On the early internet times, we were simply generally invisible.
The better part was that we didn't call too much attention. There were more boards on the clear net, and plenty of non nude model sites.
The worse part was that we didn't call too much attention, so our plight didn't reach the mainstream.
Today the latter is the opposite: we can be visible. The bad part of that is how we can more easily be criticized baselessly and censored. That is why the current more visible CLs are either those trying to ride the LGBT+, which the overwhelming majority of the LGBT+ don't want; or Vichy who won't get us anywhere because they do not seek any sort of social reform.
The good part is that as we are more visible we cannot be denied. We can be attacked, but not denied.
There are in my perception several events intervening in the changes but I think the most significant is the appearance of Me Too.