means to embrace self-pride and live their lives freely and to the fullest. These creators are making a positive impact on TikTok and in their broader communities. Throughout the month, get to know these Trailblazers as they share their personal stories.
- @antonibumba (They/Them): Antoni Bumba is an iconic content creator, best known for dominating multiple TikTok niches including pop culture comedy, astrology and spirituality, as well as queer beauty and NYC culture. They are currently known for creating the viral parody trend: “The BBL Effect,” and creating a safe and relatable environment for women and all members of the LGBTQ+ community on their page.
- @brycexavier (He/Him): Bryce Xavier is a music creator and actor, known for his hit single “Bus Ride Away”, which has been featured across TikTok and Spotify’s Fresh Finds POP, New Music Friday, and Label Radar, as well as charted in the top 10 on multiple charts. He recently released his single “Romeo” about same sex love and overcoming adversity.
- @coyletwins (He/Him & She/Her) & (He/Him & She/Her): Twins Luca Coyle and Cooper Coyle are the Coyle twins by day and drag queens Sugar and Spice by night. These siblings use their platform to showcase the power of drag and educate people on the LGBTQ+ community, all while being themselves and dressing like life size fashion dolls.
- @geronimo.warrior (He/Him): Geronimo Louie is an indigenous person from the Chiricahua Apache band and the Navajo Nation. He identifies as “two-spirit” or “indigenous queer” and brings indigenous peoples issues to light. He also teaches his viewers about cultural sensitivity and respect. Geronimo works to uplift his people and their sacred culture through education, representation, and clothes, while also working closely with a small LGBTQIA+ organization called “Diné pride” as a youth director. Geronimo is an inspiring indigenous fashion designer who was recently featured in a Vogue for his traditional ribbon work.
- @jaydemcfarlane (She/Her): Jayde Mcfarlane is a social media influencer who has gained a large following on TikTok by sharing her life as a trans woman of color with confidence, authenticity, and humor. She also posts comedy, beauty, and relationship content which have all played a role in making a name for herself.
- @jessesulli (He/Him): Jesse Sulli is a transgender father who shares his journey going from mom to dad, and raising his twelve-year-old daughter Arlo. His mission is to highlight that not all families look the same, and be a role model to young transgender people all over the world. Jesse wants LGBTQ+ people to feel not only heard, but celebrated and empowered.
- @kennethpabon (He/Him): Kenneth Pabon is emblematic of a generation that embraces exactly who they are. He is strong in his beliefs, confident in his style, and unabashedly himself. His videos will make you laugh, all while giving you the tools and confidence to be an icon yourself.
- @lkbphotography_ (She/Her) & (She/Her): Lisa Brezinski and Pope are social media personalities, business women, and popular TikTok creators, best known for their dark aesthetic, unique style, and inclusive POV videos. Their focus is to create a safe space for all to feel loved, accepted and inspired to be themselves. Lisa is a LA-based fashion photographer and creative director best known for her work with celebrities and models worldwide. Pope is an entrepreneur, media mogul and international barber and educator, best known for her 14 years in the hair industry.
- @mechanicshopfemme (She/Her): Chaya Milchtein is an educator and journalist with a flare for explaining complicated automotive concepts to everyday people, and a passion to provide automotive industry education for people often left out of these spaces. Chaya launched Mechanic Shop Femme in June 2017, and has since been featured in publications ranging from AARP to Oprah Magazine. Chaya’s videos are filled with glamorous outfits that bring her femininity to the forefront, sharing automotive insights while normalizing the existence of fat queer people in the automotive conversation.
- @mschanggifted (She/Her): Growing up in a small town in Georgia gave Jere Chang a zest for the outdoors and desire to educate those unfamiliar with the LGBTQ+ community. Today, she has two sons (aged five and seven) with her wife, and teaches gifted education at an elementary school in Atlanta. Her TikTok content is centered on teaching and sharing her life, in hopes that people will see the value of her fun-loving family.
- @rjchumbley (He/They) & (He/They): The Goddess Boys, RJ Chumbley and Adrian Patterson, are a dynamic duo known for their work in makeup and fashion. They are always pushing the boundaries of masculinity and femininity, creating a community where everyone can be "goddess babes".
- @sedonerrr (She/They): Sedona Prince is a 21-year-old collegiate basketball player at the University of Oregon. She uses her platform on TikTok to advocate for change, not only in the LGBTQ+ community, but also for women's sports across the country.
- @sethsanker (He/They): Seth Sanker is a photographer and fashion content creator living in Southern California. He is a proud first-generation Asian American, and a gender non-conforming male who believes fashion has no gender. Seth is best known for turning pride flags into dresses on TikTok.
- @spencer2TheWest (He/Him): Spencer West is a gay disabled motivational speaker, content creator, author and activist. After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, Spencer has tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate a world set against those with disabilities. Spencer has summited Mount Kilimanjaro, opened for Demi Lovato’s 2014 World Tour, and starred in the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West. Spencer is also the author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey.
- @stapleyourmouthshut (He/She/They): Alex Renee is a 17-year-old LGBTQ+ content creator who began their TikTok journey making POVs, and is now popular for “masculine to feminine“ transition videos. In addition to creating content, they run their own jewelry business and sell paintings made by their disabled sister to raise awareness and money for Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Alex is also currently working on music which has been an extensive part of their life.
Celebrating Pride with LIVE music & programming
Building and supporting community is at the heart of everything we do at TikTok. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Pride this month where we'll feature special musical performances and community-building events on TikTok LIVE. Programming will be available on the Discover page all month long, including:
- The Thrive with Pride Concert, in partnership with LA Pride, on Thursday, June 10 at 7 PM PT/ 10 PM ET. Hyperpop diva Charli XCX and a bevy of LGBTQ+ talent including host Benito Skinner, aka BennyDrama, and incredible artists Love Bailey, VINCINT, Gia Woods, and more will perform. More updates and information about each artist can be found on the lapride.org website.
- The first-ever global TikTok Pride March, a TikTok LIVE Lineup fundraising event spanning 12 hours across 24 different programs hosted by countries around the globe, including the US, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and more. Taking place on June 24 beginning at 9 AM PT/ 6 AM ET. More updates and information about musical performances and artists will be available on the Discover page soon.
Launching new in-app creative effects
The TikTok in-house design team was inspired to create creative effects that looked beyond identity and celebrated the different dimensions of the LGBTQ+ community. Nine new creative effects will roll out throughout the month to help creators celebrate and share stories of the LGBTQ+ community, including Rainbow Hair, Rainbow Curtain, Rainbow Trail, Pride Lighting, Pride Time Warp, Pride Rainbow Cheeks, Pride 3D Lashes, Pride Glittery, and Pride Flag Sky AR.
@henrycheng94, a senior 3D designer who created the Rainbow Trail effect, says 'free to be' to him means "to embrace life fully and be true to myself and also everyone around me." And @jefraingg, a senior 2D designer who created the Pride Flag Sky AR effect, says "it means to be able to freely and truly express myself without having to hold back because of what people might think of me." To create with a Pride Month creative effect, open the Effects tray before filming and add them on top of your video.
Fostering a welcoming and supportive experience for everyone
At TikTok, we're driven by our passion for creating a safe and supportive space so that everyone in our community feels free to be their most authentic selves.
LGBTQ+ people understand in particularly poignant ways how necessary it is to create new systems and find new ways of seeing and being seen, and we want people to feel safe to express themselves creatively and authentically. As we work to foster a welcoming environment, we'll remove hateful, anti-LGBTQ+ content or accounts that attempt to bully or harass people on our platform. And, as hateful behaviors evolve, we'll redirect searches and hashtags to our Community Guidelines to reinforce that there's no place for hateful ideologies like #only2genders and #superstraight on our platform.
At the same time, we continue to invest in a range of tools to help people feel empowered over their TikTok experience, including ways to report up to 100 comments at once or block accounts in bulk. We also introduced prompts that ask people to reconsider posting a potentially unkind comment as we actively work to cultivate kindness in our community.
We're committed to listening to our community and experts as we aim to develop equitable policies that are consistently enforced. Our goal is for LGBTQ+ creators to feel empowered to be themselves on and off our platform.
Supporting the LGBTQ+ community
The community would not be what it is without the tireless work of non-profit organizations committed to advancing LGBTQ+ causes that support each one of us. That's why we're donating $500K to organizations that support the LGTBQ+ community and inviting our global Pride community to join us in advancing the work of these organizations. We've partnered with GLAAD, It Gets Better Project, The Trevor Project, True Colors United, Born This Way Foundation, Trans Lifeline, to name a few. The passion and commitment of organizations like these is a reminder to us all that we're not alone, that we're strong and resilient individuals, and that we're even stronger together.
We're proud that TikTok creates opportunities for people to create and share content that resonates with others and helps them build a stronger community. We're continually looking for ways to better ourselves in promoting and building an online destination that is inclusive of all people and voices.❤️🌈