Gay Marriage: Why Changing Your Facebook Photo Isn't Enough
As The Dissident, J.J. Colagrande turns his critical eye on Miami culture. This week: why updating your profile picture online doesn't make you a freedom fighter.
Facebook feeds around the country are now filled with red and pink, as users change their profile picture to the Human Rights Campaign's logo to show support for gay marriage, an issue that went to the Supreme Court this week.
It's a noticeable symbol of unity and support for the gay rights movement.
But is it enough?
Of course, it's definitely laudable to show support to a cause you believe in. And if you've looked at Facebook in the past couple days, that show of support is overwhelming. That red and pink logo, and its various incarnations, have likely taken over your news feed. When seen within a massive, viral context, it does indeed look impressive.
But how much does the gesture really do? Will it influence the thoughts and minds of the Supreme Court justices? Not likely.
Will it change the minds of opponents of marriage equality? The symbol is noticeable,
sure -- but it doesn't come with any argument for the cause, or any information at all, such as a link containing an explanation of the issue at hand. It's so vague that it seems designed to preach to the choir.
The fact is, changing your profile picture online is a minimal gesture. It seems like
the least one can do to support the cause. Unless you're backing up that pic with real, tangible action, in the form of votes or volunteering or petitioning, you cannot count yourself as part of the fight for equality. It's borderline insulting to the activists who have worked hard to bring marriage equality to the Supreme Court in the first place.