My name is Joshua Dias and I am the National Officer of Reproductive and Sexual Health with the CFMS; the national body that represents over 7500 medical students at 14 medical schools across Canada. I am proud to have supported the Day of Pink campaign over the past couple years and even more excited to have recently had the opportunity to share this project with my global colleagues.
In March, I attended the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) conference in Baltimore, MD. Through this opportunity, I learned about the many challenges facing the LGBTQ community around the world. However despite these adversities, medical students are front and center to advocate for rights and laws – and more importantly to change social attitudes. Last year, the IFMSA passed a policy statement against LGBTQ discrimination which called upon government and social changes. This year, we went further through passing policy statements on marriage equality as well as comprehensive sexuality education (which includes gender and sexual diversity education) for youth.
In addition to these broad initiatives, medical student organizations in most countries were taking on national and local projects to fight gender and sexual diversity discrimination. This is where I had the opportunity to discuss the Canadian born initiative, The Day of Pink, with over 100 medical students from across the globe. Seventy-five of these individuals provided me their email in order to learn more about the campaign and how to start it up in their own country. The feedback I received was extremely positive – most individuals were very impressed by its simplicity but even more by the effectiveness of the visual impact of large groups wearing the color pink.
After a week-long conference, I returned back to Canada more motivated to continue advocating for diversity and fighting bullying and discrimination. I look forward to proudly wearing pink on April 10 2013 – will you join me?
National Officer of Reproductive and Sexual Health
Canadian Federation of Medical Students