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Come one, come all. Share your pride, your story, and a selfie.
On June 14, the day of Donald Trump’s birthday, Twitter threw a birthday party of their own, inviting all to attend the #LGBTQHatesTrumpParty—then #GaysForTrump bit back, sparking a mini-battle on Twitter feeds.
But today, a new hashtag has emerged, one void of political affiliation but full of personal pride. #QueerSelfLove has become a welcoming refuge for the LGBT community to introduce themselves as whomever they want, however they want—whether that’s through photos, a simple, “Hi, my name is” introduction, or personal anecdotes in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
Dylan Marron, an actor on the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast and creator of the hashtag, expressed his distraught for his LGBT family on Twitter after the death of 49 people and 53 injured at Pulse, a gay Orlando night club:
To all my LGBTQI family: I love you and I celebrate you. We lost many siblings last night in Orlando. Let’s hold each other close today.
— Dylan Marron (@dylanmarron) June 12, 2016
Last night, Marron’s #QueerSelfLove hashtag surfaced, with the support of his co-star Cecil Baldwin. The “Queer Self Love” train is now trending on Twitter, and both actors have received copious amounts of support, as they have reminded everyone to appreciate, accept, and advocate for one another.
Many are addressing their personal challenges and past struggles:
And some are simply using the hashtag to support others and thank Marron for creating the communal space:
Waking up to the #queerselflove convo is giving me the lift I needed this morning. Gorgeousness all around, y’all.
— Patrick Comerford (@reconfiguredpat) June 15, 2016
But most are proudly claiming their queerness, no matter their color, religion, or lifestyle:
The hashtag has become an unstoppable and uplifting force—during a time when we all need it.
Dahlia Dandashi is a multimedia content producer. Her work has been published at the Austin American-Statesman and Viceland. An Arab-American raised in Dubai, she is based in Austin, Texas.