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The International Day of Pink is set up as an International Day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and transmisogyny in cities and towns all across the world. On this day, everyone is invited to celebrate diversity by wearing a pink shirt and by organizing activities in their workplaces, schools, and communities in support of the day.

History of the International Day of Pink

The International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia, Canada, when two straight high school students saw a gay student being bullied because he was wearing a pink shirt. The two students intervened at the moment, but they also wanted to do more to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying in their school.

In a stroke of creative genius, these two young men decided to purchase pink shirts and wear them. Not only that, but a few days later they also got almost everyone else at their school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity for anti-bullying. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent bullying of any type, particularly related to homophobia and transphobia.

The International Day of Pink campaign has continued to grow. It is now an international anti-bullying campaign that thrives in schools, workplaces, and communities. The International Day of Pink and the conversations, awareness, and acceptance that stem from it are making a real difference in the lives of queer and trans youth. So this is just the day to wear pink, spark some conversations, and inspire acceptance.

Get ready to celebrate International Day of Pink!

International Day of Pink Timeline


Stonewall Riots take place 

A riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York City becomes a turning point in the movement for gay rights in the United States.[1]


First Gay Pride March in New York 

In honor of the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots the previous year, the first Gay Pride March in New York History takes place on June 28.[2]


Harvey Milk makes history 

As the first openly gay elected official in California, Harvey Milk is elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.[3]


First International Day of Pink is observed 

Students David Shepherd and Travis Price see a student being bullied for wearing a pink t-shirt in Nova Scotia, Canada. So they get their fellow students to all wear pink shirts the next day.[4]


LGBTQ Rights are protected for employees

The US Supreme Court makes an historic decision in ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex.[5]

How to Celebrate International Day of Pink

You can enjoy observing and celebrating International Day of Pink in a variety of ways, including ideas like these:

Wear a Pink Shirt for the Day

Wearing a pink shirt means more than just a one-day thing, of course! Because it stands as a commitment to allyship that spans the rest of the year through. It’s true that wearing a pink shirt on April 11th is an important first step, though. It shows that people stand together with those who have been bullied, especially with those who have been bullied or harassed in school for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Get Educated About Bullying

One of the best ways to be supportive of International Day of Pink is to get educated about what bullying is, how to prevent it or what to do if it does happen. Some valuable information can be gained through the Stop Bullying website.

Attend an International Day of Pink Event

Those who are interested in celebrating the International Day of Pink may want to consider joining in with a community event in honor of the day. In fact, many events will be happening all weekend or even all week long in some communities, not just on the day!

Different events to participate in might include flash mobs, comedy shows, fundraisers, educational lectures and fun runs and so much more! Other resources available on the Day of Pink website include pins, buttons and much more.

Get an International Day of Pink Tool Kit

If you want to host an event or show your support for International Day of Pink, you can visit the official Day of Pink website (in English or French) to get access to a toolkit that will help you connect. T-shirts can be ordered from the site. Plus, get virtual stickers and GIFS to add to social media content, as well as supportive backgrounds that can be used for video calls. And the printable posters are absolutely adorable as well!

Make an Anti-Bullying Donation

One great way to make a difference in the International Day of Pink cause is to make a donation to charities that help provide support to the anti-bullying cause. Here are some important anti-bullying charities that might be able to use some support:

  • STOMP Out Bullying. The leading anti-bullying non-profit organization in the United States, it’s dedicated to making a culture change among kids and teens.
  • The Trevor Project. Offering counseling help to teens who identify as LGBTQ in the US.
  • Kind Campaign. This non profit organization, along with documentaries, started in 2009 when college students wanted to help others who were bullied.

Become an Ally for Anti-Bullying

Many people don’t think of the fact that the word ally is not only a noun, but it is also a verb. To ally oneself with someone is to be listening and learning about how to care and support people from different backgrounds or places. It is essential to work year-round to stand up not just for others, but with them.

It is only with this year-round commitment that the human race can make real progress towards eliminating bullying and discrimination in all communities. For instance, if you see someone in your community being bullied, whether that’s the schoolyard or the office, it’s time to step up and say something.

Only by being active and continuing the discussion about bullying can anyone hope to put an end to this harmful practice and help make the world a safer place for everyone in it.

International Day of Pink FAQs

What is International Day of Pink?

International Day of Pink is a day when people wear pink shirts to represent support for anti-bullying efforts in schools.[1]

When is International Day of Pink?

International Day of Pink is observed each year on April 13.[2]

What is the International Day of Pink history?

This day started in 2007 when two boys in Canada observed another boy being bullied for wearing a pink shirt, so they organized a campaign for the whole school to wear pink shirts the next day.[3]

What is the purpose of Pink Shirt Day?

Sometimes International Day of Pink is also referred to as Pink Shirt Day and its purpose is related to anti-bullying in schools.[4]

What are International Day of Pink activities?

Each year the activities for Day of Pink change, however people usually wear pink shirts, listen to lectures, participate in anti-bullying activities and attend events in support of LGBTQ.[5]

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