Why I took down my rainbow picture
I was among the first to update my Facebook profile with a rainbow tinted picture. But I removed it this week for good reason.
Originally, I did it to show support and express my personal joy in this evolution. I wanted to show that I was separate from the masses who disagreed. But then I read posts from friends who were struggling with this ruling. I read them out of curiosity… to see if I could understand why they didn’t see it the same way I did.
One thing in those posts struck me quite deeply… I saw their pain and anguish.
I was reminded of the pain I felt each time gay marriage was ruled down. They were experiencing the same thing I felt when elections went against what I felt was the best for humanity. But I didn’t have to see a visual reminder all over Facebook shouting, “Yay! Gay rights loses again!”. It would have hurt my soul to have seen that blasted everywhere, especially since it went so solidly against what I felt was right. And right now, there are a lot of people feeling that exact pain.
Pain is pain – regardless of whether we judge it as being deserved, rightful or justified.
This wasn’t people celebrating a Super Bowl win; this is about a belief that touches the very fabric of our souls.
When Michael saw that I changed my picture, he asked me why I did it. I thought that was a really stupid question… but then I started thinking about it. What purpose did it serve?
What I started noticing is that it created an overt separation. These friends clearly supported gay rights. Other friends didn’t change theirs, which left a question mark… did they or didn’t they? It was hard to tell. And in some cases, people got unfriended over these profile changes. These profile pictures quickly unmasked many people.
In a world where we struggle to find connection, oneness and common ground with others, I felt like the rainbow pictures were putting a spotlight on our differences. In every community I am part of, I saw this sudden separation.
I would love to live in a world of like-minded people. But I don’t have the luxury of hand selecting the people in my world. I get to live in a blended community with people of all kinds of beliefs, religions, practices and experiences.
I realized that I didn’t want to be separate from those who disagree. It’s okay with me if they do – it doesn’t threaten me nor what I know to be true for myself. I’m finally solid in my beliefs and I respect those who are as well.
My beliefs about equality, freedom and spirituality deserve the same respect as my friends beliefs about God and the Bible. I cannot let ego delude me otherwise.
I believe in equality for all. And it’s taken me a long time to embrace respect for all – despite the differences. And this is one way I feel that I can practice that.