Over the past few weeks, a TikTok video spread across various social media platforms and morphed into what many saw as transphobic terminology.
Some people online started referring to themselves as "Super Straight", after a now-deleted TikTok video went viral. Here is how the situation unfolded.
How is started:
The term can originally be traced back to the TikToker Kyleroyce. On February 21, he posted a video titled "who else is super straight?" The deleted video, which has been re-uploaded to YouTube, had more than two million likes.
In the video, the creator said he was tired of being called transphobic:
"I've made a new sexuality," Kyleroyce said in the video. "Straight men get called transphobic because I wouldn't date a trans woman. Now, I'm super straight. I only date the opposite gender, women, that are born women. So you can't say I'm transphobic now because that is just my sexuality."
He later told Insider: “I created it because I was sick of being labelled with very negative terms for having a preference, something I can't control, and getting labelled by the community that preaches acceptance with that sort of stuff. It was never meant to be hateful towards anyone.”
How it spread:
Despite Kyleroyce’s intentions, over the next fews weeks, the ‘super straight’ video started to spread to places like 4chan – known for its far-right propaganda and bigotry – and grew from there. 4chan members discussed creating and sharing memes about being super straight to "drive a wedge" within LGBTQ communities and "use the left's tactics against themselves, call them bigots for not accepting super straights," according to Business Insider.
Later, people on Twitter and Reddit started identifying as such – even describing themselves as part of the LGBTQ community.
People even adopted a "super straight pride flag" and have used black and orange emoji to publicly identify as "super straight" as a way of mocking the LGBTQ pride movement.
Getting banned on Reddit and TikTok:
Both Reddit and TikTok have since cracked down on the campaign: Reddit banned r/superstraight for "promoting hate towards a marginalized or vulnerable group," and TikTok blocked users from searching the phrase "super straight" or using it as a hashtag.
As essayist and trans activist Brynn Tannehill once wrote in the Advocate: "The belief that all transgender people are unattractive to you (when there are some undeniably very attractive ones), and that you could not have chemistry with them, or you religiously object to transgender people, and even when presented evidence to the contrary, is an expression of transphobia."
He said, “Super straight means you think that men who date trans women are less straight, meaning that trans women are men, and therefore not real women. Which is not only transphobic, but scientifically inaccurate.”