International Day of Pink is an opportunity to renew our commitment to diversity and inclusion by combatting all forms of discrimination that fuel bullying and violence, which many LGBTQ2 youth continue to face. By wearing a pink shirt on this day, we stand in solidary with LGBTQ2 communities in Canada and everywhere, as we continue to promote an equitable society where everyone is free to be their true authentic self.
This day celebrates the strength and resilience of LGBTQ2 individuals and shines a light on the violence, bullying, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that many, including youth, face daily. Despite these ongoing challenges, there is hope as we continue to make progress in breaking down barriers and making strides towards building safer and consciously more inclusive schools and communities in which everyone has equitable opportunities.
Fourteen years ago, students at a high school in Nova Scotia saw their classmate being bullied for wearing a pink shirt and took action. They took a step towards denouncing discrimination when they stood together in solidarity and wore pink shirts to support their classmate, an act that resonated across Canada and around the world. We can learn from their brave example by coming together, especially during the pandemic, and standing up for what is right while challenging social norms to create meaningful change and inclusion.
As Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Government of Canada, I encourage everyone from coast to coast to coast to wear a pink shirt today and learn what the government is doing to promote equity for LGBTQ2 communities. Visit the LGBTQ2 Secretariat website and join the conversation by using #FreeToBeMe and #VirtualDayofPink. Keep well and safe.