In September of 2007, a boy in rural Nova Scotia wore a pink polo shirt to his first day at a new school. A group of bullies targeted him for that, called him a "fag" and threatened to beat him up. Two seniors at the school took exception to this, went out and bought 30 pink t-shirts and tank tops and then emailed their friends asking them to wear the shirts to school to make a statement. The news spread and more than 30 students showed up the next day wearing pink. The young boy was, as you would expect, thrilled. The bullies were silent. The story was picked up by the CBC and then went worldwide.
It's not really that easy to stop bullying but it is easy to make the point that you won't tolerate it. In Canada, the 3rd wednesday of February is Pink Shirt Day - making schools, streets and businesses look like the Barbie aisle in Toys R Us - and the sheer prevalence of the colour pink does make a powerful statement.
Pink Shirt Day has spread. Around the world International STAND UP to Bullying Day is going to be celebrated this year on Friday February 25th in 25 countries and you will see pink shirts by the thousands.
Inworld I found two groups working to stop bullying. OvercomeBullying.org has a presence as well as the Anti-Violence Campus. If you are dealing with bullying anywhere (school, work, online or even in SL) these organizations may be able to give you the help and support you need. You can also find many resources online or in your community. The important thing is not where you get the help - it's that you do.
I don't like bullies and I hope that I can always say I don't tolerate their behaviour (just because it's a friend who does it should not make it something you ignore). My wearing this shirt won't end bullying but it does remind me to stick to my principles. I hope on Friday the 25th you'll consider wearing pink to show your own conviction that bullying has no place in any version of our life.