I remember the high school days were rough. Besides struggling with algebra, geometry and calc (which I gave up on), there was that awful experience of finding out who I was. I wasn’t good enough to be involved in any sport. Band was an opening (tenor sax for four years) but dealing with everyday issues was hard. Was my hair cut right? Were my clothes acceptable? When the girls talked about me was it during a laugh session? As I said, like every other high school kid, I was unsure of myself.
The big no-no was wearing the color purple on a Thursday. Although there was no way of verifying it, the color purple signified a life style that no one wanted to be associated with in high school. The homophobic titles given out during that time are familiar to one and all. So purple and pink ended up being the colors guys avoided at all costs.
We found that bullying in our son’s grade school and high school classes also followed the same path. Because of that, having that history in our lives, we determined that we wanted to spare all our customers’ sons that same fate. So we began asking for the gender of the child to insure that the boys never received pink.
Recently we received the following email from a parent. I’m including it in full.
I have been a loyal customer since 2007. I love the convenience and quality of the products you offer! Thank you for providing such a valuable service.
I’m reaching out to provide some unsolicited feedback. I would like to encourage you to stop asking the gender of your students, and start considering all supplies to be gender neutral. My son identifies as male and likes pink. My daughter indentifies as female and likes blue and green. My son has a friend, who is female, but identifies as male – what supplies would you provide in this case?
If colors are important to your ordering process, perhaps you could change your form to ask what their favorite colors(s) are.
I don’t want to be crude, but unless the supplies you are offering involve using one’s private parts, there is simply no reason to ask the boy/girl question!
Sara’s right. The world has changed and it’s time for us to change as well. We’ll be setting up all new schools online without the gender question and we’ll be going through those already online to remove it there as well.
Pink has become the anti-cancer color, used by athletes around the world to show their support for the efforts of organizations such as the Susan Koman for the Cure Organizaition. As a family that has dealt with breast cancer, I can tell you that pink is a great color for everyone. I know our grandson loves it.
Thanks, Sara. We’re happy to listen to our customers and make changes when necessary.