As a continuation of our July campaign to combat online Homophobia & Transphobia, this briefing seeks to foster an awareness of the many homophobic messages found on Facebook and Twitter. While examples included in this article are from the United States, similar messages occur worldwide.
Please report any Homophobic & Transphobic messages you find online
U.S. politicians are not spared from homophobic hatred. In response to Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband during his campaign for president of the U.S. (as the first openly gay man to do so), a Facebook post described the moment as “absolutely Disgusting.”
The post would also receive a wave of homophobic comments, including one that reads “[Pete Buttigieg] needs to shut up and go away what a shame for the United States Sad day.” Another reads simply “yuck!”
A further homophobic Facebook post targets another prominent U.S. politician: former President, Barrack Obama. “More on the worst criminal drug addicted homosexual president this country has ever seen…,” the post writer is using the term “homosexual” as a slur. It goes on further to refer to former First Lady, Michelle Obama, as a “tranny”, an offensive term referring to transexuals, and “fag-hag,” a term used to describe heterosexual women who spend time with gay men.
This Facebook post below actively calls on parents to denounce homosexuality and educate their children to the allegedly “disgusting” and “SHOCKING ” acts members of the LBGTQ+ community engage in. The blog post shared in the post refers to homosexuality as a narrative of “[a] Jewish controlled media establishment that includes audio, video, and print advertising, programming, and production.” The blog post also contributes to the long-held confusion of homosexuality and pedophilia, writing that “…gay men love young boys.” This post frames homophobia as a necessary measure to protect the well-being of children, in addition to being antisemitic and conspiratorial.
The Facebook page entitled “Homosexuality is a sin against God” has over three thousand followers and frequently posts homophobic material.
The post below, created in response to Sports Illustrated magazine’s first-ever transgender model, solicited a myriad of homophobic comments. Two comments describe the news as “disgusting,” with one describing the magazine as “…the dust bin of history.”
Another post from the page likens the devil to a transsexual, describing those who support LGBTQ+ communities as “followers of Satan,” in addition to another characterizing love within the community as “sinful.”
As OHPI has previously reported, the open nature of Twitter has allowed for Misogynistic, Homophobic, and Islamophobic keywords to be readily seen and shared. Unlike Facebook, Twitter has not blocked these keywords, resulting in an amalgamation of hate speech. Here is just a sample of what we’ve found:
The post below, with accompanying “nogays” and “nogay” hashtags, features a homophobic image of a man sweeping colors of the LGBTQ+ pride flag into an open sewer. The image’s caption reads: “We are born from Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” clearly alluding to religious references as justification for homophobia.
Another tweet, starting as one of many in a bullying thread, quickly escalated to homophobia and then directs attacks against another user, reading “…your mom should have dumped your fetus in a fucking garbage container #killthegays fag.” Aside from gratuitous hostility, the tweet advocates for the death of LGBTQ+ members and uses a derogatory slur for gay men.
This tweet is also similar, with a short message of “kill the gays” in response to another tweet that reads “good morning to everyone but gay people.”
Another tweet voices support for a coordinated movement, known as Operation Pridefall, to doxx, intimidate and harass members of the LBGTQ+ community. The tweet likens the harassment campaign as “the best thing ever,” in addition to “hope those gays die.”
The following tweet writes that gay people are“immoral,” and that they actively “join illuminati and baphomet worship,” likening homosexuality to satanic and conspiratorial activities.
In a tweet promoting a Rupaul’s Drag Race, a prominent U.S. show featuring men in “drag” or women’s clothing, homophobic remarks can be seen like this one: “[Those men] look fucking nasty! Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga [sic] think cross-dressing transexuals are sexy? Ha ha ha Don’t worry one day you’ll look like a drag race guy and act gay!”
The last few tweets in this briefing use the word “gay” as a slur against several prominent U.S. politicians and media organizations, including another inappropriate conspiracy theory that former U.S. President, Barrack Obama, is a pedophile.
The LGBTQ+ Community – Targeted
The targeting of LGBTQ+ communities on social media continues to be a global problem. While the examples of Homophobic & Transphobic messages used in this article are from the United States, similar messages are occurring daily throughout the world. We have shone a light on just some of the myriad of hate published on Facebook and Twitter, yet the same level of hate can be found on all social media platforms.
We continue in our plea that social media platforms work harder to put a stop to all aspects of online Homophobia & Transphobia.
Osiris Parikh – OHPI Analyst based in U.S.A.
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The Online Hate Prevention Institute is a Registered Charity that tackles all forms of online hate. You can support our work by making a donation at https://ohpi.org.au/donate/. You can also join us on Facebook, or join our mailing list.
This article is part of our July 2020 campaign – Tackling Online Homophobia & Transphobia. The full plan for our campaigns in 2020 can be seen here.