Family / Parenting

Pink Shirt Day fail

Glam pink shirt in the bathroom selfie. More dyke mom street cred.

Glam pink shirt in the bathroom selfie. More dyke mom street cred.

The school playground yesterday afternoon was dotted with more pink than usual, and that was when I realized that — once again — I’d completely forgotten about Pink Shirt Day.

April 10, apparently, was the Day of Pink, or, as it’s more succinctly known, “the international day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia and trans-phobia in schools and communities,” where everyone is invited to “celebrate diversity” by wearing the exact same thing: a pink shirt!

I jest. I think it’s a great idea, based on a great story: when two Nova Scotia teenagers saw a younger student being harassed because he was wearing pink, they bought out every pink shirt in town and handed them out at school. A sea of boys (and girls) in pink. What could be better?

I jest mainly because I’m a little sheepish about the fact that I constantly forget to wear the sole pink shirt I own or to dress my offspring in pink on this day. It’s a loss to my queer parent cred, I feel. And although both my boys went through a period of intense pink love, they’re pretty much over it now, each preferring to wear the same two striped rugby/soccer shirts ad nauseam. Isaac has a pink oxford button-down shirt that I could’ve pulled out, if I had remembered, but Rowan? Nada. I suppose I could have tied a pink hair elastic around his ponytail for today. Maybe that would stop some of the kids who tease him about having long hair from teasing him about it — a situation I might be slightly more worried about this I also didn’t hear reports from several parents that their sons also want long hair, “just like Rowan’s.”

“Oh,” I joked, lamely, to some of the other parents in the playground, “my kids don’t need to wear pink today — every day is the day to end bullying in our house.”

“I thought it was in February,” one of my friends said.

“Me too,” said another. “Or sometime in May?”

But the truth of the matter is, that it seems as though every day is the day to end bullying: do a quick Google search and you’ll see: May 1 is Belonging: National Day to End Bullying in Canada by the Boys and Girls Club; on April 19, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), takes a stand against homophobic bullying with its Day of Silence; May 1 will mark Stand 4 Change Day, and historic rallying point for the anti-bullying movement. In fact, April is National Bullying Prevention Month. All month!

Maybe I will attempt to reestablish my queer mom street cred and bust out my pink shirt a day late anyway, suggest to Isaac that he put on that pink oxford shirt for preschool. Because the exact day really doesn’t matter, does it? Maybe what matters just as much is that our kids can wear whatever colors they’d like to, every day of the year.

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