April 13 is the Day of Pink, the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, and Homophobia, where everyone is encouraged to show their support by wearing pink.
Homophobia and other forms of discrimination are a pressing issue in Canadian society. Egale Canada, a Canadian gay rights advocacy group, recently released a report stating that 75% of all Canadian LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) students feel unsafe in their own classroom. This is in part because homophobia is a form of discrimination that is often ignored, or not categorized as bullying, when it should be. According to dayofpink.org:
Discrimination comes in many forms including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism and anti-semitism just to name a few. These social diseases create barriers, bullying, harassment, hate and violence. No one should have to experience the negativity created by discrimination. DayofPink is more than just a symbol of a shared belief in celebrating diversity – it’s also a commitment to being open minded, accepting differences and learning to respect each other.
So whether as a member of a school, community, business, organization, or as an individual, please support this worthy cause by wearing a pink shirt. It doesn’t matter what sexual orientation you are.
What matters is that you are embracing your responsibility as a human being to recognize the rights and legitimacy of all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or identity.
As the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor said:
“Due recognition is not just a courtesy we owe people. It is a vital human need.”
William Hennessy, Ottawa