Instagram’s new video channel #VisibleMe aims to support and encourage LGBTQ youth
In an amazing game changer for LGBTQ youth, Instagram recently debuted a new channel, the first of its kind, exclusively to support them called #VisibleMe. The channel is full of videos encouraging LGBTQ youth and showing them they’re never alone. This channel is the first of its kind and will give voice to the platform’s young, queer users.
According to Huffpost Queer Voices, #VisibleMe was created in conjunction with activist Raymond Braun. In an email, he says, “Every day, I am impressed by the creativity, passion, diversity, intelligence and resilience I see from LGBTQ youth on social media. People are more likely to support the LGBTQ community when they know someone who identifies as LGBTQ, so I hope this project provides a platform and voice for young people to create change, helping them feel empowered, supported and visible.”
His Instagram post explaining the aim of the new channel further elaborates his vision.
A few months ago, I launched what has now become the most meaningful project in my life: #VisibleMe. #VisibleMe is dedicated to making the (in)visible visible by shining a spotlight on diverse, compelling stories from LGBTQ youth all around the world. People are more likely to support the LGBTQ community when they know someone who identifies as LGBTQ, so I hope this project provides a platform and voice to young people, helping them feel empowered and supported. And most importantly, I hope it shows LGBTQ youth that they are not alone and that they’re part of a community filled with creativity, diversity, resilience, strength, and passion. I’m so excited to share that we’re now launching #VisibleMe video to offer another avenue for people to express themselves. I encourage you to explore the hashtag #VisibleMe and check out Facebook.com/VisibleMe. Thank you to everyone who supports this project. Much love. ❤️
Calling it “the most meaningful project in my life,” Braun explains his goals for the channel — for LGBTQ youth to feel “empowered and supported” as well as showing them they’re not alone. The value of that last point can’t be overestimated. LGBTQ teens are more likely to commit suicide than other youth and experience increased rates of bullying, depression and academic and family-related difficulties. The channel includes videos from several faces in the LGBTQ community lending encouragement and kind words. After watching them, you’ll begin to understand what this effort could mean to LGBTQ teens who feel alone and ostracized. It’s amazing.
I’m proud to be a part of @raymondbraun’s #VisibleMe project highlighting voices from LGBTQ youth for many reasons. Our stories are the most powerful weapon we have to combat homophobia, transphobia, and just garden-variety ignorance. Accurate, bold, and multiple representations of what it looks like to live and love as an LGBTQ person has the power to save lives. If one person can see themselves in another’s story and think, “Wow, maybe everything will be alright,” then hate has lost and visibly has won. Love yourself and allow others to love you. That’s why I’m participating in the #VisibleMe project
I’m incredibly honored to be part of @raymondbraun’s #VisibleMe project highlighting voices from LGBTQ youth. My dream has always been to inspire other LGBTQA+ people around the world. No one should ever feel like they have to hide who they are regardless of race, religion, gender expression, sexual orientation, appearance, or disability. Let your light shine so bright that you help others see. Be Visible. “Growing up gay in the south wasn’t exactly easy but if I learned anything it’s that you’re going to be judged no matter who you are, so you might as well choose to be yourself unapologetically. Because at the end of the day you’re the one who has to look in the mirror and love who you see. I am more than my sexual orientation.” I am proud of who I am and you all should be too. There is an entire world out there waiting for you to join it. Love yourself A video posted by Evan Martin (@evanmartinc) on
For LGBTQ teens who feel no one will understand or accept them if they come out to their family and friends, this channel full of supportive messages could prove invaluable. When kids are in junior high and high school, their world is so small. They may have trouble believing that there is anything beyond their little circle where they might find people they can more easily identify with and befriend. #VisibleMe could help drive that point home — that if things feel difficult now, it does get better. And you do have people who will love and support you, unconditionally.
It’s incredible the resources our kids have available to them because of the internet and social media. Even 10 years ago, LGBTQ teens didn’t have the wide-spread acceptance and visible allies that they do now and there’s every reason to believe it will keep getting better. We never want kids to feel alone, no matter their gender or sexual orientation. Projects like #VisibleMe can be one more positive voice in the lives of LGBTQ youth and hopefully, more sources of support like this will surface in the coming years.