Yellow Is Not His Color

Recently, I attended the high school graduation of my great-nephew, Charlie–a star football player and a fine scholar. I am so proud of him, and believe he will go far.

I enjoyed the entire ceremony–even the false fire alarm which sent us outside for 45 minutes. Only one (planned) thing, namely the caps and gowns, seemed off.

The school colors are red and gold. Can you guess what happened?

Yes. The male graduates wore red caps and gowns, and the female graduates wore gold (and each woman carried a yellow rose). Everyone looked good and it made for a colorful spectacle.

But, I admit to being sensitive to gender issues. So I kept wondering if, out of 150 graduates, there were any whose gender identity was less than clear. What would that person wear? A red gown but carry a yellow rose? Or a yellow gown but no flower (or perhaps a red cap)? Or simply wear the cap and gown of the “different” gender?

It all begins at birth–“It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”–and we seem never to stop putting folks into boxes. I wish we could recognize the reality of there being more than two genders.

Having said that, I am glad Charlie wore red. Yellow is not his color.