As Pride Month 2019 comes to an end, I’ve had some time to reflect on its importance in our society and I am reminded yet again, why it exists. It’s important for our community – the LGTBQ+ to keep moving forward with its mission of promoting awareness, equality, and understanding, and more. All of us in this community celebrate this month in many different ways, and today, I’d like to share mine with you.
Many ASMR aficionados reading this might be wondering, what does this have to do with ASMR? Plenty. However, you would be, in many ways, correct in thinking that ASMR doesn’t have anything to do with someone’s sexuality.
But I am not here to discuss sexuality per se, I am here to discuss how the ASMR Community created an environment of kindness, compassion and understanding, enough for some, to feel safe to come out to their audience online.
Throughout this month of Pride, I’ve been thinking about the ASMR and LGTBQ+ Communities because they’re on opposite sides of the spectrum. The former has the least amount of bullying, whereas the latter is constantly on the receiving end.
I began to wonder if there was anything that the ASMR Community had done or could do to contribute to the LGBTQ+ Community. So, I asked my audience the following question: How has ASMR helped the LGBTQ+? And here are some of the responses I received.
“Angelica has a few videos that are trans related and have been affirming to my gender as a trans person. Also, I’ve heard from some folks that gendered videos like beard trim and feminine makeup role-plays can make trans folks feel valid as their gender, even if some people in real life don’t recognize it” ~ Subscriber #1
“I am an ally, but I know some people in the LGBTQ+ Community struggle with anxiety, depression, etc. due to traumatic life experiences, not being accepted, and so on. For me, ASMR has helped my anxiety so much! I feel it’s an inclusive and supportive community. I hope all feel welcomed, because they are all welcomed.” ~ Subscriber #2
“…when you’re searching for an ASMR video – you don’t care about the orientation or sexual preference of the author. First of all, you want to get calmness, peace and joy. If the ASMRtist is a member of the LGBTQ+ Community – let it be.” ~ Subscriber #3
“The role-plays by LGBTQ+ ASMRtists normalize it, I enjoy their work” ~ Subscriber #4
I asked the same question to fellow ASMR content creator, Tony Bomboni ASMR who has been creating content since 2012, and here’s what he had to say:
“…I am aware that it has obviously helped me, and being gay, made me somehow more confident and comfortable in my own skin. It has helped with my low self-esteem, anxiety, and even getting out of my past depression. I learned a lot through so many years of being online through various people and their feedback on how their lives have changed whether they were LGBT or not…I have seen more ‘coming out’ videos that were also ASMR, so I can see how doing something that was once looked at as ‘odd’ is now widely accepted especially doing ASMR and coming out, it can be nerve wracking for some people and some may find it an odd combination or an odd way of coming out to the world however, more are becoming more comfortable with the idea and opening up online rather than sharing their feelings in person because the comments give tons of positive response for the person who can then read those supporting and loving messages and thus take that with them in their reality and hopefully work out their problems in real life…”
While I was looking for more pride themed videos, another channel was brought to my attention, and one that I also recommend, The ASMR Prince, which is a nonbinary creator who makes videos to help queer and trans folks relax and cope with things like anxiety and gender dysphoria.
Although it was great to see the work by the aforementioned channels and videos, and to read the many positive feedback, I did receive comments from other viewers expressing that they felt left out, which was not my intention at all. My work is for everyone and anyone seeking quiet entertainment.
However, I would like to add my two cents on the matter. Personally, I think it’s important to remember that just because everything in June is covered in rainbow colours, not everything has been pretty. Behind that rainbow flag are many tears, sadness, injustices and tribulations.
It is for this reason that last year during Pride Month, I decided to come out online to my audience and share with them that I am bisexual. I felt it was important to let others know that they were not alone, and I’ll always be thankful to the ASMR Community for giving me the courage to share that aspect of my life with my audience.
Also, I believe as many people do, that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, need a place where they can feel safe, nurtured and protected. As the ASMR Community grows and evolves, I hope that it always continues to promote its positive message all year around.
Please note: LGBTQ+ is used in this article, but there are other versions such as, but not limited to, LGBTIQA, and LGBTQQIP2SAA. Also, all pictures were taken by the author during Toronto Pride Parade 2019.