This Wednesday, April 13, is International Day of Pink. It’s a special day against homophobic, transphobic, and all forms of bullying. Celebrate diversity by wearing pink and challenge stereotypes.
It’s Time to Talk About:
Bullying | Homophobia | Transphobia
Homophobia is more accurately called heterosexism. It is treating people differently because they are not heterosexual – such as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual or anything other than the heterosexual norm. Phrases like “That’s so gay!” or assuming someone’s sexuality are both heterosexist incidences we see on a daily basis.
Bullying is a form of abuse at the hands of peers. It is targeted and repeated. It involves power, aggression, intimidation, and shame. It preys on vulnerability and exposes everyone involved to social and mental health problems and a lifetime pattern of abuse which can lead a child to contemplate suicide.
Transphobia is more accurately called cissexism. It is the notion that those who are cisgender (their gender identity matches with the gender they were assigned at birth) are better than those who are transgender. Recognizing and using people’s chosen pronouns and gender identity is one way we can work to eliminate transphobia.
What Does Wearing a Pink Shirt Mean?
Wearing a pink shirt is more than just a one day thing. It’s a commitment to allyship that spans the rest of the year. Wearing a pink shirt on April 13th is an important first step – it shows that you stand together with those who have been bullied, especially with those who have been bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The word ally is not a noun but instead a verb. To ally yourself with someone is to be listening and learning about how to care and support different people. It is important to work year round to stand up not just for others, but with them. It is only with this year round commitment that we can make real progress towards eliminating bullying and discrimination in all communities. So, this year, on April 13th – It’s Time to Talk – but let this be the first of many conversations.
Make a commitment to work to stop bullying and Take the Pledge! dayofpink.org/pledge
History of the Day of Pink
The International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when two straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The two students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was the whole school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying.
The campaign has continued to grow: it is now an international campaign that thrives in schools, workplaces and communities. The Day of Pink and the conversations, awareness, and acceptance that stems from it are making a real difference in the lives of queer and trans youth. So let’s wear pink, spark some conversations, and inspire acceptance.