Yesterday I was thrilled to find a sea of unity on my Facebook wall in the form of a simple red equality sign. In case you’re one of the few without a Facebook or Twitter account, the equality sign has been promoted by the Human Rights Campaign in the wake of the congressional hearing on same-sex marriage. The HRC released a statement stating “the original image has been shared more than 100,000 times and created upwards of 10 million impressions in all 50 states – not including countless user-created versions.”
Yay! It makes my heart smile to see people empowered to express their stance on a hot subject. The equality sign posted on a Facebook wall or replacing a profile picture is not a means to ignite an argument with non-supporters or demand a high level of activism which can often dissuade people from becoming involved. The equality sign was an awakening and measurable shock to congress, though more importantly an encouraging message to the gay community. The LGBT community faces discrimination and hate in ways most of us cannot relate. I hope the sea of red yesterday was a sign of support, progress and love. I also hope the volume of equality signs visible yesterday was an inspiration to non-supporters to reconsider their position.
I know I have many conservative friends on Facebook who don’t support gay marriage, and sometimes it’s bewildering to me why they don’t talk about it publicly. It’s like they want to keep their narrow-mindedness a secret, maybe deep down they know they are wrong for trying to impose their religious beliefs to control others. In stark contrast, I see so many ignorant insults being flung anonymously on forums and posts. Here is what I know for sure: The change is going to happen. So the faster the non-supporters work their way into acceptance the easier it will be for them to make the adjustment. Even better, their children can grow up accepting and loving rather than fearing and hating.