Why I Hate Your Pink Equals Signs

I do my best not to write emotionally charged posts that make sweeping generalizations. Every now and then, however, I find myself traveling a path of agitation that only a cathartic chastising of the greater social media community can cure. This is one of those every now and thens.

Let me start by saying that this post does not apply to all people who displayed the surprisingly ugly logo on their respective social media profiles. In fact, the pink equals signs that were accompanied by photos of the person standing in front of the Supreme Court, talking to their respective legislators, or even attending a rally were more than tolerable; they were invited. What isn’t invited is the picture being posted by everyone else.

Most of the people posting the logo are just engaging in a peculiar sort of moral masturbation to make themselves feel good. I’m not saying they don’t believe in ‘marriage equality,’ but they don’t work toward it. If you have never attended a rally, donated to a campaign, written an article, written a letter to your congressman, or done anything else to actually contribute to the movement, then your display of a logo is nothing more than annoying. It is something that you’re doing to serve your own emotional needs rather than to serve the actual cause.

The increasingly troubling aspect of this phenomena is that it perpetuates a blind adherence to a concept that people don’t really understand. Many of these logo fiends have an infantile emotional understanding of the what ‘gay marriage’ even is or the arguments for/against it. They don’t understand the research which has been done regarding sexuality, nor can they provide defensible reasons for what they believe. This state of mind makes these people no better than those on the opposite side. If “love is love is love” is an acceptable argument in favor of gay marriage, then “killing is killing is killing” is an acceptable argument against abortion.

In short, if you’re one of these people who hopped on the bandwagon and couldn’t argue your way out of a paper bag, shut the fuck up; I’m tired of hearing you jack off your moral superiority load over everyone’s collective faces. If you’re one of those people who actually have been discriminated against, have contributed to the cause in tangible ways, have personal tales to tell, or even know what you’re talking about, then I invite you to speak more loudly. I like hearing what you have to say because it’s meaningful, and it doesn’t wreak of self-gratification.

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6 responses to “Why I Hate Your Pink Equals Signs

  1. I agree that the logo profile pictures are useless (Hi Kony). That said, in my case, I had several people ask me what it was about and what it meant. Though changing your profile picture may not actually do anything, it does bring up the topic to those who may have not known that gay marriage was at the Supreme Court.

    • If your goal is to spread awareness, and you can actually answer peoples’ questions in an informed way, then you’re contributing to the cause. You fall into one of the exceptions I brought up 🙂

  2. I am gay and from a conservative community. I have never felt more supported in my life than when more than 100 people on my friends list changed their photos. So many of them were straight, so many of them I never knew were supportive of anything related to the LGBT community. Yes, it was just a bandwagon thing, and yes, they were flaunting a contrived ‘moral superiority’, but I didn’t care at all. For me, that day, I was proud to know so many people who were willing to ‘come out’ as supporters of gay marriage. I don’t know if you are gay (based on what you have written before, I don’t think so, but I don’t want to make assumptions)–but I beg some empathy for what that support feels like. Maybe they were just ‘making themselves feel good’, but it was doing much more than just making me ‘feel good’.

    I did not change my profile picture. People know I am gay, and people know where I stand on gay marriage; however, I am extremely grateful for those who did.

    • Well, I’m not gay, but I do support gay marriage. That being said, I can’t really empathize with you. I have been discriminated against as a Pakistani Muslim in America, but I have never responded positively to people trying to make me feel better. I think the reason for that is that I don’t attach much value to feelings. My happiness largely comes from within as opposed to coming from external sources. While I do understand that it made you feel supported to see everyone posting the logo, the reality is that most of it isn’t actually support. Most of those people will never vote for pro-gay legislation or do anything else that will have an impact. Those people are harming your cause by perpetuating a willful ignorance and diminishing the value of your experiences. These people would never have ‘come out’ in support of gay marriage had it not been for the bandwagon.

      • “My happiness largely comes from within as opposed to coming from external sources.” Mine too, but ‘largely’ isn’t ‘completely’, and living secretively for a long time takes a hard toll. Secondly, while you may not “attach much value to feelings”, there are loads of people who do, including young people who are at increased risk for suicide because of sexual orientation. Therefore, I felt that this outpouring of (real or falsely motivated) support did more good than harm. Again, even if it didn’t mean much to the person posting it, it meant something to the LGBT community, and therefore achieved a desirable outcome and generated positive discussion and media coverage.

        “Those people are harming your cause by perpetuating a willful ignorance and diminishing the value of your experiences. These people would never have ‘come out’ in support of gay marriage had it not been for the bandwagon.”

        My interpretation is that these people ARE benefiting my ’cause’ for the reasons I mentioned. Exposure and display of popular support has huge subjective sway in so many arenas, even if it doesn’t always translate into as many votes as I would like (though if the change in voting patterns, in the short or long term, is >0 people, then the bandwagon was worth it). Polls bear out how this popular culture among different generations has been changing; even if it’s just the cause du jour, it achieves my desired outcome. Willful ignorance could even be to my benefit in this case–a reality that I would rather see in my favor than against.

        Finally, your last sentence (“These people would never…”) when removed from the greater context of your reply, is precisely why I thought it was more positive than negative–that the mass outpouring enabled those who might not usually show their support to be open.

        Thanks for the discussion, and so sorry that the pink equals signs generated enough power to cause you to “hate” them(!), per your post title. I was trying to work in a “NO H8” joke, but failed 🙂

      • I appreciate the comments, and it’s good that it had a positive effect on you. The external sources of happiness I refer to are necessities like food, water, and shelter, because it’s very difficult to be happy without those things.

        As far as the actual movement is concerned, I don’t know how much of an impact the posting of a pink equals sign had. I think you may be a more empathetic person than I am because while I understand what you’re saying, I cannot bring myself to feel the same way about people who show tacit support.

        That being said, I really do appreciate you having the courage to comment on this post. You did make some great points, and I may have to rethink how I view this whole situation.

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