Rainbow profile pictures – facebook fun or queer appropriation?

When are the straight people going to fuck off and give us our rainbows back?

It’s outrageous. Rainbows belong to gay people, everyone knows that. Straight people get everything else – literally everything is handed to them – and now they’re after our last bastion of hope.

It’s a slippery slope. First they appropriate our rainbows. Second they ban gay marriage. Third they hunt us down and lock us all up.

Stalin, but to gay people

Stalin, but to gay people

Watch my words – the cis-western-hetero-patriarchy-destroying fabulous victory at the US Supreme Court has pushed straight people into a subversive campaign to wipe out the gays once and for all.

Get a grip, crazy people.

Yes, the rainbow profile pictures may be a casual and arguably shallow way to support LGBT+ issues. The Durham Tab calls it slacktivism, saying it appropriates gay culture for ‘coolness’, and spits in the face of the struggle that real LGBT+ activists have faced for years.

Slacktivism - the scourge of modern society

Slacktivism – the scourge of modern society

But the whole reason the ‘Gay Agenda’ has progressed so much in recent years is because of exposure.

When we showed people we’re just normal humans we brought down sodomy laws. When we showed people that gay parents will care for their children we eventually got adoption laws. And when we showed people that homosexual love is as valid as heterosexual love, then ‘love won’.

A symbol of inclusion, not appropriation

A symbol of inclusion, not appropriation

The last thing we need to do is alienate people. Declaring rainbow profile pictures as something ‘belonging’ to LGBT+ people is simply setting up a completely unnecessary division.

Surely if we’re asking for equality, that’s a pretty counterproductive move. We can’t say that ‘gay marriage’ is just ‘marriage’, but still retain whatever arbitrary symbols we think are cool.

Getting aggressive and territorial about ‘gay issues’ neglects the overwhelming support that straight people have increasingly been showing the LGBT+ community. What’s more, it puts people off engaging, for fear that they’ll say the wrong thing and end up being shouted down.

Yes, the goal is world domination. How did you know?

Yes, the goal is world domination. How did you know?

Whether you consider yourself an ‘ally’, identify as LGBT+ or not, or just liked the way the rainbow made your profile picture look, I welcome your use of the rainbow filter.

Seeing my Facebook lit up with rainbow profile pictures was a pretty special moment, and it made me feel one step closer to no longer being an outsider.

If the LBGT+ community becomes overly exclusive and demanding of supporters then no one will want to engage. We run the risk of scaring people off and undoing all of the progress we have made transforming LGBT+ from a marginalised group into a welcomed part of society.

The LGBT+ community should be based around inclusion. In my head, that’s the whole point of the plus.