Editor's Note: 12/19 -- The boy's older sister, whose January 2012 Tumblr post and photograph of her 5-year-old brother wearing pink shoes to school started the blogospheric conversation, contacted The Huffington Post to say that the content was posted to Facebook without her consent. The Facebook page Have A Gay Day has taken down the post, telling HuffPost, "We removed it because we did not wish to share something that wasn't accurate." At the request of the sister, the photo and references to the boy's name have been removed from this article, which has been edited throughout.

Updated Entry:
A viral photograph of a young boy who opted to wear pink shoes on his first day of preschool has sparked intense debate in the blogosphere.

The photo of the 5-year-old boy and Tumblr blog posted to the "Have a Gay Day" page read:

Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5-year-old brother ... 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. [The boy] 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.'

The post went on to explain that the boy liked the shoes because they were "made out of zebras," his favorite animal: "What does it say about society when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?"

The boy's sister later commented on the Facebook post, saying: "The shoes belonged to my cousin (who is a girl), and [the boy] wore them to school one day. The kids didn't tease him or anything, which I thought was great and really showed how children are taught about gender roles instead of simply knowing them. My family really never made any negative comments, though."

The photograph had drawn over 120,000 likes and had been shared over 19,000 times before it was taken down.

Meanwhile, the photograph was the subject of a heated blog posted on The Stir. In the piece, blogger Mary Fischer disagreed with the boy's mother, saying she wouldn't let her own son wear pink shoes to school because it would "subject him to being bullied or treated unfairly all because most people associate pink with girls and blue with boys."

Fischer continues:

Yes, I get the whole 'we should let kids be free to express themselves' thing, and I'll be the first to say 'more power' to this mom for taking a chance and letting Sam go off to preschool in his pink zebra print flats.

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.

She then adds, "Bullying is bad enough as it is without handing tormentors their material on a silver platter."

You can read Fischer's full blog post here.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Tyler Clementi

    The disturbing rash of LGBT teen suicides began receiving attention last fall. Among those who took their own life was Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York after his roommate allegedly filmed him having sex with another man.

  • Seth Walsh

    Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old California teen, hung himself in September 2010 after reportedly being bullied because he was gay.

  • Raymond S. Chase

    Gay Rhode Island-based student Raymond S. Chase, 19, became the fifth in 2010's disturbing spate of teen suicides last fall.

  • Obama's Anti-Bullying Video

    In October 2010, President Obama released a video in support of LGBT youth who were struggling with being bullied.

  • Pastor's Confession

    In November 2010, Jim Swilley, the pastor of a Georgia megachurch, revealed to his congregation that he is gay. The 52-year-old father of four said the recent spate of teen suicides, particularly that of Clementi, prompted him to change his mind. "For some reason his situation was kind of the tipping point with me," Swilley told CNN's Don Lemon this weekend.

  • Daniel Radcliffe Honored

    In June, "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe was honored with the Trevor Project's "Hero" Award for his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/26/daniel-radcliffe-speaks-o_n_478960.html" target="_hplink">ongoing suicide prevention efforts</a> for LGBT youth.

  • Jamey Rodemeyer

    In September, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old boy from Williamsville, N.Y., took his life Sunday after what his parents claim was years of bullying because of struggles with his sexuality, months after posting this "It Gets Better" clip on YouTube.

  • Lady Gaga's Dedication

    After vowing to stop bullying and make it illegal, Lady Gaga -- a longtime advocate for LGBT causes -- dedicated a performance to Rodemeyer at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. "I wrote this record about how your identity is really all you've got when you're in school," Gaga told the crowd. "So tonight, Jamey, I know you're up there looking at us, and you're not a victim. You're a lesson to all of us."

  • Bachmann Speaks Out

    Days after being faced with a petition that urged her to publicly address gay bullying in her district, Rep. Michele Bachmann noted, "That's not a federal issue," according to CBS News. Previously, Tammy Aaberg, the mother of Justin Aaberg, a gay teen in the Anoka-Hennepin school district who committed suicide after having been bullied in area schools, delivered petitions to Bachmann's office asking her for support.

  • Jamie Hubley

    Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old from Ottawa, Canada, committed suicide Oct. 14. In this clip, the teen performs Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me."

  • Hubley Tribute Video

    Friends created a poignant tribute video to Hubley, the Canadian 10th grader who committed suicide on Friday.