Children of transgender parents are sharing photos and anecdotes about their trans loved ones on TikTok to combat hateful and transphobic rhetoric.
Earlier this year, TikTok saw a rise in “corecore,” or multimedia collages that combine videos and photos to evoke a specific feeling. Many were set to instrumental audio, sometimes with voiceovers included to further deliver the video’s message.
TikTokers who have transgender parents or loved ones have co-opted the form and are posting photos of the transgender people in their lives over sound bytes of anti-transgender rhetoric.
The trend seems to be in reaction to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s transphobic remarks from last week, though the videos aren’t limited to British TikTokers.
The audio used in these videos includes multiple statements from Sunak, a comment about transgender people using public restrooms from Pearl Davis, Arkansas Sen. Matt McKee asking a transwoman testifying in front of the state legislature if she has a penis, and a teacher who appeared on Dr. Phil who said, “Men do not menstruate, only women menstruate.”
In one TikTok, a teen named Quin shows photos of and fun facts about their 52-year-old transgender father: He loves to travel, write poetry, and the Dodgers. He’s been married to Quin’s mom for over 20 years.
“He’s the best dad anyone could ask for. He’s always supported me and my siblings,” Quin wrote in the overlay text on a photo of them with their dad. “Trans people are people just like you. We only ask for your basic human respect.”
On Thursday, Quin’s video had over 270,000 views on TikTok—and it resonated with viewers who are transgender themselves.
“Ive never been able to picture myself growing old,” a commenter wrote. “He made it. Im so happy for your guys. I wish I had his wisdom.”
“It’s so rare to see people older than ~30 living authentic lives as out trans people,” another said. “Thank you for sharing him with us.”
“I love seeing older trans men,” a commenter shared. “It gives me hope that I can be someone’s goofy dad some day.”
The mortality rate for transgender people is substantially higher than that of cisgender people—in part due to decreased social acceptance—according to a 2021 study from Amsterdam University Medical Center.
A 2022 study from Duke University found that transgender people are “nearly twice as likely to die over the period as their non-trans counterparts.”
Another teen named Isabella told TikTok about her stepdad, Austin, who is a transman. She shared that he loves dogs, Puma sneakers, and trinkets. She also said that “some people think that he isn’t human. That he’s a predator.”
“Austin deserves to feel safe wherever he goes,” Isabella wrote in her video’s overlay text. “My dad isn’t scary. Protect trans lives.”
Many commenters on Isabella’s video shared that her video made them cry and that they’re happy that Austin has such a supportive family. On Thursday, Isabella’s video had almost 775,000 views on TikTok.
Others have used the same audio containing examples of transphobia to show photos of their transgender partners and friends.
“This is Landon! He’s my boyfriend. He’s trans,” a TikToker named Andrew wrote about their partner in a TikTok. “Landon isn’t scary. But he’s scared of people who don’t believe in his existence.”
“This is Bea and he’s trans. This is Percyand he’s genderfluid and under the trans umbrella,” a TikToker named Sadie wrote of her two best friends who are transgender in a TikTok. “Rishi Sunak forced every person under the trans umbrella to fear for their safety just because of what gender they are. His hatred and ignorance should not be tolerated.”
Transgender TikTokers are also using the audio to talk about themselves.
“My name is Jory. I’m a trans woman. And this is my GF Max. She just came out a few months ago,” popular transgender TikToker Jory (@alluringskull) wrote in the overlay text of her TikTok. “We deserve the same rights as you. We deserve to be loved like you. And we deserve to be protected.”