On Thursday, Oct. 20, Facebook embraced the cause and turned to two of its pages purple – Facebook Diversity and Facebook Safety. In honor of Spirit Day, Facebook is encouraging its staff and users to join the movement by coloring their Facebook profile picture purple in support, symbolizing spirit on the rainbow flag.
Facebook has developed new applications aimed to stop digital abuse and support the LGBT community. The social network has compiled a set of safety resources and tools for reporting issues and security infringements. Facebook also joined MTV’s “A Thin Line” anti-abuse campaign as well as several other advocacy organizations in an effort to “effectively address issues faced by the LGBT community.”
Other large companies followed suit, including Yahoo!, AT&T, HP, Comcast and Viacom. Yahoo!, for example, posted pictures of their employees fashioning purple on its blog and the Yahoo Pride Facebook fan page.
North Carolina native, and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has written a letter against the constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships between same-sex couples.
Hughes is openly gay and argues that this restriction would hurt businesses in North Carolina and his letter has been distributed to the media and the 170 members of the North Carolina General Assembly. The proposed anti-LGBT constititutional amendment is one of many that will come up for debate in the special fall session.
“As the co-founder of Facebook, I have some experience with the challenges of attracting the kind of driven, dynamic and diverse employees it takes to build a fledgling start-up into a fullfledged economic success story,” Hughes wrote. “Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are the future of our global economy. But the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment signals to these and other major employers, as well as their mobile, educated employees, that North Carolina does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace.”
He also wrote about his own experience growing up gay in Tar Heel, North Carolina, saying, “Growing up in a conservative atmosphere in Hickory, North Carolina, I felt first-hand the stigma of being different in a Southern state—a feeling that made it clear to me that I was not welcome in North Carolina,” he said. The next Facebook or Apple or Google could be created by another North Carolinian. Be mindful of how you treat them and their families.”
We really hope that this amendment does not get passed. It would completely restrict the freedoms of many North Carolina natives who are already likely experiencing the same difficulties that ChrisHughes had and they shouldn’t have to be driven outside of their home state to live happily with the partner of their choosing.
— Harvey Milk (1978)
— Marc Solomon, a national pro-gay-marriage organizer who has been involved both in New York and in California’s effort to overturn Proposition 8 (via cornonthedomcobb)
Anonymous asked: TRUE LIFE: I'm a converted homophobe
Perhaps homophobe is a little strong, but I did at one point in my life fundamentally believe that “there is no such thing as being gay.” I was raised a good Christian girl, in a big red state where any sort of gender ambiguity is frowned upon and what the Bible says, goes.
I remember once telling my friends that God meant for people to be straight because he gave men and women the biological pieces to fit together perfectly. So you know, “You can’t have babies, it can’t be right” thing. In other words, general ignorance.
I even distinctly remember a conversation I had with my two teachers, one who I know now to be gay and the other a straight married women, where I explained how I felt that being gay was a lifestyle choice. And while the woman was quite rude in her response to me, the man was very understanding and listened carefully to my viewpoint before responding in kind. Keep in mind, I was only 13 at the time and most, if not all, of my opinions at that time had been influenced by my parents.
I think he understood that and had weathered enough criticism during his lifetime to be prepared to answer them. To this day I appreciate the way that he responded to me gently, as it gave me more reason to listen.
As I got older, I was more exposed to LGBT people and my friends for the most part all adopted liberal views on the subject. Little by little, I opened my mind and allowed myself room for doubt. I discussed this with some of my religious leaders and said, “I just can’t see how being gay is so wrong. I mean, they’re just trying to love each other.”
The religious leader responded, “Well God calls on us to love them but he intended men and women to be together…” But that was it. The epiphany that I needed. Even in the Bible, it says that the greatest of all these things was love, and yet I didn’t feel very loving when judging other people for what makes them happy. I hadn’t forgotten that bit about casting the first stone either… For the first time, it just didn’t make any sense to me to keep spreading hate as I had done when acceptance just felt so much better to give.
Fast-forward a few years and my circle of friends is dominated by LGBT individuals and when one of my close family members came out to me, and I accepted him immediately. In a few years, I’ve gone from a homophobe to a strong advocate of LGBT rights. So any time you’re losing hope in people, and frustrated with the ignorance, never forget that everyone has the capacity to change.
(Sorry I'm posting this in your ask box because I'd prefer to remain anonymous. My tumblr blog is too personal so I like to keep it private. Thanks for giving me this outlet to tell my story though.)
Absolutely! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s really wonderful to hear a story from this perspective because it is very easy to feel angry and frustrated when faced with these kinds of strong critical opinions, but we appreciate your submission. It is encouraging to hear that, as you’ve said, people can change because it can get pretty easy to lose hope in that when it seems like so few people actually do.
Your story also raises some good points about how to approach hate speech and criticism because it does seem that sometimes a soft touch can do the greatest good. It takes a build up of little moments to truly change someone, especially when they are set in their ways. It’s a gradual process, but it’s possible. Hence why we established this blog to be another means of exposure to help speed that process along. Thanks so much for your support and we hope you’ll continue to advocate and keep that open mind in the future!
Although the United States is currently focusing quite prominently on the ‘issue’ of gay marriage, we were wondering…
What do you think is the biggest obstacle facing GLBTQ individuals today?