While pink is my favourite colour, that isn’t the reason that it’s important to talk about pink today. It’s important because tomorrow, Wednesday April 8th, is the International Day of Pink, which is really cool and a way that you can help stand up “against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Transmisogyny across the world”, as the official Day of Pink website states.
This day began in Nova Scotia when two classmates witnessed a boy in their class getting bullied for being gay and wearing a pink shirt. To protest against the bullying, the two students encouraged everyone in their school to wear pink and stand up against hatred and discrimination.
You can show your support tomorrow in several different ways; the website even has a list of options available to you! Among them are wearing pink, taking the pledge, giving out candy/”thank you”s to people wearing pink tomorrow, making use of their free Pink Day resources and signing the pledge on their website.
Why should you care?
There are many reasons why you should care enough to participate in the International Day of Pink, or at least support those who do. This is a day to support those who are bullied and discriminated against, and it is important to do so.
- Children who are bullied are more likely to suffer from depression as adults (Source)
- Same-sex couples are less able to secure housing compared to opposite-sex couples (Source)
- In Ontario, 20% of trans people experience assault because of their gender identity, and 34% are verbally harassed or threatened (Source)
According to CMHA:
LGBT people face:
- Higher rates of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders, suicidality, self-harm, and substance use among LGBT peoplex
- Double the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than heterosexual peoplexi
LGBT youth and trans people face increased risk. For example:
- LGBT youth face approximately 14 times the risk of suicide and substance abuse than heterosexual peersxii
- 77% of trans respondents in an Ontario-based survey had seriously considered suicide and 45% had attempted suicide
- Trans youth and those who had experienced physical or sexual assault were found to be at greatest riskxiii
I recognize that it may seem as though one day of wearing pink cannot possibly be enough to actually make any kind of a difference, but I’d like to offer an alternative perspective. While, yes, it is only one day, it could be all someone needs to feel accepted and feel like they belong. Of course it is ideal to have a culture wherein everyone shows support for people’s individuality at all times, and I encourage everyone to be as open-minded and encouraging at all times. However, the International Day of Pink is an opportunity to be proud and visible, showing support for victims of discrimination and standing up against people who are intolerant.