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.

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About Epiphany

epiphanies on life and spiritual living as I chase wisdom - one insight at a time.

Posted on July 12, 2015, in Life, Spirituality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You seem to have Liberal White Girl First World Problems. Most people are out there living their lives, and don’t have the time to agonise long and hard over a single photo on social media.


    • @Ken, my focus was on my connectedness with the world I live in. I’m also seeking to change the impact that ego has on my life so people (hopefully) don’t experience me as being self-righteous or judgmental, which are not qualities I’m seeking to embrace.

      Lastly, part of me living my life is sharing my thoughts via a blog; just as part of your life is commenting on blogs.

      The point of the article was mainly about not flaunting a ruling that many people have passionate emotions around in other’s faces. I don’t think anything is served by rubbing it in people’s faces.


  2. @Ken – I think you are missing the bigger picture. This issue is not about the author being white or any other color or about spending a long time agonizing on the issue or less time. The issue, as I see it, is that having an understanding that opposing views are important and valuable and there is nothing gained by rubbing anyone’s nose in a situation that may be in opposition to what their belief is. If we all had the same view on everything, then life would be boring and we would not be learning or evolving very well or as quick as we have evolved in time. Yes – while we live a life day-by-day and may not dwell on any particular issue at length, however, I believe that each of us do have an opinion and think of these things, if not on a momentary exposure to a photo, but over time as patterns are observed or when confronted by a new law that comes into affect. We cannot just let life go by and consider ourselves victims. No matter what your lifestyle or income level, it is good to be heard (and we all should seek to voice a position), but we should recognize that opposition is good and ultimately leads to growth.


  3. Dear Karen,

    My name is Ashlee. I’m co-founder of the Youshare Project, with the mission to connect people around the world through true, personal stories. I recently stumbled across your blog and read the above post entitled “Why I Took Down My Rainbow Picture.” It’s a thoughtful, unique perspective on gay marriage and celebrating both liberal and conservative views. I think it would make a wonderful youshare to spark conversation in a respectful online global community.

    If this sounds interesting to you, I would love to email you directly with more information and formally invite you to adapt your story to youshare and share it with the project. You have my email address and website. I hope to hear from you soon.



    • Hi Ashlee, I just responded to via email. I would absolutely love to share this story on youshareproject.com! I greatly appreciate the invitation and I’m touched by the offer. 🙂 Looking forward to learning more…

      Liked by 1 person

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