Sheila Raghavendran

Power in the equal-sign

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red equal-sing

My ‘=’ is powerful. Or so I think.

I will be completely honest and straight-forward. I am fully in support of LGBT marriage, LGBT rights, what have you. I have friends that identify themselves as LGBT, and I want them and every other LGBT human being to be able to love and marry with the same rights and without discrimination. I hope that the Supreme Court of the United States repeals the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

I uploaded a red equal-sign as my Facebook profile picture. I smiled at my friends who did the same, and frowned at the ones who instead uploaded a picture symbolizing heterosexual marriages as the only acceptable type of marriage.

And why? Why was that so upsetting?

With each click, we give the red equal-sign power. We form unspoken alliances with the people who post the same picture, and share a mutual (hidden) hatred of the ones opposite to us. For those of you like me, who support LGBT rights, we want to build the red equal-sign. We want to rally-up followers and hope the court hears us.

But what’s the point? The court is not going to hear us, and even if it did, it wouldn’t matter. What can a million Facebook pictures have over the United States’ Constitution?

For myself in particular, since I am under the age of 18, posting my political beliefs online makes me feel like I have a say. I cannot vote, but I can share what I think about our country’s policies. It’s understandable that the people of my generation are taking to Facebook to express their thoughts–it’s all we have. And while it doesn’t make a difference, it makes us feel strong. Whether we actually are strong or weak is a completely different question. But we feel so, and become evermore passionate about our beliefs.

Here’s my problem, though. I’m not a fan of argumentation. Especially argumentation behind the comforts of a computer’s screen. I have expressed my opinions on LGBT rights in various ways, just as many others have. I was disappointed in seeing a Facebook profile picture defining marriage as solely between a man and woman, but I didn’t comment in frustration. I didn’t call these people out or gang up on them in any way.

I’ve seen people fight over Facebook–it just gets messy and immature. There’s no use.

Furthermore, everyone has the right to their own opinion. I respect others’ beliefs that marriage is strictly between a man and woman. I can’t go about claiming that everyone has the right to marry while denying certain people the right to an opinion. It’s unfair, and that is exactly what I am protesting.

I just want a peaceful community. I want to be able to attend a homosexual wedding in Ohio, where it is currently banned, and I want my friends to grow up and marry their same-sex partners. I don’t want LGBT people to be looked at any differently in society’s currently-judgmental eyes. Frankly, I don’t want anyone to appear weird or inferior at all–whether they are LGBT, African-American, Hispanic, disabled.

I want the Supreme Court to make the decision that is best for this country, aligning itself with the Constitution, while keeping in mind the evolving needs of our society. I believe the right decision is to grant LGBT people equal rights, and though I cannot vote and will not fight, my Facebook profile picture will reflect my opinion.

So if you can’t vote either, don’t argue. Just update your profile picture.

Author: sheilaraghavendran

I agree with Ellen, let's be kind to one another.

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