The color pink
My favorite color is orange, but lately I’ve been drawn to all things pink. I just recently bought pink socks, a pink food container, a pink tumbler, and even a pink phone case. At first, I didn’t really put much thought to it, thinking I just wanted to mix things up and own pink stuff. However, it has taken over everything I own.
I bought them in different circumstances. It wasn’t a decision I made instantly or planned beforehand. I didn’t wake up one morning and decided that I wanted a pink phone case. I selected them from shelves and racks that had other colors. I didn’t decide I wanted the pink ones because I liked the color, I chose it for some reason I couldn’t completely decipher. And only now have I realized why.
I came out when I was halfway through college, but before that I was a conservative Christian living in a small town in Pangasinan. I was confused about who I was becoming as I slowly came to terms with my sexuality. My family isn’t strictly religious and they rarely have anything bad to say about the LGBT+, but they were leaning toward a more conventional son. My struggles came from the fact that I believed I was going to disappoint my family because of my choice.
I heard a lot from other people that it is a sin to be gay, and that I will forever be damned in hell when the time of judgment came. It scared me from coming out much earlier. I denied myself anything that might suggest I was a homosexual, so I avoided anything too feminine — specifically, the color pink.
I am now 21 years old, and prior to my recent epiphany, I’ve never owned anything in that color. I have been conditioned to believe that pink is a feminine color. I was afraid that if I ever owned anything pink, people would see through me and out me before I had even realized who I really was. I was afraid, because I wasn’t really honest with myself.
I now know I don’t have to be afraid anymore. I can own pink things without caring about what people will think about me. It feels liberating and empowering to finally be comfortable with my own sexuality and feel secure to the point that, regardless of any item I own, it won’t matter one bit whatever it supposedly says about me.
In my own way, buying, wearing and using pink stuff is a revolt against every person who told me it’s wrong to be who I am. I want to respect everyone’s beliefs and religion, but I will no longer hide from those who shun and put down others for not living up to their heteronormative standards. I refuse their idealization toward the LGBT+.
Discovering my sexuality came with discovering who I am and what I stand for, and now that I have come to terms with it, I no longer see any reason why I can’t own anything pink. I am at peace with my life and my sexuality. I am enjoying the life I have chosen. I like the color pink, but it doesn’t define me. Neither does orange, blue, gray or white. At this point, the only thing that should define me is my progress, and I am happy with what I have become.
But, here’s another thought: Maybe colors shouldn’t be at all gendered. Boys should be comfortable owning pink things if they like the color, and girls should be able to own anything blue or green if they like the color, regardless of their sexual orientation. We put too much pressure on children, and even people, to be strictly how we want them to be, without realizing that it might affect them too much as they grow up, even in the slightest.
I don’t consider my experience a harrowing childhood trauma, but it did affect my perspective growing up. It was a good thing I was smart enough to realize I was being forced to believe in something wrong. I hope the next generation of children won’t have to feel uncomfortable with whatever color they prefer because of how the world around them works. I hope people become more accepting and open to the possibility that a color or preference shouldn’t define a person, their sexuality or their choices.
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Syd Pascua, 21, works as a broadcast monitor for a company in Ortigas and wants to become a full-fledged writer.
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