Toronto – April 7, 2015 – The International Day of Pink started as a high school initiative, and has since evolved into an annual day across the country where people wear pink and stand in solidarity to raise awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying.
In 2007, two Halifax high school students witnessed a fellow student being bullied because he was gay and wearing a pink shirt. They intervened, and a few days later organized everyone at the school to wear a pink shirt as a sign of solidarity, and their united stand against bullying. Since then, theInternational Day of Pink has been commemorated annually on the second Wednesday in April.
Bullying can have long-term effects, regardless of race or age. A 2010 Canadian Red Cross survey of 33 Toronto high schools reported that half of all students surveyed had suffered some form of online bullying. According to an Egale Human Rights Trust national survey of more than 3,700 students in Canada, 21% of students identifying as LGBTQ reported being physically harassed or assaulted due to their sexual orientation. The research also show that most bullying stops within seconds when bystanders step in to say “it’s not OK.”
While we have made progress in identifying bullying in all of its forms, including cyber-bullying, we need to, at the very least, continue raising awareness within our shared spaces about the effects of bullying. Standing up to bullying is about affirming that there is no place for bullying in our workplaces or our schools. This April 8, wear pink to show your support for the Day of Pink and your stand against bullying of any kind.
Paul R. Meinema