Queer Pop Culture: Everything from the "Homophobic" Tik Tok Dog to Local Queer Resources
On Thursday night USGA hosted a Bingo tournament centered around general and queer pop culture. It included everything from Frog and Toad, to popular TikToker Dylan Mulvaney’s “Days of Girlhood” series, to the #FreeBritney movement, with breaks for education on events like the Stonewall Riots and the passing of the Same-Sex Marriage Act in 2015. The overarching goal of this activity was to provide a fun and lighthearted space to talk about general queer culture, but also discuss heavier topics that impact the queer community or are part of our history.
Sometimes the LGBTQ+ community’s cultural language and references can seem overwhelming to those who are just starting their queer journey. The queer community often has inside jokes that simply don’t make sense in other contexts (I mean, how are you going to know who that homophobic little white dog is, or why you need to watch out for Millie Bobby Brown on the streets if you don’t spend your entire life on the gay side of TikTok?). For those that are still coming out of the closet, trying to be good allies, or just educating themselves on the LGBTQ+ community, these “inside jokes” can feel like roadblocks that bar the path toward full acceptance. Pausing to educate and explain the pop culture references during the activity hopefully created a space where attendees did not feel left out, and could more fully participate in the activity.
The community chair, Evelyn Telford, also took the time to highlight queer resources in the Provo area as they appeared during the bingo game. Here is a list of the LGBTQ+ resources highlighted that night. (While this isn’t a complete list, it’s a good starting point for finding LGBTQ+ resources):
Encircle provides support groups and group therapy in the Utah county and Salt Lake areas. According to their website they “provide space for meaningful connection, creative and purposeful activities with inherent meaning, and experiences to educate and empower LGBTQ+ youth.” You can also visit their houses in Provo, Salt Lake, and St. George
Their website is: https://encircletogether.org/
The Out Foundation
The Out Foundation is an organization made up of BYU alumni for BYU students. They have opportunities for scholarships, therapy, and transfer funds. This was my favorite website to browse as they had so many great resources for those struggling to see a way out of BYU.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project's mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ+ young people, with a 24/7 crisis helpline to call or text (personally I applaud them for the text option) and also a website full of educational resources on topics like mental health, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Under ‘Resources’ on their website there are multiple help lines for anyone in crisis.
Their website is https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
To call: 1-866-488-7386
To text: 678-678