AN: Here's the next Pride Anthology from me (and also, my 300th work!) I'm starting a day early because the way things are going to fall, I need 2 extra days to get everything out. This means that I'll also be finishing a day late. So I'm writing 32 fics instead of 30. It's because the theme for this year is the Pride Flag (The original one by Gilbert Baker in 1978 with 8 colors instead of 6. 8 divides into 32, not 30).
So here we go, the first color on the original Pride Flag: pink.
"Honestly, Glinda, I don't understand how or why you stomach that much pink!" Elphaba snorted as she watched Glinda sort through their shared closet. It was not a 50/50 split, however, since Glinda's clothing was all so extravagant and full. Instead, it was more like 70/30, Glinda taking up far more of the closet with her poofy pink dresses than Elphaba did with her simple black frocks, which were very flat and small and shapeless. Elphaba continued to snicker and watch as Glinda continued to sort her dresses by shade. They were all pink though, so...
"Oh, Elphie! Do be quiet!" Glinda huffed as she held up two dresses that were nearly the same exact shade.
"Gee, how will you ever figure that one out?" Elphaba pretended to yawn while Glinda assessed the fabrics carefully.
"Hmmmm, this one is a cotton candy pink and this one is a carnation pink!" Glinda decided at last.
"Why not just call it Pink #1 and Pink #2?" Elphaba snickered again. "It's about the same thing."
"Oh no it is not!" Glinda pouted defensively. "There is a very particular and meticulous art to sorting out different shades and I happen to know quite a lot about the matter!" the little blond stuck her nose up in the air, as if such a skill was worth bragging about.
"Of course you would," Elphaba smirked. "Such a high-class and elegant academic pursuit is sure to-"
"Oh! Leave it alone Elphie!" Glinda snapped again, but just for a second, a flash of genuine hurt filled her eyes. She turned around quickly to face the closet again so Elphaba wouldn't see it.
"It's not as if you would know anything about color coordination!" she huffed, looking at Elphaba's own black and bleak section of the closet.
"Well, I clash with everything," Elphaba deadpanned with a snort as she looked at her green skin. Glinda scoffed at her. That was not true! Hadn't they been over this before? But of course, stubborn Elphaba continued to insist that she went well with nothing, even though Glinda had since proven otherwise. As one with a keen eye for fashion, of course Glinda knew what did and didn't go with green! But Elphaba never listened.
For a few more minutes, there was only silence. Then Glinda heaved a satisfied sigh as she put her last (pink) dress away.
"Honestly, Glinda, would it kill you to wear something different?" Elphaba shook her head fondly at the little blond as she shut the closet again.
"Well, maybe, Ms. Elphaba, this color has significance for me. You ever think of that?" Glinda finally lost patience and challenged the green girl.
"What? That it symbolizes peak femininity and class?" Elphaba teased, but Glinda was dead serious when she nodded.
"Yes," she said, and the conviction was enough to make Elphaba pause. Then Glinda explained.
"As a little girl, I did used to wear more than one color," she began.
"Wish I could've been around to see it. Don't know if I believe you otherwise," Elphaba interrupted with a dry laugh.
"Because I was told by everyone that pink was a girly color," Glinda continued, shooting Elphaba a glare for interrupting. "Even though I and all the rest of them were girls, we continued to treat pink as a bad color, like a poison! No pink! Never pink! It was a rule at my school. Only girls wore pink! Everyone else avoided it at all costs," Glinda's face contorted with bitterness at the memory while Elphaba's contorted in confusion.
"But if you and all your friends were girls, then what did they mean by "pink is a girl color"?" she asked, genuinely confused.
"They didn't mean "girl" as in "female". They meant "girl" as in "weak"!" Glinda explained, seething and hurt. "Being a girl became the same as being weak, breakable and stupid. It was a crime against female empowerment and feminism to indulge in pink, or anything feminine," Glinda continued to rant. "The other girls at my school bullied me for wearing pink because, in their eyes, it was a cardinal sin. Only stereotypical or weak women wore pink, because to wear pink meant to submit to the patriarchy, never mind that I wanted to wear pink! But in their eyes, good, strong women never wore pink. They wore anything but. They could wear guy colors, or neutral colors, but never, ever girl colors. Never pink..."
Glinda's rant ended with an unhappy sigh and Elphaba found herself unintentionally following along with the story. Though she, herself, had never been one interested in gender roles or rules and even though she, herself, personally identified as gender neutral/androgynous (though she didn't mind referring to herself, or letting others refer to her, as a woman) Elphaba began to see where Glinda was coming from. It was notoriously bad to be a woman in society, and even worse to be a feminine one.
Elphaba, herself, had met a handful of girls who turned up their noses at the prospect of being called girly, as if it was the worst insult in all of Oz. But being tough and masculine was lauded as good, powerful and progressive. It was the only thing Elphaba ever had going for her back at home, since she was very far from feminine. It had never occurred to her that it might've been something someone was picked on for, because it was never what she was bullied about. But to see Glinda standing there, ranting and hurt, reliving all the times when she was mocked or discredited for her love of pink, made Elphaba realize...
To Glinda, pink wasn't just pretty. It was brave. It wasn't just femininity. It was pride in being feminine. Pink wasn't just a comfort color that looked good on her, it was her self-expression and symbol of self-love. It wasn't just something stereotypical, but rather, it was quite the opposite: it was her own form of empowerment and choice. Pink was nothing to scoff at in Glinda's book, but that was because pink had quite the history in her life... Elphaba instantly felt bad for ever teasing Glinda about her wardrobe, or her indulgences in the feminine world. She had no right to judge others for the way they looked or acted when she, herself, was often bullied for that very same thing.
Elphaba realized that she shouldn't be tearing people down, she ought to be building them up! There was no such thing as a good or right or bad or wrong woman. There was just Woman. And she always deserved support, no matter what form she chose to present herself in. Even if Elphaba didn't understand the feminine world, that gave her no right to deride or disdain it. She owed it to Women and to her own moral code to support all women, masculine, feminine, both, neither, somewhere in between or outside, or someone who was some mix of all of the above.
24 hours later, the two were in the same position as before, only this time, Elphaba had a present for Glinda.
"Really? What is it?!" she asked excitedly as she took the parcel from Elphaba's hands. She tore it open and her eyes lit up. It was a large pride flag, but it only contained one color: pink. Each stripe was a different shade of pink, the outer stripes being very dark and the center being almost white. Squealing with glee at the realization that there was a pride flag out there that was pink, Glinda wasted no time in donning it like a cape and dancing around the room in ecstasy.
"Elphie! You are the BEST!" she declared, then she jumped right onto Elphaba's bed and kissed her passionately with gratitude. By the time she tore away, returning to dancing around their dorm room like a madwoman, Elphaba was no longer green, but a very dark black, but all she could see at the moment was pink. And then Elphaba decided that, to her, pink symbolized love.
AN: So, kicking off Pride Month yet again, we have my original gay pairing: Gelphie! Also, sorry if this seemed a bit preachy, but I won't lie that when I was a kid, it was considered weak and girly to wear pink. In hindsight, that was a really sexist thing for us to believe. But that was the law at my school. Pink girls were stereotypical and weak. Strong girls didn't embrace such feminine things (*horrified gasp*)
I saw a post once that spelled it out pretty well: "Whenever someone starts to embrace the color pink, they are starting to embrace self-love and self-actualization, by not treating the color as some sort of poison to be avoided or feared or mocked" and that really hit me deep. Maybe the wording is a bit dramatic and sappy, but the sentiment at the core is something I honestly agree with.
Besides, anyone who knows their gay history knows that pink has had a very interesting relationship not just with gender, but with sexuality. And anyone who knows the history of the Pride Flag itself knows that Gilbert may have gotten inspiration from Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". In case you didn't already realize that Oz was super gay, here's even more proof! LOL!
(I promise the next fic won't be so preachy!)