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‘It’s a personal choice for me to not want to explain or not want to educate’: LGBTQ+ creators on interactions with fans and more

Five creators discuss why representation matters.


Moises Mendez II

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 25, 2022   Updated on Jul 26, 2023, 6:04 pm CDT


This story was originally published on Passionfruit.

Representation in media has been a long conversation between creators and the powers that be, arguing for more inclusive diversity in different forms of media. At VidCon, a group of LGBTQ+ creators—Cristian Dennis, V Spehar (@UnderTheDeskNews), Josh Helfgott, MacDoesIt, and Miguel F Pena—sat on a panel that was moderated by Stephanie Allen, vice president of partnerships at Laylo.

During the panel, audience members heard from creators about why representation matters, how it impacts their audiences online, and what it means to be an LGBTQ+ creator in this day and age. 

Dennis—who is a queer Black TikTok creator who makes dancing and makeup content—said that the first time he felt he saw representation online was watching YouTubers like GloZell and Jackie Aina, they informed the way he ended up making content in the future with his comedic videos along with his makeup content. Watching RuPaul’s Drag Race helped him “find new ways to express himself.” Spehar of UnderTheDeskNews noted that on straight panels, the speakers are never asked about feeling represented—that only happens on panels focused on the LGBTQ+ community and diversity at large. “I think a better question that we should ask ourselves is, is there enough opportunity for queer creators and I would say no,” they said. “I would say there have not enough platforms that have been created,  there has not enough opportunity that’s been created.”

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*First Published: Jun 25, 2022, 8:30 pm CDT