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Inclusion looks good on everyone: Anti-bullying shirts support Kelowna activism

Advocacy Canada says that wearing pink shirts is not just a fashion statement, it also shows support for marginilized people
‘You Belong’ shirts are being sold for Pink Shirt Day to support the work and activism done by Advocacy Canada. (Advocacy Canada/Submitted)

A Kelowna-based queer advocacy organization wants people to know that the colour pink looks good on everyone on Anti-Bullying Day.

Advocacy Canada has launched a new shirt that inspires inclusion and celebrates diversity ahead of international Anti-Bullying Day, also known as Pink Shirt Day, on Feb. 28.

Proceeds from the “You Belong” shirts, will be used to support the activism and educational work that Advocacy Canada provides to the community.

“The pink shirts are not just a fashion statement but a powerful symbol of support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community on Pink Shirt Day,” said Wilbur Turner, the founder and president of Advocacy Canada.

The shirts were designed by Sarah Jones, an Indigenous and queer artist and are adorned with the nsyilxcen phrase kʷu yʕayʕát kʷuʔ čn̓k̓ʷɬn̓xiʔm̓ which translates to we all join in together / we are all part of it together.

The origins of Pink Shirt Day can be traced back to an act of bravery and kindness in Nova Scotia in 2007. According to the Pink Shirt Day website, a Grade 9 student was new to the local highschool when he wore a pink shirt to school, spurring an onslaught bullying from his classmates.

After witnessing the bullying, two upperclassmen decided to take a stand against the harassment. The teens purchased bags full of pink shirts and the next day they distributed the shirts to boys at school. According to the Pink Shirt Day website, the bullies never bothered the new kid again.

Since then, the idea of wearing pink shirts on Feb. 28, to stand against bullying has spread around the world.

“The ‘You Belong’ shirts embody the spirit of Pink Shirt Day, sending a resounding message that everyone is valued, accepted, and deserving of respect,” said Turner.

Funds raised by the sales of the ‘You Belong’ shirts will be used by Advocacy Canada to continue to develop educational programs and host events that combat disinformation and anti-queer discrimination, said Turner.

To purchase your “You Belong” shirt, visit the Advocacy Canada website.

Also on Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 28), BGC Okanagan will be hosting a fundraising breakfast that all members of the community are invited to join. The event will feature a tasty buffet and a guest speaker. Funds from the breakfast will be used to secure safe spaces where BGC can work to provide opportunities and support to children and youth in the Okanagan.

For more information and to buy tickets to the breakfast visit

READ MORE: Kelowna group shows 2SLGBTQIA+ folks they belong, despite travel advisories, hate

READ MORE: Central Okanagan Indigenous youth celebrate their culture

Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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