Show Your Colour Today and Stand Up Against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia
Are you wearing pink yet? Put on a shirt or a scarf or some hot pink socks and join the international campaign against bullying. Today, April 11, is International Day of Pink. Communities all over – including Ottawa – are celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop all forms of bullying.
The pink movement started in 2007 with a couple of straight high school students in Nova Scotia. They intervened when they noticed a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. But they didn’t stop there. Wanting to do more to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying, the two teens went out and bought their own pink shirts and got everyone at school to arrive, a few days later, wearing pink. It was – and is – a show of solidarity in pink. The message makes a difference.
The message is clear – and pink: Anybody can be a bully or can be victimized by bullies. United, we can stop it. We can make a difference, each one of us, if we stand up together against bullying.
The group behind the international campaign is from right here in the city. Jer’s Vision is an anti-bullying organization that works with schools and youth communities across Canada and beyond to stop bullying, homophobia and transphobia. The Ottawa-based organization manages International Day of Pink and supports over 7.2 million participants.
Locally, the cause is especially heralded, since people are still mourning the loss of Jamie Hubley. A 15-year-old gay high school student in Kanata and son of city councillor Allan Hubley, he ended his life last fall. Jamie had been bullied.
Today, there are ongoing efforts to see that it doesn’t happen again. The Majic 100 Morning show, with Stu Schwartz, Angie Poirier and Trish Owens, has a #NoMoreBullies anti-bullying presentation that is presented at local schools. Local, provincial and federal politicians and public officials are behind anti-bullying efforts and tonight, at the University of Ottawa, there’s a Jer’s Vision and Day of Pink Gala in Tabaret Hall, 550 Cumberland Street. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and highlights include presentation of Youth Role Model of the Year awards for Jack Layton and Rick Mercer.