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Canadian Prime Minister takes stand against homophobic bullying for ‘Pink Shirt Day’

Nick Duffy February 25, 2016
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken a stand against homophobic bullying – donning a pink jumper for ‘Pink Shirt Day’.

The Canadian event was born in Nova Scotia in 2007, when gay schoolboy Jadrien Cota was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school.

In response, students at the school decided to distribute 50 pink shirts – and the event has since become an annual national phenomenon.

To mark the day this year, the country’s pro-LGBT Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among those to don a pink t-shirt alongside his colleagues.

In a video message, he says: “Hi everyone, I’m Justin Trudeau. I want to wish you a happy Pink Shirt Day.

“Pink Shirt Day started several years ago after a Nova Scotia high school student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The next day, many of his classmates showed up to school wearing pink shirts to stand up against bullying.

“‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ is simply not true – words do hurt, and bullying can leave long-lasting emotional and physical scars. You are not alone. You are supported. You are loved.

“We remember that our differences are a source of strength, not weakness, and that kindess is one size fits all. It takes all of us, speaking in one voice, to stand up to bullying together.

“Let’s embrace our differences and be open with one another. It’s about respect – it’s about being Canadian.”

Several members of Mr Trudeau’s historically diverse cabinet also took part – with Science minister Navdeep Bains donning a pink turban in place of his signature red one.

The PM’s wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau also posed in a shirt, writing: “It’s always a good time to be kind… to yourself and to others.”

Mr Trudeau recently confirmed he will attend this year’s Pride parade in Toronto – making him the first Canadian Prime Minister to do so.

The leader has attended Pride on a number of occasions while in opposition – but he will get to do so for the first time this summer, after his election last November.

Related topics: Americas, Canada

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