Why I Didn’t Change My Profile Picture Today.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Mar 26, 2013
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In case you haven’t looked at the news (or Facebook) recently, today is a big day for marriage equality.

There was a time when I thought that since I was straight, marriage equality wasn’t my problem. Most of my gay friends weren’t at a point in life where they wanted to settle down and get married. It just wasn’t on my mind.

Time went on. And there came a point, I think it was when I realized a friend’s marriage was not going to be recognized due to Prop 8, that I realized what a big deal it was. It’s not a big deal “if you are gay.” It’s a big deal—for all of us.

Imagine for a minute that you love someone. You love him or her with your whole heart. And whatever you think about marriage—good, bad or indifferent—you love this person and want to be a family.

But it’s not legal. The government says it’s not okay for you to give your love fully and be a family.

It breaks my heart.

And I’ve written about this many times for elephant. It’s an important issue.

It’s so important that changing our profile pictures on Facebook and then moving on with our day is not enough.

Vote with your dollars. Stop supporting companies that don’t support marriage equality or offer benefits to all their families. And tell them why you’ve stopped supporting them!

Write to your congressmen and representatives. Write to our president:

Picture 7


Talk about it. Talk with your friends, your family, your children.

This isn’t about having special treatment. This is about being treated the same. We know better, so let’s do better. Don’t stop with changing your Facebook picture (though it’s been a beautiful sea of red and pink).

Be the change.

{Updated} Stand up so that everyone who loves can celebrate, just like elephant readers Lacey and Audra who were kind enough to share their celebration with us:

Lacey and Audra Wedding from Ben Poenisch on Vimeo.

Like equal rights for all on Facebook.


About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


36 Responses to “Why I Didn’t Change My Profile Picture Today.”

  1. JODY says:

    Thank you Kate.

  2. JoshMPlant says:

    YESSSS!!! #equality

  3. JoshMPlant says:

    Oh, and if Obama was serious, he would sign an executive order. This is a political game. When Washington speaks of these issues, they are not speaking about people, they are speaking about votes – how they can get re-elected. Human rights are irrelevant to politicians, and Obama is not an exception.

  4. SaraCrolick says:

    Thank you, Kate.. and thank you Lacy and Audra for sharing your beautiful day with us.

  5. Sara says:

    This is only the first time, ever, that I *have* changed my profile photo for a cause… a cause that was part of why I decided to go to law school; a cause that I worked on as a young associate; and a cause that drew me to the phone banks in Washington last November where I had the pleasure of talking to my neighbors about marriage equality, and the positive conversations outweighed the negative. Change of profile photo or not, there is so much to do. Solidarity today, and until the day that marriage equality is actually achieved.

    The fight continues.

  6. cynthiabeard says:

    Thanks for sharing this perspective. I chose not to change my profile pic today, for other reasons. I completely support marriage equality, and I've even contributed to the Human Rights Campaign in the past. But…I've also had friends express concerns about the HRC's privileging of certain subsets within the LGBTQI community over others. Some trans friends, in particular, have felt marginalized by the HRC. So I've been conflicted today. I am so proud of my friends who are speaking out and visibly changing the way Facebook looks today. But instead of following suit, I chose to post other images (one that speaks directly to being a straight ally) and news stories (i.e., homelessness among LGBTQI teens who have been kicked out of their homes). The latter issue in particular (homeless youth and poverty) isn't addressed at all by these pending Supreme Court cases.

  7. Gerry Ellen says:

    I, too, didn't change my FB profile pic-mainly because there is more that needs to be done. The support is valid with the sea of red and pink colors all over FB, but voices being heard goes way beyond a photo. My passions lie in many issues beyond gay marriage. The whole Monsanto thing is making me sick, the war on wolves is beyond comprehension, and then there's the gun control issue. I have a gay brother, who has been in a loving domestic partnership with a man for 25 years. They are my heroes. They didn't even change their profile pic today, yet they are actively doing work for gay and lesbian rights and marriage equality. What I feel is so cool about the support today is the collective consciousness that goes into a movement like this. It takes a village to make a change, and seeing everyone's wall explode with red and pink profile pics is so awesome. So, let's hope Obama vetoes the Monsanto Act, the Supreme Court repeals Prop. 8 in California, and people get more educated about wolves and their existence in our world. Ignorance on all the above only breeds more fear. And, we just need to embrace love and harmony all the way around!! (Big Full Moon too!!)

  8. abigail says:

    Love is beautiful. Doesn't matter who is doing the loving.

  9. There is a little bit of crazy in this blog post and most of the comments:
    Kate Bartolotta writes about "Why I Didn’t Change My Profile Picture Today" while simultaneously saying "though it’s been a beautiful sea of red and pink".
    cynthiabeard says, "I chose not to change my profile pic today, for other reasons." and "I am so proud of my friends who are speaking out and visibly changing the way Facebook looks today."
    crimsunkg says: "I, too, chose not to change my profile photo" and "while I beam alongside those speaking out and making such a change on fb"
    Gerry Ellen says, "I, too, didn't change my FB profile pic-mainly because there is more that needs to be done." and "It takes a village to make a change, and seeing everyone's wall explode with red and pink profile pics is so awesome."

  10. TupacRIP says:


  11. gregcatcat says:

    I'm a gay male in my 60s, in a committed relationship for over 30 years. I don't give a rip about marriage as a sentimental or symbolic ritual, but I would sure like federally mandated civil union to go forward, so that we can visit each other in the hospital without a POA, so that whoever survives can continue to receive the other's social security and other benefits, to be free of inheritance tax on the other's estate, to be protected from predatory parents or siblings of our deceased partner's estate–the rights that straight couples have. We've pooled our resources financially and otherwise for 30 years–do we have to create ourselves an LLC to get the same rights as married couples?

  12. adrianresajones says:

    Yes – changing your profile picture will not change anything for gay marriage but it does make my gay & lesbian friends feel the mad love & support from their straight allies.

  13. amanda says:

    I think a boycott is a great idea – can anyone post a link. I'd rather share that on FB to be more proactive than just changing profile pic.

  14. katherine says:

    it would be nice to know what companies should be avoided. A link to those companies would have been helpful in the article.

  15. abbie says:

    There is much more to be done, but I changed my profile picture too. I don't expect that my profile picture will make the Supreme Court decide a certain way, or get my congressional representatives to do anything. But I have a wide range of acquaintances and friends on facebook, from relatives I don't see often to people I see every day, from my dear friends to girls I mentored in a summer program. Maybe one of them is struggling with their sexuality, and even my out friends expressed their happiness that they know so many people stand with them. When facebook is used by so many young people, and suicide is still such a difficult issue for young queer people, I felt it was important for them to see that there were people who supported them–hopefully a lot of people, but at least me.

  16. Carolyn Riker says:

    Made this our dinner conversation last night with my two teens. Really good! Thanks.

  17. Zuzzie K says:

    Companies that DO support same-sex marriage are for example Google, Microsoft, Citigroup, Apple, Nike, Facebook and Starbucks

  18. Zuzzie K says:

    RE: "Write to our president, who made me pretty proud today"

    The Monsanto Protection Act is yet another reminder that no matter how convincing politicians may appear on the campaign trail (ex. Obama's promise to label GMOs before getting elected), they certainly have a personal agenda that doesn't align with the best interest of the people. Money, greed, corporations take a precedence over human rights, so please stop being so gullible when you hear or see statements even if they come straight out of the politician's mouth, because it means NOTHING, zero meaning, only brainwash, distractions while in the background the personal agenda is being ambitiously pursued.

  19. jim fry says:


    Thank you for your wicked perceptions, though my take has a different angle.

    It took me awhile to catch onto the new avatar / profile image meaning as I was busy with life outside the cyber realm. As soon as I returned some focus and saw the various reactions, on both sides, this flowed out:

    "I don't mean to be insensitive, though I may come across that way.

    As long as you care about the Supreme Court's decisions (manipulations) and permit the government to continue to legislate your life, and lifestyle, you will remain dis-empowered. That is a Victim Stance.

    I'd suggest:

    Check out of the Banking.Investment.Complex
    Check out of the Government.Subsidy.Complex
    Check out of the Medical.Pharmaceutical.Complex
    Check out of the Educational.Indoctrination.Complex

    Once you seek nothing from the government, it is much easier to ignore their manipulative tendencies. Dealing with Petty Tyrants is really a no-win scenario."

    So, it remains to be seen … the only path I am aware of towards empowerment is to cease being dis-empowered. Different for each, yet with some common themes and threads …


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