Feeling Pink Today, and Every Day

POFEV logo for web[Next Tuesday, September 24, POFEV: People of Faith for Equality in Virginia is sponsoring “The Many Voices of LGBT Pride,” an interfaith service focused on the spiritual foundations of LGBT liberation, at 6:30 pm at Congregation Beth Ahabah, 1111 West Franklin Street, in Richmond. I will be offering some color-themed blog posts over the next few days to help us get ready for this celebration, and the celebration of Virginia Pride on Saturday, September 28, at Kanawha Plaza, in Richmond.]

Rainbow flag 8 colors 1978Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that the original rainbow flag, designed in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker, included hot pink!

Well,maybe, if you don’t know me, you would not know of my delight, but trust me, hot pink, really any shade of pink, is good in my book. I still remember how much happiness my friend MJ Simmons brought me when she took a pink dress shirt and made it into a pink clergy shirt! And the pink dogwood is my favorite tree.pink_dogwood_lg

Baker gave meaning to each of the eight colors in the original rainbow. Hot pink represented sexuality.

Of course, it is sexuality that got us in trouble, at least with the authorities and those who are afraid of the whole range of God’s creation. So, it is right that it should be represented by a color that speaks of passion and being out of control.

But according to those who study color as part of psychological understanding, pink also is the color of nurturing and unconditional love. “Pink is feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring. It tones down the physical passion of red replacing it with a gentle loving energy,” say the writers at http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-pink.html

pink JesusSpiritually speaking, I like to think Jesus likes, or would like, pink. I don’t know if the color was in use when he walked the earth, but given his passion and his focus on love, I am pretty sure he would have worn pink. That would probably have been one more reason for him to get into trouble with the authorities. I also think Moses was a pink kind of guy. I often think of him as gruff on the exterior, but a real softie on the inside. He’d almost have to be to put up with all the grumbling. He certainly was a passionate guy, and pink fits that well.

As I read about colors, and especially about pink, I realize that the meaning is in the eye of the beholder. Many of us probably have associations with a particular color that don’t fit someone else’s idea. So color is personal.

pink triangle menBut it also is sometimes political. No LGBT person should ever think of pink without remembering the badge of shame, that we now have made a badge of honor, the Nazis made gay men wear–the pink triangle. Talk about a symbol of love. The oppressor, in their twisted logic, took love and made it into hate.

That too often happens. People fear something and so they decide it represents evil. Colors can be made to do that–no Jew forgets the yellow star of David from the death camps (yellow is another color on the Rainbow flag, and I probably will have more to say about it).

Pink love shirtIn the pink. Sometimes we say that when are feeling especially good. “I’m in the pink!” So pink is the color of good health. Funny the American Medical Association doesn’t use pink in their symbol (it’s all blue–more about that color later). Maybe they’re afraid they will be seen as too feminine, or too gay?

I want pink back. My rainbow includes pink–hot, soft, rose, fuschia, pale, whatever. If its pink, I like it, I’m feeling pink today.

I think I am going to wear pink next Tuesday for “Celebrating the Many Voices of LGBT Pride.” If we don’t include pink, a voice will be missing.