Bullying | Canada | Fashion Men | News | Nova Scotia

Students Stand Up in Pink Solidarity for Bullied Classmate


How often does this happen?

When a freshman student showed up for the first day of class at Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge, Nova Scotia wearing a pink shirt, he was set upon by a group of up to 10 students who called him gay and threatened to assault him.

CkrhsThe next day the bullies didn't have a chance to repeat their actions. David Shepherd and Travis Price (above), two seniors who had witnessed the incident, showed up to school with 75 pink tank tops for students to wear as well as a pink basketball and material to make pink headbands and armbands, according to the Chronicle Herald. Shepard and Price handed the shirts out before the beginning of class.

Said Price: "The bullies got angry. One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We’re glad we got the response we wanted. [The bullies] "keep giving us dirty looks, but we know we have the support of the whole student body. Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds."

According to the Herald, "[Shepard] said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality. He told the bully that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone. 'Something like the colour of your shirt or pants, that’s ridiculous,' he said. 'Our intention was to stand up for this kid so he doesn’t get picked on...It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something.'"

According to Shepard, when the bullied kid saw the group of kids in the pink shirts, "he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off his shoulder."

Are you listening GLSEN? Give these kids a medal!

'I've Stood Around Too Long' [chronicle herald]

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  1. How refreshing is it to know, that even in this day and age, given the opportunity, people WILL stand up and do the right thing? There's hope fr the next generation after all, no matter what music they listen to.

    I suppose in some parallel universe, Shepard and Price would be guests on Oprah; in our universe, though, I guess she must be busy with other things.

    Posted by: circuitmouse | Sep 13, 2007 5:56:04 PM

  2. Wow! Some young folks (gay and straight)are so courageous. It gives hope to even bitter old queens(comme moi). But what do you expect? They're Canadians. There's civilized folks up there. Down here we got Oscar.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 13, 2007 5:59:42 PM

  3. The bullies were THROWING CHAIRS because they had no single target to pick on?

    Their parents must be so proud.

    Posted by: Jake | Sep 13, 2007 6:11:44 PM


    Posted by: Chux | Sep 13, 2007 6:12:03 PM

  5. It's pretty cool to read stories like these. It still makes me wonder, what do teachers do in this kind of situations? Where are they?

    Posted by: Ivan | Sep 13, 2007 6:15:24 PM

  6. Canadian or not, I emailed the Oprah show about it.


    Posted by: Dan B | Sep 13, 2007 6:23:45 PM

  7. It may have happened in Canada because gay and lesbian youth feel more empowered there, but the boldness and clarity of gay and lesbian youth and their friends is becoming less of a rarity all the time. It’s characteristic of the emerging GLBT youth movement that US High school students bash back at antigay warmongers, that Australian youth as young as 10 years old self-confidently come out, and that a virile gay and lesbian youth culture is bubbling to the surface all over the world.

    It ‘s very much like the vast changes that took place during the youth radicalization of the 1960's and 70's. Young GI's 'in country' and in the US joined millions of other youth in a massive, militant and ultimately successful drive to defeat the Democrat/Republican Party’s LBJ and Nixon and their unlawful war in Vietnam.
    It also help sparked the development our own movement and the fight for women’s equality and found a natural ally in the radicalization of African Americans and Latinos.
    It's far too early to gauge the depth of the current radicalization of gay and lesbian youth but all the signs look like it’s going to shake up politics spectacularly. Old Farts (of all ages) Beware.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Sep 13, 2007 6:33:13 PM

  8. This is such a great story; I got all teary-eyed at the compassion of those athletes... I hope you are correct, Bill, in positing this as part of a widespread, global evolution of consciousness... What a wonderful world it would be...

    Posted by: kile Ozier | Sep 13, 2007 6:38:50 PM

  9. That's SO COOL! Thanks, David Shepherd and Travis Price!

    Posted by: peterparker | Sep 13, 2007 6:48:50 PM

  10. I am SO impressed by these kids taking such a stand. They seriously ROCK!

    Though their actions speak well for some Canadian youth, let's not forget that the bullies were Canadians too. They are living proof that, even in Canada, homophobia and bullying is alive and well.

    Posted by: Zeke | Sep 13, 2007 6:50:58 PM

  11. When I was in grade school it was, "wearing green on Thursdays means you're a queer." Think about it: you were reminded of homohatred on a weekly basis throughout the school year.

    So this is great and reminds me of Cyndi Lauper's blood-inspiring a capella performance of these classic lyrics at Equality Forum in 2005:

    "Come gather 'round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You'll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin'
    Then you better start swimmin'
    Or you'll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don't stand in the doorway
    Don't block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There's a battle outside
    And it is ragin'.
    It'll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don't criticize
    What you can't understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin'.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can't lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin'."

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Sep 13, 2007 6:56:05 PM

  12. WOW! My hat is off to David Shepherd, Travis Price and William Sleaster. You are true heros in my heart.

    Posted by: Juan | Sep 13, 2007 7:08:06 PM

  13. Move over, Derrick, I'm an old queen too. You crack me up, honey. No really, this story is inspiring. I enjoyed all the comments. To answer Ivan's question, where are the teachers? They must be in the teacher's lounge doing whatever they do to relax. They are most certainly not where they should be and that is supervising the little darlings. And you're right Dan, somebody like Oprah should do this story. Kisses to all!

    Posted by: the queen | Sep 13, 2007 7:40:26 PM

  14. I think that's great. More students should get involved like that...especially those from the jock clique. Hopefully each younger generation will progressively get more open-minded.

    I haven't been out of school that long, but didn't really have much of a problem (thankfully), and it could have gone down so bad, since I could never hide being outrageously gay. Thank goodness the (very hot) captain of the football team somehow took a very keen interest in me & wanted to be my best friend (or lover? I was totally clueless then) and took up for me (thus ensuring my spot with the cool kids....that plus maybe my drug connections and non-stop shopping sprees could have helped a wee bit)

    The bullies are most likely closet-cases anyway. Homophobes are always the ones with unresolved issues. That's so psychology 101.

    Posted by: Jordan | Sep 13, 2007 8:52:34 PM

  15. Wow! Bravo for these kids standing up for their classmate. Brings back memories for me...

    I remember committing the then-terrible faux-pas of wearing navy shorts to the first day of jr. high school and I'm not sure I ever lived that down.

    When I was a grade school kid I definitely had my own sense of style, wearing purple pants and not understanding why other boys snickered.

    Posted by: Tom Rielly | Sep 13, 2007 8:56:51 PM

  16. A wonderful story. I wonder if it would be replicated in the USA. Sadly, I'm not optimistic.

    Posted by: Brett | Sep 13, 2007 9:19:05 PM

  17. This is the kind of heroism that needs to happen everywhere! Great job and thanks for lifting my spirits

    Posted by: magix | Sep 13, 2007 11:07:42 PM

  18. Wow, what a wonderful story!

    I must also say - what a great story to unite all the commenters on this site. So often this area is full of hatred and bitterness, yet here we have overwhelmingly unanimous support.
    Hey homos, take a lead from David and Travis and show some love! Thanks to Andy for sharing this. I am so glad you're in my life. I Love You!

    Posted by: dave g | Sep 13, 2007 11:23:04 PM

  19. Wow, what a wonderful story!

    I must also say - what a great story to unite all the commenters on this site. So often this area is full of hatred and bitterness, yet here we have overwhelmingly unanimous support.
    Hey homos, take a lead from David and Travis and show some love! Thanks to Andy for sharing this. I am so glad you're in my life. I Love You!

    Posted by: dave g | Sep 13, 2007 11:23:47 PM

  20. Agreed, Magix. I can't stop smiling.

    Posted by: dattexas | Sep 13, 2007 11:23:47 PM

  21. I wonder where they got the shirts.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Sep 13, 2007 11:34:38 PM

  22. wait..i thought pink was a str8 color to wear now? arent we gays onto purple and lime green? lol

    Posted by: Dusty | Sep 14, 2007 12:17:43 AM

  23. contrast the three high-school men (these two and william sleaster) with the little college boy from LSU. they make my heart glad.

    Posted by: nic | Sep 14, 2007 12:45:18 AM

  24. Fantastic stuff...it's so great that these young people had the insight and compassion to do something positive. These kinds of acts lessen the power of hoodlums, and may in fact make them realize how ridiculous their own actions were. It's an inspiring story, and so refreshing to have some good news for a change..it's a cruel world, but young people like Shepard & Price show all of us what can happen when people fight for the rights of others....Hats off to both of you and to all those who participated in the cause...

    Posted by: Christina | Sep 14, 2007 12:45:35 AM

  25. "wait..i thought pink was a str8 color to wear now? arent we gays onto purple and lime green? lol"

    I am what you would refer to as str8 and have been wearing pink shirts my entire life. Yes, I have had ignorant morons try to bust my balls on more than one occassion, it's been fun actually. However, you would not catch me wearing a purple or lime green shirt, gay, str8 or DEAD. Echhhggghhhh....! Might as well wear burgundy... ;-)


    Posted by: ECONOMISTA NON GRATA | Sep 14, 2007 12:50:27 AM

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