This article was published on February 23rd, 2022
Bullying continues to be a major issue within schools, the workplace, households, and especially online. Through the month of February and throughout the year, Pink Shirt Day brings attention to bullying, raises funds that support programs, and foster’s healthy self-esteem in children and youth.
Pink Shirt Day is recognized on the last Wednesday of February each year. This year, Pink Shirt Day will be recognized on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
Bullying is a global problem that grows each year, and more people are recording incidents in schools all over the world. While there are many cases that occur within schools, bullying is an issue outside of teaching institutions as well, extending into corporate office spaces, universities, across social media and many other places as we live in a more digitized world than ever before.
With bullying being such an unpredictable thing that happens many times without rhyme or reason, National Pink Day places a spotlight on the dilemma in an attempt to break the cycle of abuse and alleviate the damage it does to behavior and self-esteem both inside of and outside of schools.
History Behind Pink Shirt Day
Also known as National Pink Day, Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007 when two students – David Shepherd and Travis Price – witnessed one of their classmates at Central Kings Rural High School being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The two fellow students decided to take a stand for their classmate and attempt to dissociate the color pink with femininity.
The two decided to show their support by encouraging everyone at the school to wear a pink shirt to school the following day. To ensure success, the two purchased several shirts to pass out to students that didn’t have one. The following day, the maneuver was a resounding success and has thus been recreated all over the world as a rallying cry against bullying.
Pink Shirt Day as an International Mission
Pink Shirt Day has grown into an international phenomenon. Over the years, it has gained so much in influence that it is now closely linked with Anti-Bullying Day, another day that stands up for others by wearing pink in solidarity. The United Nations has declared that recognition happen on May 4th, but in many countries, February is still the official celebration. This is not a negative, however, as it means that there are more opportunities to get the word out and make a difference the world over about bullying and how to end it.
Ways to Celebrate Pink Shirt Day
Those that would like to participate in the holiday can easily stay connected to the cause just by wearing pink on the day and find spots in your neighborhood to get involved. A few suggestions include:
Again, just wearing a pink shirt or skirt or even bandana can get people talking about what it means and how you intend to take a stand.
Teach Students About Bullying
The more informed kids are about bullying, the less inclined they are to participate in it and also more likely are they to stand up to it when they see it. Several institutions have been founded to provide resources that are meant to teach families and students alike about bullying and the issues it can cause. Some of these organizations include STOMP Out Bullying, the National Association of People Against Bullying (NAPAB), Kind Campaign, Stop Bullying, and many more. To find out the groups in your community, do a simple search online and get in contact directly.
Call Out Bullying When You See It
If you witness bullying, be sure to walk up and call it out. Do not let it happen on your watch and Pink Shirt Day is all about bringing attention to the many people unjustly humiliated and harassed both inside and outside the LGBTQ+ community. Be the change you want to see.
Spread the Word
Pink Shirt Day happens every year, and the more you discuss it, the more attention you bring to the cause and the more likely bullying is to decrease over time. Take selfies with friends and families in pink clothes and spread it across your social media platforms to inform people both near your home and across the world.
Throw a Pink Party
Show your support by having a party on Pink Shirt Day that involves as many people as possible. Have people that have been bullied speak, invite local leaders, and keep it visually festive with pink decorations everywhere!
There are many great ways in which you can get involved in Pink Shirt Day in your community. There are also documentaries that can be rented or seen online that provide a history on bullying and its impact on society. Being an ally speaks volumes about you and your commitment to the future. What are your plans for Pink Shirt Day this year? Let HomoCulture know in the comments section below.