Five Harmful Narratives Trending During Pride Month

Since the first Pride parade, which launched in 1970 following the Stonewall Riots, Pride events have been overshadowed by hate. Despite much progress over the past 52 years, the same violence and discrimination are evident in today’s events – both on the streets and in the digital world. Calls for violence, the dissemination of disinformation, and hateful speech targeting the LGBTQ+ community circulate across platforms of all sizes – harming users during Pride Month, and throughout the year. 

Seeking to keep users safe, Trust & Safety teams must therefore be able to quickly identify rising hostility surrounding Pride. Below are five narratives that ActiveFence has identified, targeting the LGBTQ+ community. By proactively detecting these narratives on-platform, Trust & Safety teams can dramatically reduce the risk to users.

LGBTQ Flag

1. LGBTQ+ Community Grooming of Children

A rising trend circulating across various UGC platforms claims that the LGBTQ+ community grooms children. Instead of Pride Month, followers of this trend have called June “Groomers Awareness Month,” while sharing images of the rainbow flag with text that supports this messaging (“#GroommersAwarenessMonth” and “#SeeSomethingSaySomething.”) Readers are encouraged to report “homo perversion” throughout the month of June. 

2. Higher Rates of Pedophiles in the Community

Far-right online users have claimed that despite LGBTQ+ individuals making up a minority of the US population, they are responsible for 33% of child sexual abuse charges. Reacting to this narrative, users have called for violence against LGBTQ+ people to “protect children from the pedophilia agenda.”

3. Antisemitism and Transphobia

Conspiracy theories are circulating online claiming Jewish people are behind the LGBTQ+ movement and are responsible for “turning young children into homosexual and transgender people.” Furthering this claim is the old trope that Jewish people own the media and have pushed an agenda of converting people to “become LGBTQ+.” Simultaneously, violent, hateful speech has been directed at Jewish and transgender politicians in the US, stating that Jews on capitol hill are responsible for “allowing LBGTQ+ individuals into the government” and passing LGBTQ+ related legislation.

4. Family Friendly Drag Shows

Venues that have hosted family-friendly drag shows are the target of hate and lies online.
Social media posts claim that these venues groom children while encouraging readers to report them to the police and leave hateful reviews on their shows. Users have responded to these trends, asserting that parents who brought their children to these events “should be arrested.”

5. What is a Woman

Snippets of a documentary titled “What is a Woman” have circulated across online platforms. The footage shares the claim that the LGBTQ+ community faces “no persecution in this country” but rather is the “most privileged sort of American ever to exist.” Walsh also claims that the individuals featured in the film believe that transgender people have something inherently wrong in their heads. This film frequently draws attention, prompting harmful conversations year-round.

Person on social media

Year-long, Trust & Safety teams play a critical role in stopping these online narratives that incite real-world harm to the LGBTQ+ community. As we’ve established, threat actors capitalize on world events and opportunistically increase harmful activities. Pride was one example we’ve seen this month, while the same malicious tactics are being used in response to the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

During these times, Trust & Safety teams require intelligence to properly detect harmful activities. For specific on-platform findings of these narratives or other harmful activities, speak with our experts to receive tailored insights that help you stay ahead of bad actors and online harm before they impact your platform.