A lot of people ask about the Pink Boots and what the heck they’re all about. Continue Reading for some answers.
Our first fundraiser for the Story Tour was approaching early last summer. I knew I needed something that people couldn’t resist putting cash into, and a can or bowl seemed so boring.
Bold. Texas. Gay. That’s what I wanted and hot pink cowboy boots were the first thing that sprang to mind. An amusing conversation occurred at the art store.
“I need the hottest pink spray paint you have.”
“Here we go…electric pink,” she said while handing me the can, the pink cap illuminating our faces.
“Oh, wow, that should work.”
“What are you painting, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Oh, ha, um…cowboy boots.”
She did a quick bounce up and down and half exclaimed, half sang that she wanted a pair of hot pink cowboy boots. She wasn’t the only one. Gay Lynn Costa from Salt Lake City, Christopher Constant from Anchorage, and my niece, Willa, all wanted them too.
Throughout the Tour, I referred to them as “the girls” and sometimes “the boys.” I even tried naming them Larry and Roger (left and right), but nothing really stuck. Are they LGB or T? Maybe I had trouble figuring it out because they don’t want to be identified and would rather be called queer or maybe not have any label at all. Maybe they are whatever people want them to be. I like that the best.
While they’re fun and silly, they also have purpose. I like thinking of them as a physical manifestation of what it means to be out. They’re bold and proud and people know they exist. Everywhere I carried them on the Story Tour, people turned their heads and whispered and pointed and smiled. Strangers asked what they were for and I told them about the Story Tour and that we’re trying to let LGBT youth know they’re not alone. Their visibility was helping our cause.
In addition to being loud and bold the pink is taken from the pink triangle, a symbol originally assigned to us by the Nazis. A symbol that once meant “I will be killed for who I am” now means “I am proud of who I am.”
The Pink Boots make a claim wherever they’re seen, that LGBT people are here. Driftwood, Texas and Wasilla, Alaska and Tonkawa, Oklahoma. And just like the goal of all the stories on IFD, I hope they bring some comfort to queer youth all across the country and world.
Or at least make someone smile, bounce up and down and put some cash in.