Bill assumes everyone is straight. Bill is wrong.

Bill assumes everyone is straight. Bill is wrong.

Launched on 7 January 2016, Bills stick-figured visage has attracted an audience of millions and is the latest Facebook craze. If you use Facebook it’s hard to escape the masses of ‘Be Like Bill’ memes that your Facebook friends have been sharing.

Bill does not share his Facebook memories, Bill does not delay in replying to messages, he does not share inspiring quotes, he does not take duck-faced selfies and he definitely doesn’t share his life on Facebook. Bill may wish us all to think he’s perfect and all of the above actions are in some way wrong and should be frowned and looked down on? Well they’re not. Keep being you. When you worry too much about what others think, you leave little to no room to be yourself.

Bill also lives in a world where everyone is straight (heterosexual). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and all other sexualities do not exist in Bills world. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link a friend shared to see how Bill would define me. Bill, you got it so wrong. I tried a few times, you have the options to retry, for those that may wish to pick a version that best fits them or one that will get them more attention and more likes perhaps. Each time Bill told me I had a girlfriend. Bill you don’t know me very well. I am in fact gay and I have a boyfriend. It’s not exactly representative of the diverse society we live in.

When we’re fighting for inclusion and acceptance, where everyone feels they can be themselves no matter our differences, Bill’s view of the world looks very outdated. What message does this give?

Bill should keep his assumptions in a box.

Don’t be like Bill. Be you!

Image : The results of one of my ‘Be Like Bill’ meme attempts.

I think Bill needs to look at himself and consider getting some unconscious bias and diversity training. I imagine by the time Bill’s training session came about he’ll be long forgotten and we’ll be on to the next social media fad.

As with most things viral on social media, Bill has also attracted a large contingent of haters who have taken a dislike to his smarmy tone and his lack of self-awareness. Posting memes about other people’s posting habits seems like a poor way to make a point doesn’t it?

So long Bill.

Inclusive Networks have reached out to the Be Like Bill Facebook team to comment. The article will be updated if we get a response.

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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