From queer history lessons to smashing disability stigma, these are the 10 people using TikTok to fight for change

20-year-old Evie raises awareness of Tourette’s syndrome with her 9.3 million followers. Her aim is to debunk the myths surrounding a life with tics, seizures and spasms, which are incredibly debilitating and so often misunderstood.

Some of her videos are educational, some are humorous, but all have been instrumental in raising awareness and breaking down the stigma of Tourette’s.

If any social media platform has soared in popularity this year, it’s got to be Tik Tok. From weird and wonderful baking creations to expert make-up tips, we’ve learnt a hell of a lot on the platform this year.

But as well as influencers, beauty professionals and Mary Berry-level bakers, there’s a whole host of activists making waves and fighting for change on the platform. Ten of them have been recognised as TikTok’s ‘Voices of Change’, part of the 100 shortlisted profiles that made a difference and brought the world joy in 2020. They are…

Nikki Lilly (real name Nikki Christou) has amassed a massive 4 million followers with whom she shares her story of living with the rare medical condition arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Through her make-up tutorials and beauty vids, she demonstrates that, as it says in her bio, ‘i look different but i’m the same as u’.

Lucy Edwards is the first ever blind BBC Radio 1 presenter and she uses her TikTok platform to raise awareness of what day-to-day life is like for a blind woman, from doing the laundry to ordering a takeaway.

Body positive influencer Flo can be found chatting everything from PCOS to delicious recipes, sharing tips on body confidence and self-love. She joined TikTok in lockdown (May 2020) with the simple ambition to fit back in her jeans in a healthy and happy way, and capture her journey of loving her body while staying away from fad diets. Flo encourages people to embrace their lumps, bumps and curves and focus on mental wellbeing as much as physical health.

@cheethamswithdreams are sisters Hannah and Becky from Manchester who believe in having open and honest discussions about disabilities on TikTok aiming to inspire and spread awareness of cerebral palsy. Becky is a 23 year old children’s nurse and she often answers questions on TikTok about her sister Hannah’s cerebral palsy and how being in a wheelchair and classed as disabled has impacted their lives and relationship.

Yaz makes videos acknowledging the microaggressions and outright hate she gets as a Black trans woman, shining a light on the difficulties faced by her community day in, day out, as well as her personal experiences, such as taking hormones. Yaz wants to inspire other black trans women to feel comfortable and empowered being who they are.

Michael is a comedian who has taken TikTok by storm with his witty role plays about everyday life and is a rising star in the comedy scene. Often taking inspiration from his heritage and the Black community, he’s also a voice for equality and anti-racism.

Sophia is a BBC journalist who has built a dedicated TikTok following by showcasing life as a journalist and exploring the interplay between language, identity and her mixed heritage background. She lifts the lid on growing up with mixed, how she got into journalist and the struggles of being a woman in 2020.

Naomi El is a 20 year old student who discusses the reality of racism in 2020 and her experience of being a young Black woman. Her post ‘I’m Naomi and I am Black’ made waves on TikTok, as she opened up about her own struggles and experiences. It led to an incredible reaction with users commenting: “This is going straight into my powerpoint that I’m going show pupils at my school to educate them – thank you for this and for teaching me”. Naomi also uses her platform as an advocate for sustainable fashion.

Jessica is a deaf vintage fashion and lifestyle influencer who lives with chronic pain. She uses her platform to educate about LGBTQ+ communities and busts myths about what life with a disability looks like – showing that a little positivity can go a long way. She’s actively campaigned for Purple Tuesday disability awareness.

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