Okay, so changing your profile pic may not mean much to a lot of you. It’s okay. You’re thinking this doesn’t really do anything. I get that. Okay. But it does something for me.
I’m gay. To some extent I’m completely out, some not at all. It really depends on who. Like most gays (aside from the ever-present fabulously flamboyant types), we don’t find a need to plaster that all over the place, so how else would you know, random person on the street or Facebook friend from 20 years ago?
So if any of you keep up with me…sometime last year I decided to start reconnecting with people I hadn’t talked to in a long time. A few of these people would be from the tiny southern town in Illinois where I grew up all through elementary school. Our family was the only other Asian family in the town where we were assumed to be related to the Filipino family. I mean, we all have Asian eyes, right?! Anyway, in lieu of contacting old friends, I emailed someone who I had considered the big sister I never had. Within my second email, I made sure to “out” myself, mostly because I felt that it would pertain to my story in catching up. She ignored me for a month or so. Then, she replied with “I don’t believe in same sex relationships, but I’ll love you no matter what.” I replied once more with my defense of being gay & it not being a choice, in hopes that it would make it easier. I haven’t heard from her since.
So this entire time from those emails, in my mind, I had assumed that a good majority of those people in my small town, of which I went to a Catholic school no less, couldn’t accept me. I didn’t blame them. They grew up thinking a certain way & sometimes people are just beyond understanding. But when these HRC logos started popping up as profile pics, it changed me. People I grew up with were on my side, whether they knew it or not. These tiny gestures became a big sigh of relief on my part and have given me comfort in reconnecting again. (No one also blatantly spoke out against gay marriage or the like. Those would have been out of my life completely. But for most, I just could never tell one way or another.)
So that’s my piece on the whole matter. Changing your damned FB profile pic does not change the world. Fine. But for some like me, it makes all the difference.