‘Best friends kissing’ TikTok trend prompts passionate debate about queerbaiting
A new TikTok trend of “best friends kissing” has been slammed as a form of “queerbaiting” that plays into the harmful sexualisation of lesbians.
The controversial trend was kicked off by a TikToker who posted a video of herself kissing her female friend.
It quickly went viral among couples of all genders, with most approaching the trend innocently enough – but you only need to do a quick scan of the comments to find the male gaze.
“The comments section of the video is nauseating,” said @letsbeans, a lesbian TikToker who called out the trend.
“What makes me so angry when straight girls do this is that they are banking on the fetishisation of lesbians and of queer women to gain social capital and win the approval of men.
“Because men fetishise lesbians, if you play into that imagery just enough, they will fetishise you and be more attracted to you. That’s the logic here.”
The consequences of this behaviour, they say, are that lesbian creators like themselves are sexualised by straight men whenever they occupy an online space.
Even more egregiously, many videos of female best friends kissing have been penalised by TikTok, further compounding the idea that same-sex relationships are somehow pornographic.
“I, as a lesbian who talks about lesbian issues, have to censor the word ‘lesbian’ every time – and this gets over seven million views, no problem,” letsbeans continued.
“As straight girls, you will never understand the terror that comes from being a lesbian in public and being scared to do something as small as hold your partner’s hand or look at them in a certain way.
“For me, this is just as bad as a straight man fetishising lesbians. I’m so f**king tired of it.”
@letsbeans##stitch with @maurena the comments section of that video is nauseating♬ original sound – ???
@letsbeans’ video has accumulated over 123,800 views and 46,800 likes since Wednesday. Their words struck a chord with several other queer viewers, who commented that if they tried a similar display of public affection they could expect to be “hatecrimed”.
“I get physically ill thinking about men watching me with a woman,” one commented. “I’m genuinely afraid of people seeing me with a partner. It’s not a joke.”
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