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Tropico Perspective: Some are still hung up on color

April 21, 2011|By Michael Teahan

I was really looking forward to a stimulating conversation about how we can fix Proposition 13 to help seniors stay in their homes without giving away billions of dollars in tax breaks to California corporations when a more compelling story hit the news.

Pink toenails. A little boy with pink toenails.

A photo spread in the most recent J.Crew catalog depicted Jenna Lyons — the company’s president and creative director — playing with her 5-year-old son and apparently enjoying too much quality time. For some, the wrong kind.

Whenever a 5-year-old gets around paint, there is no end to the fun you can have, so long as you keep it off the floor and it matches the color on the walls. The kind of innocent play you can have with your child at that age is short-lived and needs to be cherished, even if the paint ends up on their toes.


Some people, though, have a problem with the color pink — especially when it lands on a boy’s toenails. It’s as though pink nail polish was some kind of gender-bending radiation leaking from a broken LGBT power plant in San Francisco that will transform the genetic code of children and send them straight into ballet. It would be kind of awesome if it could, but I think not.

My son doesn’t know that he’s supposed to hate pink for the same reason that he doesn’t hate Armenians, mistrust Jews or fear Muslims — we haven’t taught him to. In fact, hate is the only four-letter word he understands — for certain not the only one he’s heard — and that he’s on his way to a timeout if he uses it to describe anything other than Brussels sprouts. Even then he’s on thin ice.

The truth is that he likes pink just fine and has never had a reason to think otherwise. Though now that pink is his sister’s favorite color, he might pick another. But it will never be because he thinks it will turn him into something he isn’t, because it won’t.

Some of the things that define who he is will be because of who I am. Not just because of what I might say, but because of my character and having the kind of relationship that will inspire him to act in kind.

A lot more he will get on his own, but he won’t learn to hate from those who love him. If he wants to paint his toenails, I’m all in. I just don’t have the open-toe shoes to make it work.

Who he comes to love and how he chooses to express it will never change how I feel about him. His whole posse is coming over for Christmas, and they are all family. Even the pink ones.

As an afterthought: I would like to thank John Drayman for everything he has done for Glendale. He has always acted in service to the community and gotten much less in return. For this, I wish him only the best and trust he has no regrets for his tenure and commitment.

John is a good man, and I am proud to know him.

MICHAEL TEAHAN lives in the Adams Hill area of Glendale with a clear view of the Verdugo Mountains so he can keep an eye on things. He can be reached at

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