The Day of Pink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia in schools and communities. By wearing pink on April 13, we express our solidarity with victims of bullying and show that the labour movement will not tolerate bullying in our workplaces nor our communities.
We urge everyone to “come out” as an ally and speak out against homophobia and transphobia, whenever and wherever it occurs.
The International Day of Pink started in Nova Scotia by high school students who intervened when a fellow student was bullied for wearing pink. The two boys purchased pink shirts, and asked everyone else to arrive at school wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand against homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Since then, the Pink Shirt Day movement has spread, with events and awareness raising taking place in schools, workplaces and communities across the country.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) promotes allyship with its LGBTQ members. The CLC has always supported anti-bullying campaigns and policies and campaigned to raise awareness and promote measures to address homophobia and transphobia in workplaces and in society.
Wearing a pink shirt on April 13 is a chance for allies to actively show their solidarity.
Allyship breaks down social barriers, isolation and hostility in the workplace. As a straight person you can take action as an ally in many different ways in the workplace:
- By using non-gender specific language whenever possible;
- Speaking out against statements and jokes that attack LGBTQ members;
- Staying informed and educating yourself about LGBTQ histories, cultures, and concerns; and
- Supporting and involving yourself in LGBTQ organizations and causes.
Unions can help members consider what it really means to become an ally, to get specific recommendations for action, and foster safer workplaces free of homophobic and transphobic bullying.
To learn more about “coming out” as an ally to LGBTQ members in your workplace, download the CLC’s handbook “To Our Allies”.
Learn more about what unions can do to bargain for LGBTQ equality in the workplace. Access and download the Bargaining Equality for LGBTQ Workers, now available for your tablets, Kindle and e-readers.