History

Pink Shirt Day in Aotearoa
Pink Shirt Day aims to reduce bullying in Aotearoa by celebrating diversity in all its forms and supporting workplaces, communities and schools to be safe, supportive, welcoming and inclusive of all people.

While all people can be the target of bullying, some groups or individuals experience more bullying than others. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other sexuality and gender diverse identities - also known as rainbow communities - experience higher levels of bullying. Pink Shirt Day started because people wanted to stop homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and this remains a strong focus of Pink Shirt Day in Aotearoa.

Origins of Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying after a new Year 10 student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink. These students bought dozens of pink shirts and distributed them to their classmates to wear the next day. The word got out online and hundreds of students showed up in pink, some from head-to-toe, to stand together against bullying. It has been celebrated in Aotearoa since 2009.

What do we mean by LGBTQIA+?

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual or other sexuality and gender diverse identities. It’s important to note the ‘+’ in this acronym acknowledges anyone that does not identify with these terms (Te Kete Ipurangi, 2018). We understand the language and definitions are constantly evolving. There are many different cultural understandings and terms for sexuality and gender diversity such as takatāpui, whakawāhine, and tangata ira tāne (Māori), hijra (Bengali), fa’afafine (Samoan), and fakaleiti (Tongan). 

Why reduce bullying?

Bullying can have serious and ongoing impacts on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Many studies show that people who are bullied are more likely to experience mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. As with any health condition, mental health problems can affect a person’s work and cause substantial costs to organisations (BusinessNZ, 2013). For workplaces, it’s their legal responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to manage risks to mental health and wellbeing just like they do any other health and safety risk (Wellplace.nz).

Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora
Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!
Supporters

Pink Shirt Day is led by the Mental Health Foundation with support from InsideOUT, the Peace Foundation, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA), Te Kaha O Te Rangatahi Indigenous Youth Hub, the Human Rights Commission, Bullying-Free NZ Week, Cook Islands Development Agency.
Mental Health Foundation The Peace Foundation InsideOUT Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Bullying-Free NZ Week the Human Rights Commission Te Kaha O Te Rangatahi Indigenous Youth Hub Cook Islands Development Agency
Major Sponsor
Cotton:On
Proud Sponsor
TBI Health
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