I’m a trans man working for an LGBTIQ+ community organisation. The abuse we were getting online was hard to take, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it.
I’d been working in media and communications for a while, but I found my dream job when I started working at an organisation that supports LGBTIQ+ young people. We run a ‘hang out’ space and counselling service, and we often post about our services on social media to get the word out.
I was worried we were only reaching the same group of people who already knew about our services, so we decided to pay to promote our posts. That’s when the online hate started.
We received a lot of comments and direct messages that used transphobic and homophobic language. Some of the comments were even making violent threats against trans people and people who supported trans kids. I found it really upsetting and hard to deal with.
I was worried for our volunteers, who were reading this hateful stuff while monitoring the social media accounts.
We took screenshots as evidence before removing the comments, but it was stressful trying to deal with so many of them. I reported what was happening to eSafety and they were able to get the threats that were targeting specific trans people removed.
eSafety also let us know about support services and The eSafety Guide, which gave us advice on how to protect ourselves on social media. We were able to apply filters and block comments that used certain keywords. We also changed our privacy settings to block comments and direct message requests from people who didn’t follow our accounts.
Learning how to screen out online hate has improved my team’s mental health and helped us to protect our community. It’s so important that we can still get the word out and reach young people who need our help and support.
Note: Adrian’s story combines experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Stock photo. Posed by model.