LGBT youth vulnerability is the increased social vulnerability that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth face compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Due to this increased vulnerability, there are notable differences in the mental and physical health risks tied to the social interactions of LGBT youth compared to the social interactions of heterosexual youth. Youth of the LGBT community experience greater encounters with not only health risks, but also violence, due to their sexual orientation, self-identification, and lack of support from institutions in society.

Online platforms have become a way to communicate common, and uncommon, standpoints globally. Hashtags and campaigns are present methods of spreading the word about public issues and topics. As the LGBT community uses online platforms to interact with society and run campaigns that advocate for the community, it embraces vulnerability in order to overcome it.

National Coming Out Day takes place on October 11 and is a day for LGBT individuals to willingly disclose their sexual orientation or identity. This can take place in many ways that include, but are not limited, to social media announcements and coming out to close family members. Because of current technology platforms that allow for social networking, much of National Coming Out Day can be observed on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. The Human Rights Campaign has conducted a survey tracking the impact of National Coming Out Day nationwide. 91% of LGBT youth who participated in the survey came out to close friends and reported more overall happiness as they continued to live in their communities and interact with friends, family, and classmates.

Another holiday that was created to celebrate The LGBTQ community and is celebrated in the month of October is called, LGBT History Month and it was originally created in October 1994 by Rodney Wilson and who was the first openly gay teacher in Missouri. In 2009, our current president at the time, Barack Obama officially made it a National History Month and that whole month is dedicated to learning about their rights, expressing openness, and celebrating the LGBTQ community together. In 2020, there are many places besides the United States that learn and celebrate it all month long like, The United Kingdom, Hungary, the United States, Brazil, Canada, Greenland, the city of Berlin, and Australia; and in 2012 two schools in the United States celebrated LGBT History Month.

A similar initiative taken online in the LGBT community is International Transgender Day of Visibility. This day takes place on March 31 and recognizes transgender individuals in an effort to empower those who identify as transgender in the LGBT community. Rachel Crandell founded this day in 2009 and it has since fought against “cissexism” and “transphobia.” [3] Initiatives like National Coming Out Day and the International Transgender Day of Visibility are public reminders of social media’s potential in educating the masses and raising awareness of the LGBT community.


Photo Credits by Shingi Rice on Unsplash