#Heterosexualprideday: Heterosexual Pride and the Changing Face of Gay Pride

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Joshua ARMSTRONG, York University, Canada
On June 29, 2015 Twitter users were asked to tweet #HeterosexualPrideDay to support a newly-declared ‘Heterosexual Pride Day’. This movement had limited success. However, on the same day in 2016 the hashtag rose in significance and became a trend (one of the most highly tweeted about hashtags on Twitter) at the international level. #HeterosexualPrideDay resurfaced again on June 29th in 2017 with similar levels of attention from the global community. Given the disparate visibility of heterosexual pride offline, an exploration of the #HeterosexualPrideDay hashtag’s popularity is warranted. In this study I utilize content analysis to address the research question, why are Twitter users referencing the #HeterosexualPrideDay hashtag? Although the #HeterosexualPrideDay hashtag originated as a means of ‘trolling’ (Internet slang for the purposeful aggravation of other users), several supportive users did not do so in jest. The findings suggest that supporters reasons for associating with #HeterosexualPrideDay can be linked to contemporary understandings of pride while those opposed to the hashtag held traditional understandings of pride. Further, the majority of users co-opted the hashtag as a means of demonstrating their disapproval for heterosexual pride and confronting its supporters.