Pink Shirt Day: Take a Stand Against Bullying

Pink Shirt Day, celebrated annually on the last Wednesday of February, symbolizes a powerful stand against homophobic bullying. The movement first originated in Nova Scotia in 2007 when two students organized a protest to support a Grade 9 boy who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They distributed 50 pink shirts to their peers in solidarity with the bullied student. 

While Pink Shirt Day shines a light on bullying in general, it specifically addresses homophobic bullying by prompting discussions on traditional gender roles and gender norms. Pink Shirt Day goes beyond wearing pink; it’s a collective effort against bullying and discrimination.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying can take many forms, including physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying. Homophobic and transphobic bullying refers to bullying behavior that specifically targets members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. The aim of this type of bullying is to belittle and intimidate individuals based on their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. The consequences of experiencing bullying can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and suicide.

Alarming Statistics

Canadian statistics on bullying reveal that 47% of parents report their child being bullied, with 2SLGBTQ+ youth being four times more likely to experience bullying. While many cases of bullying go unreported, according to Statistics Canada, currently 77% of 2SLGBTQ+ youth between the ages of 15-17 experience bullying. The types of bullying reported include being made fun of or insulted, excluded from activities, receiving online threats, and being physically assaulted by others. As a result, 62% of 2SLGBTQ+ youth report feeling unsafe at school.

Helpful Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying and/or homophobic bullying, there are resources to help:

Further Reading