An acquaintance with metastatic disease is having a personal fundraiser and in her invitation she talked about ‘reclaiming pink’. This reminded me very much about the work we do as Unitarian Universalists of reclaiming religious language – a message that resonated very strongly with me and allows me to call my local congregation a “church” even when I don’t identify as a Christian. It also reminds me of how the GLBT movement has done a lot of work to reclaim words. My point being, there is power in taking back language and symbols that have been co-opted by others for not so altruistic purposes. I like pink. I often wear pink. I don’t feel a visceral need to avoid pink. But now that I have breast cancer, pink is a loaded colour. It has a message in it, and in that message is power.
I’ve blogged recently about pink’tober and about what breast cancer awareness really is about. So, what do I want to do for breast cancer awareness? First and for most, I blog about my experience with breast cancer. That is what I can do for awareness. But also, I want to re-claim pink. I want to get a t-shirt (or nice long sleeve exercise/sunshirt) that is pink and says something like: Ask me about breast cancer … maybe with a pink ribbon and my blog address.
Because awareness is about talking about it … and Ask me about breast cancer is an invitation to talk to me about it. Of course, I’d only wear it when I wanted to talk about, when I was willing to have conversations with strangers about it (which is pretty much most of the time) … it would allow me to reclaim pink to support the message I want to support.
Now I just need to figure out how one gets the custom shirts I want made … and maybe find a graphic artist willing to do up a design pro-bono for me …