#GAYLYSTANDUP against bullying

by Bruce Hartley
Life Issues Columnist

Wearing pink has been something that I stayed away from as a young closeted gay. I spent many years steering clear of anything that would reveal the truth about me.

As a now 50-something proud gay man, I find my fear of pink ironic. Especially since I live openly gay in all aspects of my life along with being engaged to marry my soulmate Bill in 2019.

Since 2008, the last Friday of February and the third Friday of November are recognized as International STAND UP to Bullying Day.

Recognition began following a campaign started by Travis Price and David Shepherd who wore pink shirts to school in honor of a fellow student bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.

This year, STAND UP to Bullying Day is observed on February 23.

Schools, businesses and countless organizations have recognized this important day in more than 25 countries around the world since 2008.

I vow that I will wear pink to honor International STAND UP to Bullying Day. I challenge other senior LGBT+ folks to lead the way and wear pink shirts that day.

Here are some creative ideas on how you can demonstrate your support for International STAND UP to Bullying Day:

Search your closet for a pink shirt (try it on to make sure it fits!).

If you don’t have a pink shirt; take advantage of the Valentine’s Day holiday sales and purchase a pink shirt from your local retail store (or check your local thrift store).

For overachievers; create your STAND UP pink shirt design and have a shirt screen printed (online custom shirt websites can help). Order your shirt 7-10 days in advance to have it delivered in time.

Share your enthusiasm; let your friends, family and coworkers know about your “custom STAND UP shirt” and ask them to order shirts as well.

Visit your Human Resource department in early February, tell them about this day and ask them to help you promote the day at your business.

Show them this article to help educate them further. Ask them to create a “Pink Out” day and promote it companywide. Most HR departments won’t turn down a good idea to support diversity.

If you are active on social media, make some custom posts a few weeks ahead of February 23 to remind your online friends/followers about the day. Challenge your friends/followers to join you in wearing pink shirts on that day.

Use #GAYLYSTANDUP on your social media postings.

The Gayly. February 23, 2018. 10:00 a.m. CST.