Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why Are You Afraid of Rainbows?

So, in the past few years, I've come across several Postsecrets and Whisper confessions of people saying that they totally support LGBTQ people, but they wish that we hadn't claimed the rainbow as our flag, now they feel like they can never wear rainbows anymore. But my question is, if you truly support LGBTQ people, then why do you feel like you can't wear rainbows anymore?

Pink has been my favorite color for a long time. When I learned that it was the color for breast cancer awareness, I had pretty much no reaction. It never occurred to me to worry that other people might think I'm wearing pink for breast cancer awareness when I'm wearing it just because I like it. I mean, why is that a thing to worry about? Like, if some hate group started using pink as their signature color, then I'd be upset. Then I'd feel like I couldn't wear pink anymore because other people might associate me with the group. But I don't have that sense of "Oh no! I don't want people to think I support people with breast cancer!" because I do support people with breast cancer. I mean, I have not done any activism related to breast cancer specifically (I've done Relay for Life, but that is for all types of cancer), but of course I think cancer awareness matters and I support people who have cancer, so it would not upset me for someone think that about me. And in all honesty, a lot of people love pink, it never occurred to me that everyone would assume I was wearing pink to support breast cancer unless I was specifically at an event about that issue.

Like the color pink, I have loved rainbows for my entire life as well. Rainbows were my favorite when I was little. I used to write poems and songs about rainbows all the time. When I was 7, I wrote a musical where the protagonist was a "rainbow scientist" who studied the magical properties of rainbows, and the plot was that she had to make a rainbow in order to break an evil spell. I used the rainbow song from Barney as the finale to the musical (the one that goes, "Oh I like red, it's the color of an apple...") and I still get chills down my spine when I hear that song. So yeah, I've always loved rainbows. And when I learned that the LGBTQ flag was a rainbow, (and this was before I had acknowledge to myself that I liked girls), my reaction was, "Oh, cool! I like rainbows!" The idea that I couldn't wear rainbow patterns anymore just for myself did not occur to me, the same way that it didn't occur to me about the color pink.

So my question is, if you really support LGBTQ people, then why does it bother you to wear rainbows just because you like rainbows? Why does it bother you that someone might think you are supporting people whom you do in fact support? 

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