San Francisco’s Largest Queer Community Center Leaves Twitter Amid Increased Transphobia

The SF LGBT Center announced yesterday that it will deactivate the nonprofit’s Twitter account and move its social media presence elsewhere.

Twitter has become an increasingly transphobic space since Elon Musk took ownership of the company in late 2022. Users reported an increase in instances of transphobia over the past six months, which coincides with news of ant-trans accounts being restored around November of 2022. Most recently, Twitter removed language in its abuse and harassment policy that explicitly protected transgender individuals from harassment. 

(Prior to the change, Twitter banned the malicious use of misgendering or deadnaming of transgender people — a policy that was put in place in 2018. A few eagle-eyed users noticed that the harassment policy had been updated sometime in April to remove the sentence that had been written to protect transgender people from such harassment; Twitter’s section explicitly dedicated to such slurs and tropes has no mention of the aforenoted type of hate, though all other illustrations of policy violations have remained unchanged.)

It was the final straw for many queer people who once flocked to social media; it wasn’t too long ago that Twitter existed as a far more hospitable space for LGBTQIA+ people to populate than, say, Instagram and Facebook. Suffice it to say that’s now changed, dramatically.

It’s reason enough as to why the SF LGBT Center, San Francisco’s foremost queer nonprofit that serves the city’s entire LGBTQIA+ community, has left the platform — entirely.

“We are officially deactivating Twitter,” reads a tweet from the SF LGBT Center. “You can keep up-to-date about our events, news, and updates on our other socials.”

The center’ -updated Twitter bio now reflects this change: “WE ARE NO LONGER ON TWITTER.”

Founded in 2002, the SF LGTB Center has prided itself on being an evergreen safe space and community hub for queer people in the seven-by-seven. Continue to engage with an incredibly transphobic social media — one helmed by an overtly anti-queer owner — has made for an “incredibly unsafe” space for the Center to interact with, according to Dani Siragusa, Director of Development and Communications at the SF LGBT Center.

“The recent rise in transphobic and anti-queer tweets under Musk’s leadership over the last few months made the platform incredibly unsafe for the Center to engage with our community purposefully,” writes Siragusa in an email to Underscore. “And this is deeper than social media—trans lives are at stake.”

The Center has no plans to reinvigorate its Twitter presence in the near future; a decision to do so would likely be predicated on a near (or exact) 180-degree turn regarding the social media company’s stance on policies that protect and advocate for the safety of queer individuals. 

“It’s clear that Twitter’s current direction does not align with our equity values, so we’ve decided to leave the platform and encourage peer organizations to do the same,” Siragusa writes in closing.

The Center’s Instagram handle remains lively, as does its presence on LinkedIn and Facebook; the Center’s blog and newsletter will also continue sharing updates.

Feature Image: Courtesy of [at]7by7sf on Instagram

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