The virtual TikTok video that offers independent families to same-sex couples on their wedding day has led to the formation of the international LGBTQ Facebook group: TikTok Stand in Families.
The 30-second video, Daniel Blevins, a Tennessee hairdresser, posted on TikTok in January, has over 62,000 views and 16,000 likes. In his heartfelt message, Blevins looks at the camera and tells same-sex couples “who have no biological parents there to support you” to touch him.
"If I can go to your wedding, I have friends who will know," Blevins said in the video. "We have a great network and it continues to grow for moms and dads who want to be a part of your big day."
Blevins and his friend Rae Otto - whom he met at TikTok last year and still have not met in person - launched the TikTok Stand in Families in February with the aim of connecting a thousand people in need of support during major health events. , such as weddings, birthdays and graduations.
In less than 10 months, the independent Facebook group has welcomed more than 30,000 members from 60 countries, with new members joining every day, Blevins said. At least two newlyweds have found families stable in their marriages, according to Blevins, who said the group has turned itself into a support network and a safe haven for those looking for friends, family and full support.
"Many of our members text or text each other when they need someone," he said. “Especially with Covid, a lot of people are lonely. Being separated from your family because you are out ... the epidemic adds to that loneliness. "
According to a 2021 Trevor Project National Survey study on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, more than 80 percent of LGBTQ teens said Covid-19 had made their living conditions more stressful - and only one third of LGBTQ teens found that its homes affirm LGBTQ. In addition, 70 percent of LGBTQ teens said their mental health was "bad" most of the time or regularly during Covid-19.
Blevins shared how a safe environment helped people avoid domestic violence and helped people with homelessness. He set an example when members helped a group member escape a domestic violence situation.
"They actually found them in the Midwest to a safe east coast," he said. “I keep in touch with them several times a week, and they are doing very well. It was all because of the group. ”
Members of the group also opened their homes for the big holidays. By simply sharing their cities and districts on the page, Blevins said, people who do not have families or are separated from their families are able to connect with nearby members and share with them at home-cooked meals or do chores.
"Your chosen family can sometimes be better than your own family," Blevins said. “Just know that you are not alone. If you need someone and you want that connection, we can help you with the group. ”