Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day of Pink against LGBT Bullying

News report:  Day of Pink - Kelowna, British Columbia, 2010
At the risk of being boring, I will tell everyone yet again how unique Canada is in the world in its acceptance of LGBT folks.  This is absolutely true!!  Canadian students aged 4 to 18 are at the forefront of this acceptance by participating in national events such as today's Day of Pink.

This year's Day of Pink, April 13, 2011, is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination and Homophobia in schools and communities.

It is a Canadian initiative which was started a few years by a group of high school seniors in support of a grade 9 boy in Nova Scotia who was harassed on his first day of school for wearing pink.  I'm not sure how "international" it is, but the Day of Pink exists in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.   I'm not aware of any organized events in the USA.   However, one year, Ellen DeGeneres did a segment on the "Day of Pink" on her talk show.  (update:  The Day of Pink is recognized in some school districts in the USA;  some of the  more enlightened ones obviously.)

For some reason, Canada has several "pink" anti-bullying days, Pink Shirt Day in late February and another one, I believe, in November.  I think these days are run by different organizations who can't agree on one date.  Today's "Day of Pink" is different from the other days because it is specifically an LGBT event.

In Canada, Day of Pink is a very big deal in many non-Catholic* elementary and secondary schools.  Anti-LGBT bullying initiatives, and anti-bullying initiatives in general are being pushed into the spotlight by Ministries of Education all across the country.  I wonder if the media reports of  LGBT youth being bullied and committing suicide have heightened this sense of urgency?   In my small, very remote, blue-collar town, the hoopla is amazing!    Here are a few highlights of this week's events.  I've also described events which occurred during last year;  at the time of this posting, this year's Day of Pink hasn't happened yet!
  • At my kids' high school this week, daily announcements were made explaining the importance of this day.  Unlike in past years, no attempt was made to downplay the fact that it is an LGBT initiative.
  • The Canadian flag in front on the school was taken down, replaced by the Rainbow Flag.  Would this happen anywhere in the USA?
  • Students and staff were encouraged to wear pink clothing or a pink ribbon.  Last year, participation rates were over 70%.
  • The incentive this year:  the home room class with the greatest percentage of participating students will win a party featuring pink-frosted cupcakes.
  • LGBT community representatives were invited by our school district head office to speak to students at school assemblies about LGBT bullying. Amazing!
  • TV and radio stories and interviews on the Day of Pink were broadcast nationally.
  • Across Canada, pink-clad students and teachers posed for a group photos to be posted online.
  • Student groups all over the country posted YouTube videos and did pink flash mob dances.
  • At our provincial legislature, all the Liberal members of provincial parliament wore pink.
  • In many provinces, the provincial Premier or the Minster of Education spoke publicly on the importance of ending LGBT bulling.
I find this amazing,  just f*cking amazing!!


* the Catholic schools, of course, mainly pretend that gays and lesbians do not exist.  Would we expect anything else from them?

You know I had to get some eye-candy in here somehow!


  1. I'm shallow. I went straight to the eye-candy.

  2. This is amazing... and you're right... it wouldn't happen here

  3. I read stories like this and I swear it puts me this close to stealing a boat and a whole bunch of gasoline and heading north across Lake Erie. Canada is like the Promised Land in so many ways. You have a lot to be proud of.

  4. Ain't Canada cool! Did your kids participate?

  5. Bos Guy: Excellent! That's what those pics are there for!

    D@vid: this still doesn't happen in our system of publicly-funded Catholic schools. In recent years, the Catholic schools across Canada have been taken to court for refusing to allow Gay Straight Alliances in high schools and once, for refusing to allow a young man to take his boyfriend as his date to the senior prom. The Catholic school administrators are in denial.

  6. Cubby and WCS: Yes, we do. These enlightened views on GLBT acceptance didn't happen overnight. .... it has been a gradual progression since Trudeau's, "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation" declaration in 1968.

    I was very pleased that all my kids participated. I didn't tell them to or even discuss it with them so as not to be "in their face" about my gayness .... which we haven't talked about for a long time.

    Kids who forgot their pink shirt or didn't own one were able to pick up long strips of pink fabric provided by the school office. They had great fun making them into headbands, hair scrunchies, belts, neckties or tying the pink strips around their thigh or bicep.

  7. Such a heartwarming story... in the middle of a rather dissapointing election campaing...
    Thanks a lot Bubby Bear.
    Yes, Canada is cool!
    A Québécois says it!

  8. Well, well, well, severe case of dyslexia on my comment this morning! Of course, everybody knows that I meant Buddy Bear instead of Bubby Bear... Now, a shrink would have a blast trying to analyse this "faux-pas" ;-)

  9. Hey DeepBlue... thanks for commenting! Exciting... another Canadian!! I'll be visiting your blog soon. Is the "Day of Pink" as big a deal in Quebec?

    I agree, the election campaign is pathetic. I wish the ballot for Prime Minster had the option, "None of the Above."

  10. Salut! Here we call it "Journée internationale contre l'homophobie" ("Journée Roses" wouldn't sound that great!!) and it will be held on May 17. Here's the link to the web site (in english): click here

  11. Oups... Blogger didn't accept my link tag. So here's the entire address of the web site: You'll have to use the good ol' cut'n paste method! ;-)

  12. Thank you, Deep Blue! Loved their banner pic of the same-sex goldfish couple. I'll post this link on my next post.


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