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Bringing Pride to the UK Election

Creating a safe internet and election period now empowers Black LGBTQ+ folks to campaign for UK Parliament in the future.

Green, aqua, blue, purple, pink, orange and yellow colour gradients. White writing that says: "Bringing Pride to the UK Election" followed by "Glitch".

Between Pride celebrations and general election campaigns, this June is an especially political month. This is why our Be Safe Online campaign, which supports Black women and gender non-conforming candidates navigating online abuse, is critical. At Glitch, we know that Black LGBTQ+ folks, especially Black trans people, experience disproportionate abuse online. Digital misogynoir doesn’t stop at cisgender Black women. Trans women, non-binary people, intersex folks – anyone perceived as a Black woman or gender non-conforming – is impacted by misogynoir. With Black women being attacked for who they are as they run for public office, Black LGBTQ+ folks may also confront significant abuse if they want to become an elected official.

At Glitch, we believe politicians should be held accountable for the work they do, not abused for their racial, sexual or gender identities. Digital misogynoir during our election campaigns in the UK poses a threat to equal democratic participation. Despite being celebrated for having the most diverse parliament in UK history, there is little Black queer representation in national politics. Unless we stop online abuse from deterring candidates, we will continue to miss out on LGBTQ+ folks in leadership positions to improve our communities. We risk losing an opportunity for diverse lived experiences and needs represented at the highest level of government.

Celebrating Pride is about honouring the LGBTQ+ community for who they are and championing them to take up space. When we fight for Black women to have a joyful internet experience, that starts with the Black LGBTQ+ community. Dr. Moya Bailey, who coined the term ‘misogynoir’, writes in her book, Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance that we must believe we can “transform misogynoir by building powerful digital and real-world networks.” Her research demonstrates that Black trans and queer women have been using the internet to create and share innovative stories to overcome the discrimination they face and celebrate the progress they achieve.

Glitch is proud to follow in their footsteps by building momentum with enthusiastic digital citizens like you who want to make the internet a more joyful place. Given the rise in anti-trans sentiment online and violence, we’re excited to learn that in the UK, most people support trans rights. But that means we have to be louder than people who fuel abuse on the internet – within politics and every other space where oppressive rhetoric can spread quickly. To join our Be Safe Online campaign, you can read our Fix the Glitch Toolkit 3.0 (available soon) to challenge and protect yourself from misogynoir online. As a digital community, we document, block and report abuse we see so it doesn’t stay online. But we also connect with new people, sharing things that make us smile; building communities that are joyful and active, loud and proud.

During this Pride and election campaign month, try remembering who is left behind when we don’t actively protect them. In our Digital Misogynoir Report, Dr. Moya Bailey writes, “I challenge you, dear reader, as you read this text, to think of Black women first when you see the word ‘woman’, to think of queer and trans women first when you read the term ‘Black women’.”

Who we picture matters. Who we think of when we consider victims of online abuse is who we protect. Black queer women cannot be left behind in the future we imagine. We know Black LGBTQ+ folks will not stop expressing themselves by living boldly in their truth. They challenge oppression by channelling joy. It’s up to us as digital citizens, to do the same.

Take care,

Team Glitch