Adam Polaski

The Pinterest Perspective on LGBT

Filed By Adam Polaski | March 04, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: Andrej Pejic, Anna Paquin, bisexual, lesbian, Pinterest, rainbow, transgender, transsexual

pinterest.jpgIt's a lazy Sunday, so I figured it'd be appropriate to write a post about the newest online labyrinth to explode on the Internet: Pinterest, the online scrapbook slash bulletin board slash virtual shoebox that's full of fun ways to procrastinate.

I'm totally new to the site, but I've quickly learned that it's easy to get lost in the hundreds of thousands of posts - including sick recipes, great arts and crafts projects, and meme-worthy photos. Yes, it's largely mindless, but if you need a break from StumbleUpon, get on Pinterest and watch those hours tick on by.

I thought it'd be fun to take a look at some of the recent pins that came up when I searched for "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," and "trans," and the results surprised me. I expected to see tons of recipes for rainbow cupcakes and cookies and how to throw the best wedding ever, but instead, I noticed some stratification on the types of posts that show up in each search result. I'm willing to bet that they won't surprise you...

GAY: The first thing you notice when you search "gay" in Pinterest is the amount of bare flesh on your screen. Whether it's this guy (filed on a "Hunks" board - and kind-of NSFW) or these guys or this parody poster that's not necessarily aiming for giggles (also kind-of NSFW), people making Pinterest posts for the gay community are clearly titillated by gazing at beautiful men who wear clothes sparingly. Other typical posts in the "gay" search results are largely rainbow-focused (like this cake) or based in witty activism (like this protest sign).

LESBIAN: Pinterest users like seeing two girls together - and not necessarily in poses that assume a sexual relationship. Whether it's girls kissing or holding hands or - you know, "baking" (link probably NSFW) - the photos that dominate the "lesbian" search results are predominantly partnered. There's also, of course, the requisite "This is my lesbian crush" comments on photos of Megan Fox, Blake Lively, and Kerry Washington.

BISEXUAL: "Bi" is definitely less of a buzz word on Pinterest, but there's definitely some representation. The pink, purple and blue bisexual flag, some bi celebrities, and some assertive "we exist!" meme photos flesh out the group on the social media site.

TRANS: "Transgender" and "Transsexual" turn up very few results on Pinterest, but some of the posts that do come up feature the trans symbol, plus a bunch of examples of trans portrayal in the media. Models Lea T. and Andrej Pejic are featured prominently (although it's of note that Pejic has never self-identified as trans, although the label has been applied to the gender-bending model). But all in all, it's a slim showing for trans people on this platform.

The search results for the LGBT community, of course, don't really mean anything - Pinterest is a rather silly site whose chief objective seems to be disseminating cool things to look at and skim through while you're bored on the Internet. But it's fun to take a look at what users of this burgeoning social media platform are regarding as LGBT. Go check it out for yourself, if you feel so inclined.

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