Diversify Your Timeline
by Delia Curtis
From mommy bloggers and makeup gurus to former Viners and ASMR addicts, the world of social media is full of all kinds of people trying to make a difference, whether that is to raise awareness, create beautiful content, or promote products. With influencers becoming more and more prevalent, it’s important to widen the scope of who is being heard and whose voice matters. Even within the LGBT+ community, identities that fall under the T are often left out of the narrative, or silenced completely. But recently, the trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming communities are making a splash on Instagram.
Kai Wes Bigwood is a transmaculine nonbinary hero. Using their Instagram platform to document their top surgery and transition, Bigwood advocates for trans-awareness and anti-LGBT+ bullying. They have a shock of coiffed blonde hair, regularly rock beanies and backwards caps, and frequently post photos of themselves shirtless, embracing their post-op chest. Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Bigwood is able to bear all with a bit more ease than in other parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t face discrimination or other forms of prejudice. Their Instagram doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. In a photo from just a month and a half ago, a mirror selfie exposes Bigwood’s chest and neck covered in bloody scratches. They were a survivor of a physical attack by their neighbor. “My heart hurts. My body hurts. I am fiercely angry and sad. But this will only make my partner and [me] stronger,” part of the caption reads. Bigwood’s Instagram is full of everything from capturing everyday life and hanging out with their non-binary friends, to working on creative design and photo projects, and making videos of their voice after each month of testosterone. Candid and honest, Bigwood shows us how queer and lovely life can be.
Lora Mathis, the femme, gender non-conforming cutie, is a writer and poet. Their content is quirky, fun, and queer as fuck. Full of kitschy illustrations and blunt proclamations, Mathis’ Instagram is a safe haven for those that exist outside of the binary. As an advocate for small businesses and cutting out the middleman (aka Amazon), Mathis sells their second book, Instinct To Ruin on Etsy, along with an abundance of zines, art prints, and clothing items. Sentiments like, “Once You Recognize Your Worth You Will Know How You Deserve To Be Treated” and “Crying Often Does Not Make You Any Less Of A Person” frequently appear on their account. Their approach to femininity and radical softness is something to be marveled at. Releasing videos of themselves having wild solo dance parties and writing on important topics like anger as a response to grief and reconnecting to oneself after a loss, their account shows an expansive range of content that might not be apparent at first glance. Following Mathis will make all your dreams come true.
Eli Erlick is a gender non-conforming trans woman who’s here, queer, and dapper beyond words. Her Instagram is full of political commentary focusing on fashion, politics, and education. Speaking out candidly about issues ranging from inclusivity within the LGBT+ community and historical references to queerness to gender non-conforming word usage and trans-exclusionary feminism, Erlick makes it known that she’s willing to stand up for causes that she’s passionate about. Documenting her transition by posting split screen photos of herself early in her transition to present day, Erlick shows her followers that its an ongoing process of self-discovery and understanding gender-identity. As a gender non-conforming trans woman, Erlick is constantly questioned on her more masculine presenting appearance but combats it with genuine activism coupled with personal anecdotes. Fierce and fiery, Erlick shows us how to be strong in the face of adversity.