El Paisano

Think PINK: Meet Michael Medrano

Thinking PINK keeps me, me.

Michael Medrano shows off his pink aesthetic  Inside Rio Hondo's Campus Cafe.

Michael Medrano shows off his pink aesthetic Inside Rio Hondo's Campus Cafe.

Photo Taken by James Spencer

Photo Taken by James Spencer

Michael Medrano shows off his pink aesthetic Inside Rio Hondo's Campus Cafe.

Autumn Lewis, Reporter

“Men can’t wear pink.”

Pink has been a color attributed to mainly femininity for a very long time. If a guy wears pink, there is usually a negative stigma surrounding it.

20-year old Theater major and avid pink-wearer Michael Medrano is no exception to this.

When asked what people think when they see Michael strolling campus in his all pink get-ups, he tends to get the same misconceptions.

“People think I wear it because I want attention, or because I’m gay, or because I’m a hardcore breast cancer supporter,” says Michael.

But none of these reasons are correct. Yes, Michael is in fact “out and proud” like his bio on his Instagram page @pinkactor4life states, but the real reason why Michael chooses to “think pink” every day is quite deeper.

“When I wear pink I feel good about myself. Because of the color, I feel like it represents me…. When I wear it I feel confident, I feel good about myself…and I love that feeling.”

The first pink shirt that Michael ever wore was in elementary school, in 5th grade.

He recalled his feelings when wearing the shirt as mostly self-conscious ones.

“I just remember being so shy….and I was scared like oh my gosh what is society gonna think?” he said.

“I met him in 7th grade, and the first time I met him, he was wearing black,” said Angie Velarde, one of Michael’s closest friends. “But high school, freshman year, that’s when I started seeing pink, everything.

Indeed, high school was when Michael shook off his inhibitions and started wearing pink on a daily basis.

“It started with the shirts first. And then when I transferred to a different high school I started wearing more pink. Pink shoes, pink binder, pink backpack, pink keychains.” he said.

“He’s constantly wearing it. Everything he has is pink. I think its crazy, but it’s his thing.” said Elizabeth Dietz, another one of Michael’s closest friends.

Throughout his high school years, Michael was bullied relentlessly. He was called every type of homophobic name and slur one can think of. Wearing pink all the time made things worse.

“A lot of teachers would tell me ‘just stop wearing pink’ so students don’t make fun of you. And I’m thinking well I shouldn’t have to do that.”

Kind comments amidst the derogatory ones motivated Michael to keep wearing pink and keep pushing forward in life.

Michael is currently attending Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA where he is pursuing an Associate’s degree in Theater. He then will pursue his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate in stage acting. He also wants to make it to Broadway with his name in big, you guessed it, PINK lights.

Like theater is an important part of Michael’s life, so is pink. Michael would not be Michael without his all pink everything. It is his own personal spotlight, with the world being his stage. Everywhere he goes his teachers, students, love interests, and friends remember him as the boy who always wears pink.

“Pink is like wearing a crown (for me), you can’t help but smile.”

And Michael will keep smiling and voluntarily or involuntarily influencing others to “Think Pink.”

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Think PINK: Meet Michael Medrano