Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I'm So Sick of HRC Logos

Edit March 28: A friend informed me that I had a silly typo.  I believe DOMA and Prop 8 should be declared unconstitutional, not constitutional.

First off, welcome to all the folks who are coming here looking for queer anti-marriage perspectives or alternative perspectives.  My own essay on the subject is here.  I might post more in my linklove for this week.  I don't know.

Yeah, so I'm sick of HRC logos.  Not only am I sick of HRC logos, I'm sick of HRC logos in layers.

See, I've been sick of them for a long time.  It all started when I had that defining moment that turned me against the HRC... and most anti-HRC queer people have a moment like this.  Mine was, in a nutshell, because I ignored all the more experienced trans people who said the HRC had wronged them.  "No, no, they've clearly changed! They're even giving speeches at transgender events!  It's cool!"  Months later the HRC publishes a poll explaining why they are totally pushing forward on legislation that deliberately cut transgender people out, a poll which had extremely limited transgender involvement and was worded to make it look like this push would actually benefit trans people.  A lot of my friends and I scraped those logos off our stuff after that.  I haven't been able to look at it without at least some annoyance since.

It didn't help that my local community was using this symbol to replace more traditional symbols like rainbows. This was deliberately assimilationist; it allowed them to display an LGBT-related symbol without it being immediately recognizable as an LGBT-related symbol, and their parents were not as likely to know what a yellow equal sign in a blue square meant.  I even have friends who have it tattooed on them.

I fought this in my local community because I viewed it as insensitive that they would plaster this symbol everywhere at precisely the time the HRC was shitting on transgender people.  Most of them made me out to be overreactionary.  While I don't generally blame people for using HRC logos, I do think it's insensitive to use them as a replacement for other symbols.  There are many people--not just transgender people--who do not identify with this organization.

So I was already sick of HRC logos.  Then suddenly this Supreme Court thing comes along and the symbol that people are choosing to represent it is a reddened (perhaps by the blood of dead transgender people) version of the fucking HRC logo.  It's not just because suddenly my Facebook feed is loaded with a bunch of ramblings about how awesome marriage is (despite my anti-marriage philosophy I am fully in favor of the Supreme Court declaring DOMA and Prop 8 unconstitutional).  It's because they're doing it using the one LGBT-related symbol that seriously dredges up several years of bad feelings.

Realize that this isn't me being a dissident just to be a dissident; there are hundreds of others just like me who associate this logo with the type of person who consistently stands on our shoulders to climb over the fence without opening the door to let us in, too.  Even if the HRC does legitimately change its ways to be more inclusive, many of those of us who believed they had done so only to have been proven wrong will always have that distrust.

If you demean us for that distrust, you are speaking out of the privilege of having not been seriously burned by them.  Yet, anyway.

I don't believe there are any good all-encompassing symbols for the LGBT or queer movements, or I'd give you a better alternative to the HRC logo (the best alternative would probably be to speak on your beliefs rather than just posting logos).  That said, this is one post out of two on LGBT and queer related symbols and how they're misused.  Sometimes this misuse is far more depressing than the HRC logo.