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SXSW Interactive 2016

Reimagining LGBT Communities in the Digital Age

Not too long ago, the LGBTQ community was limited in its ability to connect and organize by geography and an absence of public resources. Legal recourse and mental health services were hampered by the realities of a community spread thin with isolated metropolitan cultural centers.
The Internet and social media revolutionized the fight for equality as well as the vitality of queer culture.
Here we look back to examine the shift in cultural and community resources and how it mirrors the digital revolution still in motion. We also look to the future – what demands our focus now? How will our digital resources and the social media spotlight shape the ongoing debate over equality?

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  1. How has the availability of online resources, whether legal, mental health, or informational/anecdotal, served the community? Who benefitted most?
  2. How have social media campaigns, their spotlight and the ability to connect isolated members created complex support systems and cultural momentum?
  3. In a post-marriage-equality U.S., what hurdles remain? How can we best use our digital resources moving forward and where must we expand our reach?



Rebecca Larson, Graduate Student, Texas State University

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