Rick Mercer wants you to join him in wearing pink tomorrow

Tomorrow I will wear pink.  Full disclosure, I don’t usually wear pink, I’m a black and white guy and even blue jeans are a stretch.  That said I am happy to make the exception if it means stating loud and clear that bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia in schools and communities across Canada must end.

We all know that bullying can be fatal.  We’ve heard the tragic tales of kids like Jamie Hubley and Amanda Todd who ended their lives after being subjected to bullying at school.  We hate to admit it but we know that there are more kids out there today who are suffering in silence.

The Day of Pink is an important solution to this problem not only because it helps to raise awareness but because of where the entire idea came from.

When students in Nova Scotia saw a younger student being harassed because he was wearing pink, they decided to do something. They took it upon themselves to buy every pink shirt in town and they did it on their own dime.  The next day they handed these shirts out at school. Suddenly the bullies who were making this young man’s life miserable were surrounded by students in pink. They learned in no uncertain terms that the vast majority of kids were not going to accept their behavior. Message sent. To me, the kindness, courage, compassion and creativity exhibited by this gesture is what being Canadian is all about.

Those kids stood up for someone who wasn’t in a position to stand up for himself. They could not have any idea what they started. This past year 8.1 million kids around the world wore pink on the International Day of Pink to send the same message. The Day of Pink, like the zipper, is a Canadian success story. Someone should get these kids the Order of Canada.

Kudos to Jer’s Vision, an incredible organization of young people, for working so hard to make the Day of Pink and international success story. I’m proud to support them and I look to them for solutions. They are young, I am not, and they know what’s going on in Canadian schools. Thankfully I don’t. I will take their lead. They want me to wear pink? I’m in.

So please folks wear pink tomorrow, or at the very least, throw a red sock in your white laundry tonight.

-Rick Mercer