Anyone on social media saw the take off of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) red logo. A silent witness posted for the March 26th Proposition 8 argument and the March 27th Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the Supreme Court of the United States, it was a grass roots effort to give public display of an inward support.
So, did it matter? I think so!
It mattered for the quiet as well as the loud. Obviously people coming together and walking down Chicago's Michigan Avenue, to show their support for equal rights, is a marvelous thing. It breeds momentum and synergy. However, not everyone is a walking mouth like I am. Some show their opinion and support by unheard actions; hence the red-for-marriage-equality campaign.
It mattered for the onlooker. I was so pleased to see the response from friends all over my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That being said one could assume that most of my friends are okay with the whole gay thing. The truth is, not all of my ‘friends' are! I have a number of people I've accepted on various social media accounts who are adamantly against my homosexuality; much less my ability to marry someone of the same sex. They saw my support. Perhaps they even read my post. Either way, I was able to take a stand.
It mattered for the allies. Where would the LGBT community be, without its ally supporters! I was so touched to see many of my straight friends; show their support. I'm sure they didn't do it because they thought it would sway the Supreme Court's decision. I felt they posted their red-for-marriage-equality campaign photos, to stand in unity with me, and those like me; for whom these forthcoming decisions mean so much.
It mattered for those coming out. Marriage rights advocates have long argued that once people know someone gay (A friend or family member) their opinions change. This was reflected in a recent Pew Institute Poll. In the poll, roughly a third of the people responding said they've changed their mind about LGBT rights because they have a friend or family member who is gay. Take for example Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, who reversed his opinion on marriage equality after his son came out.
I'd be willing to bet that some used their red-for-marriage-equality campaign photos to ease themselves out of the closet, or even come out entirely. The declaration, "we're here, we're queer", in a digital age has proven to be just as important and affective now.
It's also been fun to see friends creatively show their support. My friend and pilot Hank Cain posted this clever profile photo; showing his support. Here are some other favorites .
Whether you did or didn't post support for equality on your social media, I hope you will consider your personal stance on this issue. Making a difference on this and other important issues happens when we show up and when we speak up. Most of the time, words aren't even necessary.