Internet as a safe space for LGBTQIA+ community

by Sayani Basak

What is Safe Space?

 A safe space can be a place or an environment which is free from criticisms, conflict, discrimination, biases and absences of judgemental ideas or behaviours.  A “safe space” is important for people who may feel they are unable to express their ideas and opinions with others in their everyday lives and surroundings. This could be in their home, school or workplace. A safe space could be a place where everyone can share, gain support and empower one another.

How the Internet is Safe Space for LGBTQIA+ community?

 The internet has had a profound impact within the LGBTQIA+ community, as it has enabled the community to find alternative spaces to connect with like-minded people around the world. An online safe space can bring a sense of belongingness. This is because “feeling safe” due to sexual orientation was often absent in their immediate physical spaces.

Today the Internet may be instantly available at our fingertips, but cyberbullying is still prevalent within the LGBTQIA+ community. This can be due to more people engaging online and taking over digital spaces. But irrespective of online hatred and harassment, the Internet plays a huge role as a safe space for the community.

So, how has the Internet been a Safe Space for The LGBTQIA+ Community?

  1. There are online support groups that help individuals connect with like-minded people.
  2. There are support groups online that encourage people to connect offline and physically in person
  3. Access to safe spaces online helps people network, evolve and bond through friendships, dating and intimate relationships.
  4. Safe spaces give opportunity for people to open discussion, ideas and opinions.

The Internet has brought a significant change to the LGBTQIA+ community. Finding people with similar interests has uplifted self-esteem and inner confidence. This feeling holistically helps the LGBTQIA+ community to cope with everyday adverse situations.