In the 1970s, Yellow Pants Project founder, Patty Coaley attended elementary school in Las Vegas, Nevada. When she was in 5th grade, her friend Steve came to school in a pair of yellow pants, and he was teased relentlessly by his fellow classmates for wearing them. They called him a “fag” (“gay” wasn’t used at that time), and that label followed him throughout his school years.
As a young adult, Steve opened up and shared with his family and friends that he was, in fact, gay. However, that derogatory term assigned to him at such a young age, and the teasing and bullying that came along with it, never left his side. Steve’s life was cut short at age 44, when he succumbed to alcohol addiction. One can only wonder if his “yellow pants” story played a part in his struggle.
The Yellow Pants Project Facebook page provides a forum where people of all ages can share their “yellow pants” story with others. A yellow pants story reveals an issue or experience that a person battled growing up. Whether it was about being teased for how you looked, bullied for who you loved, made fun of for how you talked, or looked down upon for where you lived; everyone has a pair of yellow pants in their past. How you wear those pants is up to you. We say wear them proudly.
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