TikTok’s queer public culture of mental health support

Authors

  • Paul Byron University of Technology Sydney

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v29i5.13258

Keywords:

LGBTQ, TikTok, mental health, peer support, digital affect, public culture

Abstract

TikTok offers LGBTQ+ young people a queer public through which to negotiate mental health difficulties. Data from an Australian survey of LGBTQ+ young people was analysed to consider TikTok-specific mental health support. Five key themes of support related to: 1) sharing experiences; 2) encountering ‘people like me’; 3) comfort and safety; 4) mental health education; and 5) feeling less alone. These overlapping themes foreground the affective aspects of TikTok use for many LGBTQ+ young people, reflecting Cvetkovich’s theorization of ‘queer public cultures’. This can be seen in LGBTQ+ young people’s collective negotiations of mental health on TikTok — as a platform that offers new affective connections to queer culture, while continuing an ongoing culture of peer support forged through collective struggle, survival, and creative practice.

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Published

2024-05-07

How to Cite

Byron, P. (2024). TikTok’s queer public culture of mental health support. First Monday, 29(5). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v29i5.13258

Issue

Section

Articles