Today is the age of the industrial 4.0 world, and technologies, especially social media, are an important part of everyone’s daily life. Yet, with the advancement of social media, prejudice and discrimination are also brought to these platforms! This is a story of Jummy, his nickname, who witnessed it all, and here is his story. 

Jummy, APTBY

Presently, Jummy is a resident in Siem-Reap, and he works as an online seller and makeup artist at a wedding embellishment. He discovered his sexual orientation when he was young  as he is attracted to the beauty world of doing make up. Jummy has always believed that he is very lucky to have a very supportive family, his mother and sister always encourage him throughout his life to be himself. They allow him to do what he loves and follow his dream to be a makeup artist, although they wanted him to be in the army or police at first. He does really appreciate their kind heart to him and never discriminates against him.

However, this does not mean that his life is full of sunshine and rainbows of endless happiness. Just like any other LGBT+ individuals, whenever he goes online, he always found himself a target or at least being in the center of discrimination of social sitgmas against the rainbow community. Of course, Jummy never gives a thought to those online discriminations and harassment. But sometimes when he goes live on Facebook, especially to sell his product online, other people come to comment on his live stream by cursing and saying other mean words to him. He has tried to ignore those comments, but he said as a human, he cannot ignore it all the time because those words hurt. Frankly speaking, he feels bad and turns off his live stream sometimes because of those bullying words. It really does affect his mental health. 

Jummy expressed that “Although I have support from my family, I’m still affected by those words. How about other people who haven’t got any support from their family? What will they be like? How can they survive in this society? If they give up themselves or jobs because of those bullying words, who will be responsible? Please don’t judge people, just because we are LGBT+. LGBT+ people are also humans too, and we are capable to do what other can do or even more” 

Through this article, he also would like to send his message to other LGBTs people “Please don’t give up yourselves or your dreams by those bullying words, stay strong, and keep on going”. Jummy’s story illustrates the harsh side of social media because sometimes all of us forget that what we say to others through the screen does not matter, but it does, and it can either hurt and break someone. Yet, it can still be an important tool to support someone if it were to be used correctly.  

This article is written by Veng Lihouy, a 1st generation participant of Story Corner 2020 which aims to break the stigma on LGBT+ through storytelling and the engagement of youths through dialogue and series of training on gay rights advocacy and basic journalism. Story Corner 2020 is hosted by Buzz Talk Cambodia

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