Here’s something I didn’t realize had occurred this week: Wednesday, April 8 was the International Day of Pink. Launched in 2007, Day of Pink is a Canada-wide movement to raise awareness and unity to stop all forms of bullying, including homophobia and transphobia. The inspiration for Day of Pink was a 2007 incident at a secondary school in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, in which a gay student wearing a pink shirt was bullied. Two fellow students, both heterosexual, intervened and put an end to the incident, but they wanted to do more to prevent further bullying and decided to each buy a pink shirt. The next day, the duo came to school both wearing pink shirts, and brought more shirts to hand out to fellow students, all as a show of solidarity toward the bullied student and as a sign to help put an end to bullying, together. The incident and response inspired an organization then known as Jer’s Vision to spread the idea across Canada, and thus the Day of Pink was born: School students and administrators wear pink and/or hold special events on the second Wednesday as a sign of unity and a way to raise awareness against any form of bullying (and for whatever reason that bullying entails). Day of Pink isn’t just promoted on the local school level, as several Canadian celebrities and officials have lent their support to the movement.
Another Day of Pink supporter is the Toronto Police Service, and their story was originally spotted by yours truly on the Queerty.com website (TPS goes into detail here): Constable Luke Watson was part of a Day of Pink function at a Toronto area school alongside fellow TPS officers. While his colleagues wore pink shirts under their serge blue gear and safety vests, Constable Watson decided to dye his hair hot pink. Not only that, he got on social media and with the help of a colleague did a little bit of a dare:
Sure enough, Constable Watson’s plan worked perfectly: The above tweet surpassed the 1,000 retweet goal within two hours (6,113 as of this writing 3 days after the fact). It means that Constable Watson will keep this hair color pink for a little bit longer–at least 6 weeks if you follow the one-week-per-1000-retweets math, or another 51 days if a mention in this New York Daily News story is interpreted correctly.
Naturally, Constable Watson, his hair, and the cause he supports gained a lot of notice and support. What shouldn’t go unnoticed is TPS’ support of Day of Pink as a whole. At a time when local police in general have gotten bad press (at least here in the United States and including here in Madison), it’s nice to see a good story in which those in blue get behind a cause so meaningful to those who will need it: The youth of the world who shouldn’t face the harassment of their peers just because of who they are.
Oh, and if you want further proof that the Toronto Police’s involvement in Day of Pink doesn’t go unnoticed, check out the cruiser driven one of Constable Watson’s colleagues:
And for further proof that TPS did indeed don pink (and not just Constable Watson), check out this photo: