Recently, in honor of “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia” (What? This is a day? I didn’t even know! I’m going to start celebrating it like Christmas and my birthday!) cool-ass Italian lady Carlotta Trevisan posted this picture on her Facebook account.
The shot is a drop-dead-gorgeous celebration of same-sex love (and, bonus for us, a celebration of face and hand painting). In a perfect world, this photo would have just gotten a bunch of Facebook likes, a handful of “Pretty couple!” and “Nice paint!” comments and we’d call it a day. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
In addition to the positive, supportive comments, there were some messed-up homophobic comments. Facebook contacted Trevisan in the wake of the uproar and asked her to take it down because it “violated the community’s standards on nudity and pornography.” When she refused, her account was suspended.
Ms. Trevisan (who is not one of the women in the picture and does not identify as gay, but is a staunch supporter of equal rights) said “How can they say a kiss, which is something so loving, is nudity or porn?” Right on, sister.
Facebook eventually made amends by reinstating Trevisan’s account. They also issued an apology statement that ended with the following line: “We can understand how people can be frustrated with this when, as in this case, a mistake happens.”
The thing about mistakes is they only have value if they’re learned from. Facebook did make a mistake, a huge one, and when a gargantuan institution like Facebook makes a mistake, everyone’s watching. Facebook is a major part of modern socializing. If Facebook supports equal rights, that sets an example for their members who might not be educated/informed about these issues. Facebook has the power to do a lot of good or a lot of damage. Here’s hoping that, where equal rights are concerned, they’re a lot more careful from here on out.