Who do you follow on social media

So you know how there are people who are famous on social media, like: Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, etc? Well, a lot of these people are famous in talking about sex, relationships, sexuality, gender, which is obviously what we’re all about here at BISH.

The reason I’m thinking about this now is that the other night I was at a party at Instagram HQ in London :nails emoji: I was there because me and my mate Meg-John were interviewing some of these folk for our podcast (which is not usually for young people, but you might like this one).

So I thought that I’d write a blog post about them and also ask you, dear reader, for which social media people (also known as influencers) you follow. Here are the people I met last week, who are really cool.

So I met Sade Giliberti, who is a South African TV presenter and works to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues: https://www.instagram.com/onesadie/ She was saying to us that she gets lots of young people contacting her and asking for advice.

Also there was Hannah Winterbourne – In 2013, Hannah came out as a transgender woman and became the highest ranking transgender soldier within the British Army. https://www.instagram.com/hannahw253/

And lastly there was Jessica Kellgren Fozard a disabled, gay YouTuber who writes about life with wife Claudia: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaoutofthecloset/

Not on the panel, but someone I think is cool is Hannah Witton. She is sex educator on  YouTube and made this excellent video on sex worker rights, this one about what she (and her fans) wish they learnt about sexual health and this one where she gives BISH a big shout out 🙂

Tell Me Who do you like?

So as I say, please let me and everyone else know who you like. You can post a comment below (I moderate all comments), or you can post a recommendation to BISH via Instagram, YouTube or Twitter. Let me know who they are and tell me why you like them and what you get out of following them (like, anything you’ve learned).

How what they do is different to BISH

The main difference between what they do and what we do at BISH is that they tell you about their lives and what is going on for them. This is what their fans are really into and why what they do is so valuable. It can be really amazing for people to hear from someone that is a bit like them, or is someone that they want to be more like. This kind of role model is extremely important for people who might not see positive images of people like them in the media (read this on beauty standards). Or they might not have their people IRL and so find them online.

As you might know, pretty much everything at BISH is by me, Justin (hi). Other than what you can see at the ‘About Me’ page, I don’t really share many details about me. This is because a) I want my advice to be about you, not what I would do and b) I’m deeply dull.

How much do they share

One of the things we were chatting about is how much of their lives they choose to share. They choose to share quite a lot of their personal life, but each person chooses to share a different amount of things. This is because they have to look after themselves, being ‘on’ all the time can be tiring and they need to keep some of it back in order to do self care (more on how you can do that here). Also some of their lives will also involve other people who might not want to be so public. Consent, innit.

I think this is important for you to think about when you follow these people. Their stories can be inspirational to you, which is great, but you don’t necessarily see everything. They are just like any other famous person, sometimes you will see when they are struggling with stuff, sometimes you won’t, and mostly you will see them when they are their most shiny and wonderful. So if you are feeling rubbish, or not very shiny and wonderful, try to avoid comparing yourself to them.

Only tell their story, not everyone’s

The other thing about these folk is that they can tell you their stories but they can’t tell you everyone’s stories. So for example, they can tell you how they experience the world as someone who is a woman, a lesbian, a disabled person, a trans person, or a person of color (for example), but that’s only their own story and their own opinion. In the chat we were having that’s what Sade, Hannah and Jessica were saying. They are doing them and telling their story, which can inspire their followers, but they are not saying ‘live your life like me and everything will be chill.’ There will be many other stories that are not like that, and sadly there are many other stories that might not be so triumphant, or seemingly with a ‘happy’ storyline at the end.

What works for them might not work for you

So this means that they can only tell you what works for them. They get asked for advice a lot, but if you are asking them for what you should do remember that they are mostly experts of their own experience (all though a lot of them are experts in other stuff too).

So try to remember that and remember that there are other sources of advice information and support for you. Website such as this one, The Mix, or Scarleteen; or real life services such as Brook (in the UK); or local support services or youth groups that you can go to. They can help you to do you and help you to be an expert in what works for you and what support you might benefit from.

Who to talk to about sex

Getting advice about sexual health

How to tell people big news about you

© Justin Hancock, 2018


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