I was just reading this lovely piece on the blog called, “Pink is for Boys” : http://pinkisforboys.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/i-would-just-like-to-say-that-it-is-my-conviction
It made me think.
I have been battling this for years one way or another. I knew a young boy who loved Barbies. We watched him playing with dolls and clothes and figured that was probably an indication of his sexual orientation, but since we didn’t care about his sexual orientation, that was no big deal.
It was interesting that when he finally ‘came out’ in high school, everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Yeah. We knew.” He was bullied before he came out, but not after. When he could acknowledge the truth of himself, others were more willing to accept it as well. Perhaps the bullies realised that before it was assault, but after it’d be a hate crime?
So it is with many things. If we accept other ways of thinking or being, we acknowledge the truth in ourselves as well as the truth in others. Acceptance lets pink into our palette and adds beauty to our sunrises.
My Middle School students get angry when they are challenged for saying “That’s so gay!” One is forever saying, “It means happy!” She doesn’t like the response that then she should say, “This is so happy!” Not accepting the consequences of their words is part of their age, and teaching them to show empathy can be challenging. Their brains are only beginning to learn abstraction, and some of them are still so concrete it will likely be years before they’re able to grasp what they’re really saying. They’re ostracizing 10% of the population with that kind of remark, and they have trouble seeing why that’s a problem. I’ll keep working on it. Hopefully we’ll get more boys willing to wear pink for anti-bullying days, and more kids of both sexes willing to discuss why they are so angry if other people are different from them. Acceptance is a powerful thing, but for some, their own acceptance is so precarious that they aren’t willing to risk accepting others.
What do you think?