Monday, April 1, 2013

Talking the Talk, part two

(Following up on what I said a couple of days ago, here.)

If you're on Facebook and were paying any attention last week, you most likely saw a lot of variations on a red and pink equals sign in support of marriage equality. It was based on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC's) logo, and it was pushed out while the two landmark marriage rights cases were being heard by the US Supreme Court.

It was kind of amazing to see the visual manifestation of the outpouring of support by people from all over. And, as the idea spread, it was great fun to watch the variations. From the equals sign being replaced by bacon, to the square panels being used as the tiles in mosaics, the campaign became as individualized as are the reasons people support the cause.

Believe it or not, according to ABC News and Facebook, something like 2.7 million more FB users changed their profile pictures last Tuesday (after the HRC suggested using the red equals sign) than on the prior Tuesday. And although FB didn't tally how many were actually the logos, you kind of have to assume that a lot of them were.

Here's the thing, though: I watched all of those spring up on my FB Newsfeed, and it was amazing. People were saying that it was becoming hard to know which of your friends you were talking to, because everyone looked the same - and how cool was that?

But then people started to kind of get badgered into changing their profile pictures. I, personally, put up a photo of Christopher and me - because that seemed to be more about my own case for marriage equality than any red logo could be. And, happily, the reactions I got to that photo offered me just as much meaningful support as all the rest of those red logos put together.

Of course, over the past few days, FB has started shifting back to "normal" - where people's personal photos are taking back the Newfeed. (Mine went back to something Easter-y for the weekend.)

And although the visual outpouring of support was nice, I'm okay that it's fading. Or at least that the pressure to be one of the cool kids by showing the logo off is fading. There are still plenty of people with those logos on their pages, and it's still cool to see them when I log in. But I don't *have* to see them.

You see, as much I love seeing those images, I would rather have people speaking out every day in favor of equal rights for all - and contacting their legislators, and, most importantly, talking to their kids, and talking to each other - than to have them pressuring other people to post a picture for 2 days.

After all, if equality is only something we support 2 days a year, we're not going to get anywhere. When it's part of our everyday lives - when it fits in right alongside pictures of our dogs and cats and kids and vacations - that's when real change is going to happen.

1 comment:

Dragonfly said...

well said, Robert