Friday 20 May is Pink Shirt Day; an annual stand against bullying and fight against discrimination.
Over 300 individuals, schools, community groups, universities, businesses and workplaces are set to turn Aotearoa pink and combat bullying – a record number for the campaign.
Today in New Zealand, young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex experience high rates of bullying, particularly at school. By donning a pink shirt this Friday, you can raise awareness about the prevalence of bullying in New Zealand society and help to stand up against it.
Pink Shirt Day is led by the Mental Health Foundation with support from The Peace Foundation, RainbowYOUTH, InsideOUT, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association, Youthline and Family Works and has become a notable and important aspect of supporting the GLBT community.
Rainbow Youth Executive Director Duncan Matthews says, “We hope that through education and campaigns like Pink Shirt Day our queer and gender diverse people can feel safer and more secure in all environments.”
Mental Health Foundation spokesperson, Moira Clunie says bullying is far too common in New Zealand and has significant and ongoing impacts on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“We know that students who are bullied are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety and avoid going to school. In the workplace, bullying harms workers’ health, wellbeing and ability to do their job,” Ms Clunie says.
“Pink Shirt Day shines a light on these serious issues and mobilises the community.”
Popular children’s entertainer and every 90’s kids honorary aunt, Suzy Cato, has also stood up in support of Pink Shirt Day and the GLBT community. “Pink Shirt Day is about showing a united front, showing strength and showing support for each other, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or cultural background.”
Images | Pinkshirtday.org.nz