Wednesday, March 27, 2013

All You Need Is Love

Writing for me is very therapeutic. Often times my brain is thinking of things to write instead of things to say or do. However, those times seemed to have vanished; writer's block had taken a permanent residence in my brain (yes, for more than a year). And then something happened. This morning at five, when I woke up and was unable to fall back asleep, my mind started writing this post. It was like getting a visit from a long-lost friend. I can't explain the feeling I get when my mind just starts writing, but it was incredible having that feeling back.

So what was it that got my gears moving again? Well, it had everything to do with yesterday, with the flood of red and pink on my wall. Toward the end of the day, Mike posted an article with the headline: The Red Marriage Equality Sign on Your Facebook Profile Is Completely Useless. I stopped reading there. I was annoyed and appalled. How could Mike post that article? When I got home, we discussed it, and his first question was: Did you even read the article? To which I sheepishly admitted I hadn't (because upon hearing his tone, I knew he was going to tell me I should have). It talks about the passive activism that happens in social media, that some people think just posting something or changing their picture will change the law.

Now, did I think that changing my photo yesterday was going to change in any way, shape, or form, what lawmakers think? Nope. But I didn't think it was useless either. I did it as a continuing show of support to my gay and lesbian friends. I did it so those who maybe don't agree with marriage equality would have just one more person flooding their news feed with red and pink. And you know what? It felt good. It felt good to scroll through Facebook throughout the day and see those colors. It felt good to see people I wouldn't have suspected on this side of the argument change their photos. And it felt good to see some of these statuses (I hope my friends won't mind my copying and pasting a few here):

"It's pretty incredible to see all these people change their profile pics. Kinda makes up for all those times I felt ashamed of who I was."
"I love that as I scroll through my friends list, I see a sea of red . . . brings a tear to my eye and gives me hope. Thank you."

"Wow. It's crazy to see how much has changed from my days in the closet. . . . Classmates, college roommates, lifelong friends . . . even those I thought would be the last to support equality . . . all stepping up today! I'm so fortunate to have such an amazing network of friends and family who believe my love is equal to their love. One of the most awesome feelings ever!"

"Thank you to all the str8 allies who went with the red today. We love you!"

Though the sea of red and pink on Facebook may tell us otherwise, not everyone is on board with marriage equality (shocking but true). And I'm guessing those people don't have gay and lesbian friends, because if they did, how could they not want to see their friends happy with the person he or she loves? I don't get it, but I don't have to. Just like they may not get it. But you know what? They don't have to. However, just because they don't get it doesn't mean marriage equality shouldn't be around.

Why are we even still talking about this? If marriage is so sacred, then why are people allowed to get married and divorced multiple times? We don't have a say in that, nor should we. If someone wants to marry and divorce until their dying day, that's his or her prerogative. 

If marriage is so sacred, then why do we allow straight people to get married for, like, a nanosecond? (I know it's a tired example, but I'm talking to you, Kim Kardashian, who is still legally married to her husband but pregnant with her boyfriend's baby--yeah, that's classy and a totally normal upbringing for a child, which just gets me all sorts of agitated when I think about people who say kids will be messed up if they're raised by gay parents. Seriously? Kids are going to be messed up if they have bad parenting, which has nothing to do with the gender of the kid's parents. Sure, let's listen to the Duggars talk about adopting so they can expand their brood with a twentieth child but let's keep Bill and Joe or Nancy and Sue from having a couple of kids and loving those kids with all their hearts. Also, in a publishing plug, My Two Moms is a perfect example of a kid raised by two women who really has his sh*t together, so take that, naysayers.)

But what Mike read in that article about passive activism is true, too. We have become a society where we think posting something online is good enough. It's not. I'll admit that I have slacked in my GLBT ally duties. Before legalized gay marriage was passed in New York, I attended rallies and events in support of marriage equality. But it's been a while. And there's still a lot of fight left. So do something. Change your profile pic, sure, but let that be the start of your action, not the end of it.

All you need is love.