Get To Know The Masterminds Behind The Internet’s Most Viral Queer Memes

Instagram’s top queer memers give us the scoop on their meme expertise.

Sometimes it feels like the only other people who “get” you are fellow queers. But not all of us live in places with strong LGBTQ communities. That’s where the internet comes in. Online spaces are vital, especially for baby queers who may not have developed IRL queer circles yet.

And in online spaces, luckily, there are queer memes. Memes are simple (but intelligent) graphics that communicate niche humor to a niche audience. They get at oddly relatable experiences and condense them into graphics whose substance relies on the assumption that whoever sees it “gets” it. If you have to explain a meme, it’s no longer funny. Being a queer person can be hard—but at least we have memes that we understand.

While memes are unique from face-to-face communication, they’re not entirely disentangled from the world outside of cyberspace. Memes are a form of comic relief, but also can be a bridge between our real-life worlds and our internet worlds. Memes reach across time zones, states, and countries. Any queer person in any corner of the globe can chuckle at the same picture of Shane going from a 2 to a 12.

 

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collab/special request and image procurement by @forestqueer 💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘

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Memes are funny, sure, but they also open up space for people to feel comfortable and understood. They make the queer world feel a little less small and lonely for us. I talked with some of Instagram’s top queer memers to get the scoop on how they come up with memes, how they make memes, and what they love about memes.

@sir_babygirl

 

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GO: What’s your name, how old are you, and what are your pronouns?

SBG: Sir Babygirl, guess, and guess again. 😉

GO: When did you start making memes? 

SBG: I made them when I was hella depressed and confused about my bisexuality and gender, and I wasn’t making music. Once I started exploring my internalized biphobia through my memes, people really started to grab on, and I realized I wasn’t crazy for having these thoughts! It has been a very healing process within the bisexual community—I can FEEL our power growing.

GO: What makes a good meme for you?

SBG: Nothing quite gets me like an extremely esoteric picture of a very specific mid-2000s diva like Hoku or Ashlee Simpson doing some diva shit with a gay caption <3

@mediocrelesbianmemes

 

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GO: What’s your name, how old are you, and what are your pronouns?

E: My name is Emma. I’m 26 in December (Sag season! Yay!), and my pronouns are she/her.

GO: When did you start making memes? At what point did you realize your posts were really gathering attention and you were becoming known for them?

E: I started making memes in July 2017, which was right in the middle of a pretty shit year for me. [In a span of a couple of months,] I had gotten out of a four-year relationship and handed in my master’s thesis, which left me with a lot of extra time on my hands as well as a solid amount of existential angst. To be honest, it took quite a while before it even got past a couple of hundred followers in which a significant portion were friends and (ex-)lovers. I do remember my first time getting a lot of new followers was after lesbian meme royalty @xenaworrierprincess reposted me in one of her insta stories, though. Generally, I seem to gain a lot of followers when other lesbian and/or queer memers give me a shout-out.

GO: What’s something you’ve learned about yourself since you’ve started making memes?

E: That I’m funny even though my exes claim that I’m not! Hehe.

@forestqueer

 

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GO: What’s your name, how old are you, and what are your pronouns?

NW: Nick Witherow, age 27, she/her pronouns.

GO: The queer community is huge and diverse, and there are a ton of layers to all of the identities that exist within the community, but we all also share a lot, too. Do you see meme-making as a way of connecting folks?

NW: Honestly, my goal is to deconstruct all the ways we police and harm each other and to try to use humor, non-academic language/settings, open communication, accessibility, personal responsibility, and honest perspective to do so. Memes are a really effective medium for that. It’s so wild to me that I can create something based off an annoyance or an observation or a flat-out awful experience and use a fucking meme to laugh about it and open discussion. For example, I talk a lot about how lesbians have been consistently shit on by the queer community because we’re seen as an old, outdated identity. It’s not “cool” to be a lesbian, but just because you don’t think we’re “cool” doesn’t mean you get to ignore the very REAL discriminations and hardships we still face, and those hardships often mirror experiences that other identities face as well. I’m here to split open our own biases we have as a community and I’m more than happy to use humor to do it. In fact, I don’t think I know any other way.

GO: What is it about the specific style and humor of memes that clicks for you?

NW: I love meme humor because it lacks pretentiousness, it’s accessible, and it gets straight to the damn point. I’m a millennial with diagnosed Adult ADD—like make it short and sweet and I’m there.

@thackerybinch

 

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GO: What’s your name, how old are you, and what are your pronouns?

V: My name is Vida. I am 29 ( I will be 30 in December and am pretty old for a meme maker), [and] both she and they pronouns are chill to use.

GO: What’s the general process like when you make a meme?

V: My process is extremely loose, which is why my memes are not beautiful and really vary in quality. I have many saved folders of “resonant images,” I lean on that heavily. I’m really all over the place. Sometimes the idea comes first sometimes the image does but I would not recommend my process to anyone.

GO: It seems like a lot of people see internet memes as just jokes and don’t see them as sort of separate from “the real world.” Do you agree?

V: Jokes are never separate from the real world! There is no such thing as just a joke.

@thegaychingy

 

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GO: What’s your name, how old are you, and what are your pronouns?

C: I’m Chingy, my pronouns are she/her, and my age is a poorly guarded secret (I’m in my mid-20s).

GO: At what point did you realize your posts were really gathering attention and you were becoming known for memes?

C: I think the moment I really knew I’d earned a reputation as a memer was a few months back when my ex told me she couldn’t escape my presence on lesbian Instagram because everyone she followed was reposting me. While achieving dyke-y bottom joke omnipresence was my intention, I hadn’t realized that unfortunate side effect ’til I got it.

GO: What do you do outside of meme-making? 

C: I’ve been professionally acting for five years while also being a screenwriter and columnist with a focus on comedic stories/articles about dating, BDSM, and gay sex culture. It is a fun hobby for me, but it’s a pretty clear through line from my writing to my memes. Both are just different outlets for my comedy. I also know my memes have gotten me attention from people I want to collaborate with, so at this point, I consider it part of my job as a sex and comedy writer. I’m my own underpaid publicist.

@godimsuchadyke

 

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What’s your name, how old are you, and what are your pronouns?

GISAD: Anonymous, she/her.

GO: It seems like a lot of people see internet memes as just jokes and don’t see them as sort of separate from “the real world.” Do you agree?

GISAD: They are a way of abstractly expressing ideas and experiences, so while they are often humorous, they are also reflections of the world we live in.

GO: What’s something you’ve learned about yourself since you’ve started making memes?

GISAD: I don’t know if I have learned anything about myself personally, but I am always trying to strike a balance between the personal and the shared. I want to make content that I enjoy and identify with because that is the best of way of making sure others will enjoy and identify with it, too. I don’t want to create content that is so personal that it isn’t relevant to anyone, but I find, thankfully, that our shared collective experience makes that difficult to do.

There are plenty more amazing queer meme makers where that came from! Who are your favorite queer meme makers? Let us know in the comments!