Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely heard of TikTok due to its recent surge in popularity. It has become an unexpected phenomenon in the States with many TikTokers elevating to celebrity status, particularly those in the famous Hype House. But did you know that Ireland has its very own Hype House? It’s known as Bel Éire and it’s a collective of many of Ireland’s most popular creators.
Bel Éire came together with the intention of co-creating Irish content and promoting positivity online. Some of Bel Éire’s members are also members of the LGBT+ community so we asked them why they joined TikTok and how it empowers them to be their true selves.
@itz_jacob_33Body positivity ? were all different that’s what makes us unique ?♬ crystal dolphin switch up – kyleyoumadethat
I started off on musical.ly about 4 years ago before it moved to TikTok. The app itself is actually where I came out first before I even came out to my family. And on there I was accepted by supporters that are still supporting me to this day. And I think that is what has empowered me to be my true self. It’s the people who are on the other side of the phone giving you support and pushing you to be the best version of yourself. The app itself is amazing but it’s the people on TikTok that make it what it is.
@jlee_xcomment who i should include next lol ##bisexualcheck##bi##bipride##bisexual##bisexuality##bottomenergy##topenergy##lilpeep##lgbt##lgbtq##girlswholikegirls##gay♬ original sound – jl3ee
I began making TikToks at the beginning of quarantine and began gaining followers rapidly. After weeks of watching other LGBT+ creators, embracing their sexualities with pride, I felt the current wave of creators were revolutionary and this was something I wanted to be a part of. Not only do these creators help to normalize LGBT+ culture but they provide comfort, entertainment and hope to others struggling coming to terms with their own sexualities. For me, my main agenda on the app has been to normalize bisexuality and I try to do this by keeping a balance between LGBT+ content and Irish comedy skits.
@broseph_murrayi did not see that twist coming ?##fyp ##irish ##gay ##lgbt ##alexa♬ original sound – broseph_murray
I started TikToking around November last year because it reminded me a lot of Vine. I try to make all my content relatable to Irish people and I’ve become known for my South Dublin Character “Mr. Southside”. I also try to make plenty of LGBT+ content as a way of showing that TikTok can be an inclusive space for all. I think it’s important for young LGBT+ people to see popular creators empowered by their identity online. It shows them that anything is possible. I do get some negative comments as a result but if my TikToks even empower one person to be their true self, it’s worth it.
I started TikTok as a way to express myself and find people that are more like me. It’s hard to find people who have the same mindset and values as me in my small town. It’s started as something small, just doing outfits and makeup but it’s become such a positive part of my life now and I’ve connected w people who I’ll be friends for life with. I feel like TikTok has really given me the confidence to fully be myself. Tiktok is a platform where being “different” is appreciated rather than being looked down upon.
@niallbyrneHad to be said :/ ##foryou ##foryoupage ##fyp ##irish♬ original sound – niallbyrne
I originally started TikTok as just a joke with my friends and I would post a video every month or so, I wasn’t really active in the beginning. As I started to gain more followers I realized it was something that I wanted to take more seriously and use it as a platform to not just express my creativity on but to also speak out about issues that matter to me. Growing up I’ve witnessed so much homophobia and transphobia not only towards me but towards others. I feel at the moment I want to work on making people realize that if everyone looked the same and acted the same, the world would be so boring and there would be no diversity whatsoever. TikTok has helped me gain confidence so I’m hoping that I can help others realise that’s it ok to express themselves and to be whoever they want to be, and that they don’t have to be ashamed of who they are.
@tayycolemanDo they really care? ##fyp ##viral ##foryoupage IG @ Tayycoleman♬ LEAD THE RACE (UNDEFEATED) – Comethazine
I joined TikTok just to just make funny content to share with my friends but I gradually started gaining followers and I realised the potential of the app. I feel like it’s such a creative platform that lets you express yourself through videos and I think it encourages people to be themselves. I’m so glad I started it, it’s definitely helped me embrace who I am as a person.
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