A Facebook photo of a 5-year-old wearing pink shoes to school has gone viral on the blogosphere, and sparked a debate about homosexuality and bullying.
The image was posted on the Facebook page Have a Gay Day and came from an anonymous user who said her little brother, Sam, had decided to wear pink shoes to his first day of preschool, something which angered family members who saw the photo.
“Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5-year-old brother Sam wearing a pair of shoes he picked out for his first day of preschool. She explained to him in the store that they were really made for girls. Sam then told her that he didn’t care and that 'ninjas can wear pink shoes too.
“However, my mom received about 20 comments on the photo from various family members saying how 'wrong' it is and how 'things like this will affect him socially' and, put most eloquently by my great aunt, ‘that sh*t will turn him gay.’”
According to the user, Sam liked the shoes not because they were pink, but because they had a zebra print—his favorite animal.
The photo was posted on Facebook on Dec. 6 and has since gone viral, accumulating a total of over 124,000 ‘Likes,’ 20,800 ‘Shares,’ and over 12,500 comments as of Dec. 11.
A blogger at The Stir, a website geared toward women (moms in particular), criticized the mother for letting her kid wear pink shoes to school, saying it’s like begging for her kid to be bullied.
“Somehow I'm guessing if my son were to put on that same pair of shoes -- he wouldn't even make it through the five-minute bus ride to school in the morning before someone laughed at him, asked him why in the heck he was wearing pink shoes, spewed all sorts of mean jokes his way, or told him he was dressed like a girl,” Mary Fischer wrote.
She added: “Bullying is bad enough as it is without handing tormentors their material on a silver platter.”