Skip to main content

Apparently This Matters: Gingers take to the streets

Reason redheads are proud of Shawn Hitchins: He organized the pride walk in Edinburgh. Reason redheads are proud of Shawn Hitchins: He organized the pride walk in Edinburgh.
HIDE CAPTION
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
Ginger pride
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Redheads marched in Edinburgh, Scotland, for the UK's first Ginger Pride Walk
  • The event was started by a Canadian comedian named Shawn Hitchins
  • The event took place during Fringe Festival and aimed to raise awareness of 'gingerism'

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) -- To call myself a true ginger is rather an insult to all the legitimate redheads of the world. You know, the super shiny ones you carefully hide from your children.

"Mommy, what is that?"

"Nothing, dear. Just a horrible genetic mutation."

"Can we keep it?"

But, alas, I am one of them. I am a ginger.

\
"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

To be fair, my hair (what's left of it) is really more of a light brown with gentle hints of crimson. However, in a pinch, my beard can definitely be used as a warning beacon for low-flying aircraft.

"Jim, shouldn't that bright red light be wearing pants?"

Thus, while they'll never elect me King Ginger of the Pale, I'm definitely one among the people. Which is why I felt a certain amount of solidarity as I kept reading about the more than 100 redheads who recently marched in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the city's annual Fringe Festival.

The UK's first Ginger Pride Walk was actually orchestrated by a Canadian comedian named Shawn Hitchins, who said, "Although it isn't a real word, 'gingerism' exists, and bullying exists. ... Kids are being subjected to taunts or being bullied in schools just for having red hair."

So they marched through the streets of Scotland's capital, stretching out like a soulless, human laser pointer.

Despite the serious tone set by Hitchins, the event was, of course, organized to be fun. After all, if anyone knows how to have a good time, it's someone who can't go out in direct sunlight.

"Woo! Party over here! In the gazebo! C'mon, guys! Woo! Wear long sleeves! Woo!"

As the red-haired masses marched down the street, some held positive signs saying "IT GETS REDDER" and "GINGER AND PROUD."

Though, one little girl warned, "DON'T MAKE ME MAD OR I WILL GINGER SNAP."

Favorite Redhead No. 1: Trey Anastasio shows the face a ginger makes before he steals your soul.
Favorite Redhead No. 1: Trey Anastasio shows the face a ginger makes before he steals your soul.

I see what she did there.

Of course, Edinburgh was the perfect place to hold such an event. While the worldwide percentage of natural redheads is only about 1% to 2%, in Scotland, it's somewhere closer to 13%. Which is still pretty low.

And some people think those numbers may get even lower.

In 2007, National Geographic suggested that, eventually, gingers might actually become extinct. Perhaps as soon as 2060.

While many disagreed with this prediction, it certainly didn't help that, in 2011, the world's largest sperm bank stopped accepting donations from gingers for lack of demand.

Aaaaaaand there goes my retirement plan.

Nevertheless, Hitchins has been encouraged by all the support he's received in his efforts to raise ginger awareness.

Especially online.

Naturally, then, I was curious what kind of resources were out there on the Web for my people. So, I did a little researching ... and mostly came up with links for fetish porn.

Though, in retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have Googled "dirty redheads."

But two hours later I finally got back on track and discovered a couple legitimate support sites such as Redhead-World.net and RedheadandProud.com. I even found several dating options like HotForGinger.com.

"I really like your profile. What's your SPF?"

So there's plenty of love and support out there for us pale-skinned, red-headed folks who need a little extra encouragement.

Favorite Redhead No. 2: André Villas-Boas proves that even ginger ninjas get the blues.
Favorite Redhead No. 2: André Villas-Boas proves that even ginger ninjas get the blues.

Still, it's kind of a bummer that some kids get teased just for being ginger. I was never THAT red, so I really don't know what it's like. But I'm sure it sucks, and hopefully these bullies will grow out of it and come to realize that freckles are awesome!

But, until then, if any gingers in the world need an extra boost of confidence, just remember this: Axl Rose is a redhead.

And so are Conan O'Brien and Bonnie Raitt, and Willie Nelson and, apparently, Genghis Khan.

(But Carrot Top doesn't count. Because I said so.)

I applaud Hitchins and his Ginger Pride Walk. And maybe next year I'll be there in person to cheer them on. From a shaded, safe distance.

I'll be in the gazebo.

Follow Jarrett Bellini on Twitter.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Apparently This Matters...
updated 10:25 PM EDT, Sun August 17, 2014
"What does this thing do?"
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
Despite all the political tension in Crimea, it's nice to know things are still safe enough at the zoo for a zebra to get it on with a donkey.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Justin Sylvester's wife is pregnant. With a baby.
updated 8:10 PM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
There's a famous scene in the movie "Titanic" where Rose turns to Jack and says, "I want you to draw me like one of your French girls."
updated 4:15 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.
updated 3:17 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
The other day I saw a death metal band hanging out by their tour van in the parking lot behind a club. They were all dressed in black, and may or may not have been working on lyrics to a new song about fire and lamb meat.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
There are two good reasons to own a giant trampoline.
updated 6:51 PM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
I would love to say my dog is intellectually qualified to be a service animal. But he's not. There's barely enough brainpower there to be a lamp.
updated 11:23 AM EDT, Sun June 8, 2014
I've never really needed an extra ear.
updated 4:32 PM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
I never actually caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy when I was young, but she was definitely real and in cahoots with my mom. This, due to the fact that I never woke up to find a Nintendo.
updated 3:57 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
Have you ever seen a man running in a marathon, bleeding from his nipples?
updated 3:52 PM EDT, Fri May 16, 2014
Brace yourselves, because this week's story is about sperm and poop.
updated 5:25 PM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
I once stayed at a youth hostel in Copenhagen called Sleep in Heaven. Which sounds quite pleasant until you realize that, apparently, heaven is cold and damp and completely infested with bedbugs.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Sun May 4, 2014
I'm not a violent man. Short, self-doubting gingers tend not to be the fiercest of creatures.
updated 9:32 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
For a long time it feels like we haven't seen much of Ronald McDonald. Not for nothing, but I heard he shanked Grimace in a back alley somewhere down in Mexico.
updated 12:44 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
I haven't had a single Diet Coke in 2014. It was a conscious health decision, and the only real side effect, now, is that the world is awful and I hate everything.
updated 5:20 PM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting animal skins is called taxidermy, and it can range from classy to creepy depending on whether your subject is a moose, or, say, a homeless drifter.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
The July 21, 1969, headline of the New York Times read, "MEN WALK ON MOON."
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
I once uploaded an Instagram of me at Old Navy trying to get all kissy-face with a mannequin. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but she was rather unresponsive.
updated 5:13 PM EST, Fri March 7, 2014
I use a Keurig coffee machine at home because I'm lazy. And, quite frankly, don't feel like I've really done my duty to God and country until I've added a little something to the landfill.
updated 1:38 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
I wouldn't necessarily call myself a true germaphobe, but if entering a domestic partnership with a bottle of Purell were legal I'd certainly consider it.
ADVERTISEMENT