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A TikTok couple acts as an all-accepting ‘Mafia Family’ to comfort LGBTQ followers

Summary List PlacementLisa Brezinski and Pope amassed a following on TikTok by sharing videos of their lives as a couple. When someone commented on one of their videos asking the two women to adopt them, Brezinski immediately sprung into action. According to BuzzFeed, Brezinski ran to Pope to tell her about the comment. "Someone said, 'Adopt us!' So we need to adopt them. We're going to be their parents," Brezinski said.  In August 2020, they shared a video impersonating someone filling out a lot of paperwork that was captioned: "Accepting all your adoption applications." It had 11.1 million views at the...

Lisa and Pope TikTok stills

Summary List Placement

Lisa Brezinski and Pope amassed a following on TikTok by sharing videos of their lives as a couple. When someone commented on one of their videos asking the two women to adopt them, Brezinski immediately sprung into action.

According to BuzzFeed, Brezinski ran to Pope to tell her about the comment. “Someone said, ‘Adopt us!’ So we need to adopt them. We’re going to be their parents,” Brezinski said. 

In August 2020, they shared a video impersonating someone filling out a lot of paperwork that was captioned: “Accepting all your adoption applications.” It had 11.1 million views at the time of writing. 

Brezinski and Pope continued to make videos roleplaying as a gay “Mafia Family” that takes care of their children’s every need, including getting rid of imaginary monsters under the bed and introducing a new babysitter to their then three million ‘kids’ with a book of their pronouns.  

Commenters leave notes with a point of view (POV) and Brezinski and Pope respond in a new video with how they would react in that situation. In the post below, where a commenter wrote, “pov.. I’m one of your mafia children and my bf just broke my heart. how would you react,” the couple captioned their video with a note saying, “no one hurts our babies.” The post had 7.7 million views at the time of writing. 

In addition to leaving POVs, followers left comments of support for the couple and even told the virtual “parents” that they felt loved and safe watching their videos. 

A genderfluid cosplayer named Gale told BuzzFeed that “Pope and Lisa’s parental focus in their videos gives a LOT of us queer kids a community that we may not have at home. … To have a safe place where we are spoiled by our cool, accepting, queer ‘parents’ feels kinda like an escape and gives us a safe place to be ourselves.”

Gale’s video below had 1.6 million views at the time of writing. 

@allthepotsnpans

#duet with @lkbphotography_ thank you, parents. I look forward to purchasing my necklace. #fyp #lgbtq #foryoupage #pov

♬ Судно (Борис Рижий) – Molchat Doma

https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js

The two offer a temporary escape from whatever family situation their “children” experience in their real lives. Insider previously reported that LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than heterosexual youth, and that 13% of LGBTQ youth said they have been subjected to conversion therapy. 

This past year in particular, with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping kids and teens out of school and in their homes, many LGBTQ youth have been kept away from their chosen families and support systems, but they built online communities instead.

Looking at “The Mafia Family” videos and the comments left, it’s clear Brezinski and Pope have created even a miniature online community that continues to grow as they generate more of a following. At the time of writing, they had 7.2 million followers and 142.2 million likes.

“I didn’t think that so many people would feel like, ‘Oh my god, I did have a bad day and you brought me cupcakes.’ But it really was that,” Brezinski told BuzzFeed.

She continued saying that people started posting duets and resharing their videos. “The ability to interact was the coolest part,” she said. 

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