At a glance, we know Twitter to be one of the most popular social media platforms that we use today. As of 2018, Twitter boasts 335 million monthly active users, that’s about as many nudes I’ve taken this week, so that’s a lot.
But Twitter, like many platforms where people can voice their opinions, has many different facets. We have political Twitter for the Trumps, the Mays and the Jong-Il’s of the world. We have X-Rated Twitter, where our fellow porn stars promote their new scenes, homemade videos and content for us to enjoy under the covers. We have stan twitter, where music fans throw each other to the wolves constantly, resulting in a generous amount of controversy and ultimately, promotion for their favourite artist (I’m a Lamb for life, love you Mimi).
Which brings me to Gay Twitter. Gay Twitter has its roots in many of the above mentioned. We do the most we can for our pop princesses, we are extremely politically charged, especially when it poses a threat to our community, and there is an abundance of thirst traps, gym pictures and sex stories to appease the Sunday morning crowd.
So, I’ve taken it upon myself to enlighten you, what exactly is gay twitter? Nobody asked me to, but nobody asked Britney to slap so hard on ‘Break the Ice’, but she did.
I put out a tweet asking the gays to get in contact with me if they wanted to be a part of this, and they were only too happy to oblige, so I gathered my questions, sent a couple of nudes, and off we went. The first question was the most obvious; “What is ‘Gay Twitter’ to you?”
A Twitter user by the name of ‘Retweeta Ora’ summed it up like so
“On the surface I’d say it’s just LGBTQ+ people tweeting about LGBTQ+ things, so in reality ‘Gay Twitter’ doesn’t really exist but is more of an arbitrary construct to neatly sum that up.”
This suggests we are looking at a subculture, completely conceptualized and thriving online.
“I think what it really means (and what I’d say it means to me) is that because like-minded people are interested in (and therefore tweet about) the same topics and life experiences, they’re more likely to gravitate towards and converse with each other”
I wanted to get another view, another meaning of the term ‘Gay Twitter’. Resident Twitter lesbian ‘Miley Cystitis’ describes it as “A magical place full of reality TV references and Mariah Carey memes.”
But as with any subculture, there’s a bigger need for Gay Twitter, as Miley states
“I see it as a safe place to be as gay as I am without fear of being shamed.”
With the ever-growing popularity of social media, and the increasing strength in our community running parallel, could we perhaps find love on Gay Twitter?
“I suppose many use it as a dating platform” Ms. Cystitis continues, with Ora adding “It’s never really crossed my mind, but I can see how it might appeal to others. “
“I don’t know if many people would want to date me after reading my twitter feed” says Andy Claus, another twitter user.
But can we utilize this social media platform to hookup? Is Twitter the new Grindr?
“I’ve hooked up with people who follow me on twitter, but just because I've happened to meet them in other contexts like... out at a club. I've never really DM'd someone on there for a hookup. There's lots of people on there I *would* hook up with though, but usually they don't live within bumming distance.”
I feel you, Andy, I feel you. Of course, with social media comes an online presence. We are allowed to strip away any social norms and be whoever we want to be online, so do we really know who we are talking to? Could we be friends with the people who we retweet so often?
“it was a really positive experience which I’d love to have more often.” Says Retweeta.
“Up until we met, our relationship was based solely on liking/RTing each other’s tweets with the occasional reply, and we would also DM occasionally. Just from those interactions it was obvious that we had a lot in common, but as we were essentially strangers that was all that was really holding the friendship together. When he said he’d be in London with his boyfriend and that we should meet up I thought “why not?” and was actually really excited at the prospect.”
“I was recognized at pride as ‘Miley Cystitis’”. Well, that’s your own fault.
‘Gay Twitter’ is an umbrella term, underneath it has memes, pop stans, obsessions with 80’s TV stars, but most of all, it has a sense of community. It really is our space to be who we are as queer people, without any form of judgement, knowing that our peers are there to back us up at any moment.
What are your thoughts on online communities? Are we truly standing in solidarity with eachother?