HealthJ & J's Gibberish: The Power of Pink

J & J's Gibberish: The Power of Pink

J & J's Gibberish: The Power of Pink

Yesterday, and every April 11th, was “International Day of Pink” marking an awareness day for anti-bullying, anti-discrimination, anti-homophobia and anti-any kind of bad treatment.  Whenever I hear about coloured clothing days I cringe, wondering if they really make a difference. As the mother of a son who gets bullied frequently, I am skeptical. 

Then I heard the story behind April 11 and I slapped my own wrists.  It is a great story of tolerance.

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 that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying.

So yesterday communities across the country, and across the world, can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying by wearing pink.

Anyone can bully, any can be victimized by bullying, but together we can stop it.

The Day of Pink is a symbol, a spark, that empowers and inspires youth across Canada to create amazing social change.  If there is ever any doubt that youth can change the world, I look to the south and the incredible gun control movement being spearheaded by youth in the United States.  That is inspiring and made me realize that when youth mobilize, change can happen. It may not be overnight but it will happen.

And it made me realize that International Day of Pink is a good thing, does make a difference and so Jacob went to his two classes yesterday proudly wearing pink socks to stand in solidarity with those who have also been bullied and to tell those who bully, enough is enough.

What exactly is Bullying?

Bullying is defined as a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.

There are different forms bullying can take.

  • Physical – hitting, shoving, stealing or damaging property
  • Verbal – name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist or homophobic comments
  • Social – excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
  • Electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of cellphones, e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites

Whatever the case, don’t stand for it. Fight back.  And wear pink.

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