It’s amazing what a photo can do once it has gone viral. Though the above photo of two dads cradling their newborn son, Milo (via surrogacy) was taken in 2014, it has since resurfaced with a deceptive story. According to CBC, one of the fathers, BJ Barone, learned through a cousin in Italy that the photo was being used to, well, hate on gays.
Politicians in Europe and Ireland have been using the photo to advocate against same-sex parenting. Thankfully, the photo continues to dominate the Internet with an overwhelming amount of positivity. Since it was posted, it has received over 41,000 Facebook likes. “To know that we have an effect on people we don’t even know [. . .] is incredible,” says the couple on a CBC video, despite it being used for more insidious means. It’s terribly sad to see a photo of such love used to counter the gay rights movement.
No matter how far we have come, there are still those willing to twist positive messages to their means. Instead of writing about how this is still horrendously true, I want to actually touch on it at a slightly different angle: I believe that one day, news of a same-sex couple becoming parents will be mundane. And, of course, I mean this for the better. Two dads or two moms having a child will not make headlines and cause such uproars in the future.
According to the UK Department of Education, in 2014, gay couples adopted 180 infants, and lesbian couples adopted 150. This was a rise from the 120 children adopted by gay and lesbian parents in 2011, and it was much attributed to changes to UK adoption laws. So as much as European politicians want to use a photo of two dads and their baby, I honestly don’t think they’re going to achieve anything with it.
Call me naïve, but how long can there still be people who look down upon same-sex marriage and adoption, especially when current generations growing up are bringing in these new, open-minded perspectives? If we’re the millennial generation, sharing photos left and right, Facebook-liking them, and spreading love all over the Internet, don’t you feel we’ll be capable of removing some of this bigotry?
Progress is happening, but more can be possible if attention given to negative news is lessened. The photo of the dads and their son Milo is the perfect example of this. It has been so well received and adored, yet used for regressive political aims as well. The less attention we give to the things that hurt us, the less power they have — a notion that expands beyond same sex issues.
Let’s focus more on the things that really matter, people!