We are very excited to share the news that Tara has been appointed as Vice Principal of New College, for a three year term (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023). Tara has been teaching a course on Equity, Activism and Education in Equity Studies at New College for 7 years and will move into her new role as Vice Principal in July. Congratulations Tara!
International Day of Pink was created in 2007 after two high school students in Nova Scotia wore a pink shirt in solidarity with a student who was bullied for wearing pink. It has since spawned into an international day for supporting for LGBTQ+ youth in schools. Pink Day is often framed in schools as combating bullying and gender stereotypes, and more broadly homophobia.
Our work on the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project has shown both the potential benefits and neglect that initiatives like Pink Day can create. Our families have talked about posters and singular days that promote equality, diversity and inclusivity often do very little to challenge the compulsory nature of cis-heteronormativity in schools (Victoria, Garrett) While these days can also create a sense community and solidarity in school settings, it also relies on students to take action and call out violence and prejudice, rather than changing school norms, policies and culture.
We think, that part of celebrating and observing International Day of Pink every year needs to involve a bigger discussion about the school culture, how educators are critically engaging their students in conversations about LGBTQ identities throughout the year, while focusing less on the “phobias” associated with doing anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia work. We need to keep challenging discrimination, violence and oppression, while also celebrating, uplifting and empowering LGBTQ+ youth and families.
How can you take up the goal of International Day of Pink throughout the year? What are some ways you can begin to talk about more than homophobia in schools? How you start changing the culture of the school you are in?