'We won't let them win': Chesterfield influencer determined to keep expressing herself to silence trolls who sent abuse online
A Chesterfield influencer who received an influx of transphobic and homophobic abuse online after posting a video to TikTok has vowed to ‘not let them win’ by continuing to express her individuality.
Eliza Hyde from Brimington, who works as a secondary school teacher, is determined to keep posting pictures of her favourite outfits, talking about the heavy metal music she likes and chatting about Doctor Who on her Instagram account which has 7,000 followers – despite receiving abuse from strangers online.
The 31-year-old, who identifies as genderfluid, was upset to read comments telling her she was ‘just a bloke in a dress’ and unkindly pointing out her Adam's apple after she posted a video sharing facts about herself while on a walk at Chesterfield canal on TikTok last week.
In response to Eliza saying that she enjoys sword fighting in the video which had over 4,000 views, one anonymous user left a comment saying: “Only sword you’re interested in is attached between a guy’s legs.”
The teacher commented: "It's something that has never happened to me before and then it made me feel quite angry that people have decided to focus on this happy little space that I've got for myself and decided to try and rain on my parade.
"It was upsetting.
"I've always gone through everything smiley and happy and not really trying to cause trouble or anything.”
Eliza initially decided to put the light-hearted video on the internet as it was coming up to a year since she officially came out as genderfluid and started expressing herself online via her Instagram account @realelizahyde.
She advised others who receive hateful comments to always report the user to ensure their behaviour is flagged to social media platforms.
She added: "It made me feel really frustrated but it also made me feel more determined because I thought, do you know what this is completely unnecessary and it's made me want to go out there and be me even more.
"The whole thing with TikTok surprised me as well because it is a platform for younger people and I thought it would be a lot more progressive.
"These sorts of comments can be really hurtful and they can be really mean but the people that are writing them really don't matter, they are just sad little people that enjoy bringing other people down.
"We shouldn't let these people win."
Eliza is calling on social media companies to do more to protect users from abuse as she feels it takes too long for reported comments and it does not go far enough in restricting and banning accounts.
"It doesn't seem that a lot is being done to try and stagnate it and kill it before it spreads even more”, she said.
"You report a comment and the comment might get deleted but the user will carry on abusing other people and spreading the hate elsewhere.
"But if you are doing nothing wrong, if you are just expressing yourself and being you, the worst thing you can do is lock that away just for the sake of worrying what other people
"There are so many more people out there who love you rather than those who want to bring you down.”