TikTok trends have had an enormous impact on popular culture, especially over the past year or so when people turned to TikTok for a sense of community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the good things that amount from the use of TikTok, it can also incite problematic movements and be a place for hate to fester.
Something along those lines happened over recently, when the term ‘super-straight’ was coined (although there are debates whether it started on the deep internet first) in a video that went viral. The term describes a straight person who is considered uber straight because they won’t date a trans person of the opposite gender. This label has incited many debates across the platform. The self-identified ‘super-straight’ people place this label proudly in their bio, like many people do with their pronouns, seemingly mocking trans people further. When met with backlash, these people also claim they can’t be called transphobic because it is their sexuality, and as a liberal society, we accept everyone. This ironic statement has caused outrage on the platform as they are doing exactly the opposite of that: They are being trans-exclusionary and certainly not accepting everyone.
Labels have always been a way for people to find themselves and a safe space with others who feel the same way they do, specifically in the LGBTQ+ community. Although some people see labels as harmful, most people use labels to feel like they belong and to make sense of themselves. The issue with creating a label to identify straight people as ‘even more straight’ is that it begins to mock those who feel the need to label themselves as anything but straight. Straight people already have a label, they already have a ‘community’: society. Straight people are not oppressed. Straight people don’t need to label themselves further to feel a sense of relief. The creation of this label is purely because straight people, mostly men, needed another way to be hateful. They pose themselves as oppressed to gain more attention and feel more important. They already have the privilege and power; they don’t need more.
The fact that they were able to create this label and start a movement demonstrates just how privileged these people are. With no fear of being a victim of a hate crime or even killed, like so many transgender people are, they can do whatever they want with their sexual and gender identity. When trans people fear for their lives everyday, especially trans-women of color, it is extremely frustrating to watch a bunch of privileged straight people mock the LGBTQ+ community with no fear of the consequences.
The label ‘super-straight’ went beyond just a kid making a stupid video about his so-called sexuality. The video and label reached 4chan, which is a breeding ground for far-right people, who then claimed that this trend and label is going to be used to divide the LGBTQ+ community and use their own accepting tendencies against them, proving even further that this creation isn’t just a way to express genitalia preference, but instead a way to incite hate against an already uber-oppressed group of people.
The viral video even led to the creation of colors and a flag, using the colors orange and black, with the male and female gender markers as the symbols on the front. This flag has made its way across the TikTok platform, finding its way into people’s profile pictures along with the orange and black square emojis in people’s bios. The comment sections on many videos, even ones unrelated to the controversy, are filled with comments that created the symbol of an orange square with a black ‘SS’ in the middle.
Not surprisingly, this flag and the far-right movement have quickly been related to Nazism. On Twitter, Daniel Paisley wrote that it just took a quick Google search to find that this super-straight idea has been claimed by neo-Nazi’s on the conservative internet. These people have now claimed that they’re the ‘SS’ standing for super-straight but also obviously relating to the Nazi military. They have also created a new flag that does not use sex markers, but also infamous ‘SS’ symbols the Nazi’s used. They even go as far to say that March should be Super-Straight Pride month, again mocking the LGBTQ+ community, and have now adapted the term ‘Hail SuperStraight Victory’.
It is obvious that this TikTok extends far beyond a harmless 60 second video. Not only does this new term create a platform for transphobic people to validate their internal transphobia, but it has also incited Nazism and extreme hate. Liberals are always criticized for being too tolerant and asked if we’re tolerant, why can’t we tolerate the far-right. The difference lies in tolerating and accepting someone’s valid self-identity versus hate. By attempting to validate their own trans-exclusionary feelings, these super-straight people accidentally started another neo-Nazi, far-right movement, inciting more hate and fear than before.