Many people use Instagram as a vehicle of expression and as a way to document their lives. Veronica, the creator and owner of Oh!MamiBlue, a cooking and lifestyle blog, runs the site with the help of her wife, Jana. There is also a corresponding Instagram account for the blog, where the family details and celebrates their life through photos of them and their son, Alex. Most recently, the couple shared an adorable family portrait featuring Jana and Veronica laying in bed with their son snuggled next to them.Instagram
Just a normal, adorable family photo right?
Well, apparently not to Instagram.
An account with over 200,000 followers reposted the photo to Instagram, whereupon it was reported as inappropriate content and then the social media service deleted it. Though Veronica had tried to re-upload the picture numerous times, Instagram kept deleting it. Many of the account’s and Oh!MamiBlue’s followers deemed Instagram’s actions homophobic, as did Veronica and Jana.
Veronica reached out to her audience for help via Instagram Stories, telling Buzzfeed Spain, “I raised the question: ‘I only see love, what about you?’, because that’s what is shown in the image: a family.”
Following Veronica’s post on Instagram Stories, many users defended the family and protested Instagram’s deletion of the photo with the hashtag #Yosoloveoamor, which translates to “I only see love.” Not surprisingly, Instagram blocked the hashtag as well, further angering many users.
Veronica and Jana did not stop at #yosoloveoamor, creating another hashtag, #BorraIGdehomófobos, which translates to “delete homophobes.” Many LGBTQ+ users have been reposting the cute photo of the family or pictures of themselves on their wedding day with this hashtag, in order to fight against this injustice.
As someone who is Latina and has two, loving mothers, it is incredibly disappointing to see a platform that is meant to welcome everyone, regardless of sexuality, gender, race, etc, reacting to this display of love in such a hateful way. Instagram’s deletion of the photo of the family, as well as the hashtag, is incredibly shocking and further perpetuates the stigmatization of the LGBTQ+ community, making it okay to render LGBTQ+ families as “other.” I see two women in love with each other who love and celebrate the wonderful family they have made. There is not one type of family in this world. The notion of the nuclear family is no longer the norm because of the choice to give LGBTQ+ families the recognition and correct representation they deserve. Families that stray from heterosexuality have been portrayed as “deviant” by default, when that is simply not the case. LGBTQ+ families are the same as any other family: they celebrate joy, love their children, provide, and deserve to be treated with respect. Love is what makes a family, and no one should be ashamed to show the world who they love.
Veronica’s heartfelt statement about why social media should be a place of unity and not hate says it best: “A social network must unite people. It’s a network, and its purpose is to create links, it cannot serve to generate hatred or be just something superficial. It must help unite us, support us, and someone has to realize that these things can cause a lot of pain.”