Learning to Wear Pink

It pains me to admit that I look better in pink than in blue.  All through my childhood I refused to wear pink.  Pink was for girls.  I was not a girl.  Q.E.D.  I would wear blue, thank you.  One of the first fights that I remember over clothing was the purchase of a pair of leather Oxford shoes.  I was in nursery school.  I wanted the navy blue ones. My mother wanted me to get the red ones. I pitched a fit.

If you read that first paragraph carefully, you guessed that there were many fights.  Many of them over clothing.  Many of them over shoes.  Until I was in the middle of 5th grade, girls had to wear dresses to school, even pubic schools.  There was not much of a point in fighting about that.  It was “The Law”.  I had an assortment of drab dresses that I absolutely hated.  Not because they were drab.

Drab for me was always fine, at least until recently.  Navy blue comes in many shades; I own clothing in all of them.  Butches appreciate the nuances of navy blue.  “Everything goes with blue jeans” is my motto, although I wouldn’t have included pink shirts until recently.   I learned to wear pink by wearing what I thought of as “men’s pink”.  I was at work and I saw a guy wearing a pink shirt and I thought “If he can do that then I can do that”.  I went out and bought my first Brooks Brothers button down Oxford cloth shirt in pink.

I have a thing about button down shirts.  I own about twenty of them.  Four of them are pink. Initially it was hard for me to accept that I looked good in pink.  I knew I looked good in maroon.  Maroon was cool.  Maroon could be a team color.  Pink was for girls, except when it was for guys and then I could wear it.   Once I could accept that I was handsome in pink, it worked. Sometimes my own logic defies logic.

4 thoughts on “Learning to Wear Pink

  1. softlybutch

    I understand this completely! I’ve been embracing my butch side without shame and it’s been a tough one but I try to relax my beliefs and be kind to myself. Thanks for the blog, it helps.


  2. maddox

    Same here! I’ve had a salmon t-shirt, and some very colorful shoes with pink accents, but never a pink shirt. I bought my first pink button down, the light pastel kind of pink, and I look really good in it! It was a big step to disassociate the hateful gendered aspects of the color pink that I carried through all those years.


    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      And if I’ve been paying attention to your shopping habits, American Eagle men’s doesn’t provide a lot of pink options (or salmon, coral, magenta, fuschia, or rose by another name).



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s