Day of Pink: Let’s Put An End To Bullying
Today, April 10, is The International Day of Pink. It is a day set aside to help put an end to bullying, discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia in schools and communities.
My son brought home a piece of paper explaining what Day of Pink was all about and why you should wear a pink t-shirt to show your support. He was very insistent that I go out immediately and buy him a pink shirt so that he could participate with his classmates. I am so proud that he is so enthusiastic about this cause!
We, of all families, know just how important this day is. My brother is a transgender individual. He experiences discrimination on a daily basis. It makes me terribly sad that he has to live his life this way, always afraid of what lies ahead. However, he is strong and makes the best of his situation whenever he can. I truly admire him for that.
At one point or another we all have experienced bullying, myself included. I was overweight as a child and was teased about it. I was also a so called “nerd” in school who received good grades, which was another reason to be made fun of.
The worst case of bullying I experienced when I was a child was when an older kid (who I was afraid of already) tried to drown me. I was going to swimming that day with my brother and a person I thought was a friend. I was going into Grade 3 at the time. The bully grabbed me when we arrived at the beach, dragged me into the water and dunked me under repeatedly. She had two other kids who held back my brother and friend so they couldn’t help me. She kept saying how she heard I was calling her names and whatnot behind her back when in fact I never did. I was too scared to even say a word about her. Eventually, she let me go and I ran home crying. I had bruises on my body for weeks.
It was a terrifying experience and I am still not sure to this day why she chose to do that to me.
Words hurt. They sting and bury themselves deep into your soul so that you actually start believing what the bully is saying about you. I know just how powerful those words can be and how they haunt you for the rest of your life.
Yesterday, I was saddened to hear that another young person in our country took their life because they were bullied relentlessly. She did nothing wrong. She was the victim of a terrible crime and people turned their backs on her. How awful is that? What kind of a society do we live in where someone can be terrorized because they were raped? It makes me cringe. She had a wonderful and promising life ahead of her. And now, her beautiful soul has left this world.
It is because of that young woman, myself, my brother and the countless others who have experienced bullying – this is why we all need to wear pink today.
I know that just wearing a pink t-shirt is not going to put an end to bullying. I am not that naive. People need to start talking. They need to be educated. They need to take action.
If a day like today can help bring awareness to just how important our actions and words influence others, then maybe this world will be a better place because of that.