Despite the fact that marriage equality is now legal, one leftie faced social backlash after he removed the rainbow emoji from his social media usernames.
A Sydney man was caught by friends and relatives committing an unspeakable crime against progress. Jason Dwyer, 29, of Easter Sydney was found to have removed the rainbow flag emoji from his Twitter handle, which removes it from all of his previous tweets as well.
“I didn’t think anyone would really notice,” Dwyer said, not believing his own words. “Why is it such a big deal? I still support LGBT rights.”
He said he originally placed the emoji in his handle as a way of showing “solidarity” with the same-sex marriage movement, which became legal in Australia in December 2017/January 2018. Now that the movement has succeeded, Dwyer felt that he no longer needed to show solidarity with it.
“It’s just pretty shocking,” says Dwyer’s sister, Alice, who can now get married to her long-term partner, Sasha. “I mean, I thought he was progressive, but taking down that emoji was like a cut deep into my skin.”
Dwyer, however, firmly denies that he has “scaled back” his activism, or that his status as an ally is “merely performative”. He says he still supports LGBTQI+ issues, but that the emoji slot in his Twitter handle needed a change.
“I’m not one of those ‘four emojis in my Twitter name’ kind of people,” Dwyer said. “I’m looking for something new to be seen in support of. Something topical. I’m thinking a raised black fist, for the Black Lives Matter crew? I don’t know yet. I’m just going with the flow.”
As of this writing, Dwyer’s Twitter handle is still bare of any activism-related emoji, and it seems less likely by the day that he will replace it.