Tik Tok is the social media app that everyone is talking about these days. From trending dances to comedic skits to cooking recipes, it is a platform that has something for everyone. A casual scroll through the For You Page, the app’s discovery page, you will see a variety of content creators that range in age, gender, culture producing 15 seconds to 3-minute videos on their phone. To put it simply, this is the app that values authenticity and breaks down the old belief that to connect with an audience, you need to have a highly curated professional looking feed.
We recently sat down with rising Tik Tok content creator Summer Luk who grew an impressive audience of over 440k followers and we talked about her creative process, activism and her journey of sharing her story publicly as a trans woman.
The Knocturnal: What made you look into creating content for Tiktok?
Summer Luk: Well it’s a funny story because I didn’t expect to become a content creator myself. I first looked into the app around last March when I was thinking about ways to promote my song Masterpiece. At the time, everyone was telling me that this was the app to look into and with the success that many musicians have had, I thought it was worth a shot. I reached out to over a thousand Tik Tokers to promote the song and when the campaign ended, COVID hit! Melbourne Australia went into strict lockdown where we could only travel within 5 km and exercise up to 2 hours a day so I had a lot of free time and got bored of binge watching Netflix pretty quickly so I started to make tik tok videos.
The Knockturnal: That seems to be what got many people downloading the app! Would you mind telling us a little bit about what it was like when you first started and what your creative process is like?
Summer Luk: When I first started, I wasn’t quite sure where I fit in because the app was known for dancing and since I’m not a dancer myself I couldn’t hop on many trends. But through scrolling a lot on the app, I eventually landed on LGBTQ Tik Tok and saw creators that told stories, made educational content and was just being themselves. That made me feel like I could do it too! That’s when I started using the app as a way for me to get comfortable being myself and share my story as a trans woman. It also helped to see what other trans creators like Kissy Duerre and Aj Clementine did and as time went on I just became more comfortable being myself.
The Knockturnal: What is the most rewarding aspect of being on the app?
Summer Luk: I think the community is definitely the most rewarding aspect of this app. It’s always scary to share your story as someone who belongs to a marginalized community and it’s great to see so many people relating, supporting and sharing my content! And from my short time on the app I got to do some pretty cool stuff like participate in the Tik Tok’s Mardi Gras float!
The Knockturnal: What is one of your favorite videos that you have created?
Summer: Well my most recent favorite one has to be my take on the trend of sharing my love life! I always think about how to share my story as a trans woman in ways that people will relate to and to see this video resonate with so many people and get over 2 million views definitely surprised me. Making this type of videos are also very therapeutic for me which is always a plus!
The Knockturnal: What advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming a content creator?
My advice would be to not put too much emphasis on numbers. I have made close to 1000 videos at this point and some of my videos have got 800 views and sometimes it gets millions. I think a good perspective to have is to remember that 30 views equates to a full class room and as long as you are having fun, trying different things, making content that you like, you will find your audience and the format that works for you!