Colors for advocacy have been around for a long time. There’s pink for Breast Cancer and yellow/gold for Childhood Cancer, and blue ribbons for thyroid disease and sooo so many others. Colors for ribbons and colors for shapes.
Diabetes, though, seems to have a lot of different variations of colors…
There’s the known Gray that was around for a while, but seemed too depressing, so a drop of red was added for the blood drop we have to use for testing.
Then, there’s the gray AND blue ribbon with the red drop thought to symbolize type 1, which is a good idea, but there is no ribbon distinction for type 2 or LADA or gestational…
There’s the orange for women with diabetes.
There’s blue (dominating) with orange for the JDRF.
There’s orange (dominating) with blue for TCOYD.
Green bracelets at CWD/FFL are for those with Type1.
And, of course, the blue circle – as a symbol of hope and unity among all types.
While I understand having differentiating colors would help in a way to bring awareness to your specific type – Type 1, Type 2, LADA, gestational, etc – I believe that they all should have one common color – just as the blue circle has to unify us all. We all prick our fingers and fight the numbers that come back on the glucose meters and deal with the emotions and stigma that comes with any type of diabetes.
And what makes me upset the most? The ones who try to make sure that type 1 has it’s own distinction from type 2. Or vice-versa. To me, it has an underlying feeling of haughtiness and judgement toward the opposite type.
Blue is not the color for type 1 no more than blue is the color for type 2. It’s the color for all types. That’s why I support the BLUE as just that – not ever as for a single type. We still don’t know the origin of diabetes or if, in fact, Type 1 and Type 2 are from different causes. After all, this study sort of says that they may actually be caused by the same thing.. so wouldn’t that even defeat the purpose of having them named separately anyway… in which they’d all be just “diabetes”? With so many questions still surrounding what happens and origins and treatments, why should there be any separation at all?
Don’t get me wrong – understand the validation that may seem to come with having a specific symbol or color for your “type”, but if that is going to happen, it needs to be a way to separate yet include. It’s a difficult task. And maybe one that doesn’t even need to be taken – but there needs to be simplification. Even something as simple as the blue circle, but with T1 or T2 or LADA in the middle if you want, but not a whole different concept of the unity idea.
There’s too many colors and shapes for this one disease. I’m glad that the Blue Circle is beginning to become more widely recognized and that the color blue is becoming our cohesive color. I’ll proudly wear it for any type in support of the struggles we all face.