Berwick, Nova Scotia
One day in their high school, David Shepherd and Travis Price, two high school students in Berwick, Nova Scotia, saw a Grade 9 boy being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The bullies were calling the Grade 9 boy gay because of his shirt, and were threatening to beat him up. David and Travis recognized that expressing yourself as anything other than a stereotypical heterosexual can make you a target for bullying, and they wanted to put a stop to that.
David and Travis went to a discount store and bought fifty pink tank tops. They emailed their male friends and asked them to wear the shirts to school – you can’t bully 50 people at once, they figured. The next day, not only did those friends wear the shirts, but hundreds of other students were wearing their own pink clothes too!
Because of news reports, other schools in Nova Scotia heard about the initiative, and by the end of the week students throughout Nova Scotia were holding their own “pink day”. The next week, schools throughout Canada were doing it. David and Travis started getting phone calls and emails from all over Canada and the U.S.
Usually, it takes a lot of effort to get your message out there. In this case, the media publicized the teens’ efforts, and schools and community organizations across Canada quickly adopted the pink shirt as a symbol of anti-bullying.
Today, schools all over the world wear pink to take a stand against homophobic and transphobic bullying. The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity in Ottawa decided to establish an International Day of Pink against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Transmisogyny across the world. On or around April 10 every year, they invite everyone to celebrate diversity by wearing a pink shirt and by organizing activities in their workplaces, schools and communities.