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#MeQueer: The LGBTI community’s #MeToo trends on Twitter

#MeQueer: The LGBTI community’s #MeToo trends on Twitter

The Me Too movement continues to rise | Pixabay

From an initial angry tweet, #MeQueer has sparked a global online discussion.

The hashtag is the LGBTI community’s take on the #MeToo hashtag.

LGBTI people took to Twitter to air their experiences of abuse, assaults, threats, and violence.

The topics were wide-ranging.

Some discussed their experience of coming out to family members, while others expressed their discomfort with LGBTI portrayals in the media.

‘I had had enough’

The hashtag was started by Brandenburg-based writer, Hartmut Schrewe.

He first used the hashtag after someone referred to his husband as his ‘buddy’, Reuters reported.

‘I had had enough. I wrote about this on Twitter and then the hashtag went viral,’ he said.

Schrewe said he was surprised how popular the hashtag has become.

‘I never expected #MeQueer to get so big […] It is wonderful that so many queer people have shared their experiences.

‘We need to be more visible and loud,’ he continued. ‘I hope this can reach Uganda, where being queer can kill you, or countries like Russia, Indonesia, Iran or Turkey, where being queer is so dangerous.’

‘Widespread violence against LGBTI people’

In a recent British government survey that polled around 110,000 people, two out of five LGBTI people said they had experienced verbal or physical abuse in the past 12 months.

UK-based rights group Stonewall have alarming figures: 53% of trans people between the ages of 18 and 24 have suffered some form of abuse over the last 12 months. The group also found, in a study released in April, that two out of five LGBTI students remain closeted for fear of discrimination.

Nick Antjoule, from British LGBTI anti-violence and abuse charity Galop, said that violence against LGBTI people remains ‘really widespread’. Antjoule also says that social media has made online hate speech a ‘huge problem’.