by Halyna Soltys | 2nd Oct 2022
TheSprout, an online blogging and information site for 11-25’s in Cardiff, took Pride Cymru as an opportunity to speak to young people from all across Wales about what LGBTQ+ Pride meant to them.
We wanted to make noise about LGBTQ+ young people outside of Pride month and let it be known that awareness raising, campaigning and queer joy don’t have to just end in June. Pride is #MoreThanAMonth!
Cardiff Pride: More Than a Month campaign
In total, we interviewed 21 young people and using their answers, 3 young members of TheSprout’s creative team created the campaign, which aimed to highlight the thoughts, worries, and experiences shared by young people attending Pride Cymru.
Lucy, 21, shared that “it was really enjoyable to talk to young people and hear their thoughts. They were so articulate, and I learnt a lot from them too”!
Halyna, the Content Writer and Producer for TheSprout added that “it’s wonderful that young people want to share their experiences and thoughts about LGBTQ+ issues. This kind of platform is how change can really be made”.
The young people who participated in the interviews really valued and enjoyed the experience of being able to talk openly. One of the young people who were interviewed even commented on a video saying, “that’s me! This was so much fun to do, it was the highlight to the day”.
As we were releasing videos, we noticed that one video, in particular, was gaining popularity. As the views increased, so did the likes, follows, and comments. To date, this video has received 3.5 million views, of which the first million were gained in the first 24 hours of publication.
We knew the topic of the conversation can be ‘controversial’ – sexuality, sex and gender identities are heavily debated, but nothing had prepared us for the amount of engagement we would receive on TikTok.
There were a lot of heart-warming and positive comments, offering words of solidarity and support to the young people in the videos:
‘I never knew asexual was a thing… now I know what I am’
‘“Pure love for the soul” I love that, I’m going to use that whenever my older colleagues ask what pan is’
‘Awww this is such a great way to educate folks’
‘So inspiring and colourful’
The comment section also provided a space for TikTok users to engage in discussions and ask questions. This included one user asking ‘respectfully, I am a little confused in that when I was younger, we fought against “labels”. Thoughts about this shift? Thanks’. Another person responded that ‘gender gives them comfort and contributes to who they are!! But yeah, you don’t have to be labelled, and that’s totally fine. Hope this helps!’.
However, there were also a lot of hateful comments. We spent many hours monitoring the comment section, blocking people spewing abuse, and deleting comments to reduce harmful messages as much as possible. Whilst the incredible engagement felt exciting and rewarding, it was also disheartening because it reinforced how hateful people can be online.
The Cardiff Pride: More Than a Month campaign was a wonderful opportunity for young people to share their identity and thoughts about being LGBTQ+ in Wales.
The campaign offered a platform for LGBTQ+ young people to use their voices and be heard, not only in Wales but globally!
The hate received in the comments echoes how much further we need to go as a society to ensure that LGBTQ+ young people feel safe, supported, accepted and included.
Read more about the Cardiff Pride: More Than a Month campaign on TheSprout website, or visit our social media accounts to get involved in the conversation.