UPDATE: The parade has a new starting point. Attendees will now be meeting at the nearby Mission Raceway Park, with the overflow area leading to the Junction Plaza.
Outraged by the in-school assault of a transgender student by two fellow Grade 8s, many in Mission are rallying behind the victim to take a stand against bullying.
On Sunday, Jan. 17, vehicles decorated in pink, donning the symbolism of Pink Shirt Day, will cruise along Mission’s waterfront in a line of solidarity, where the student will be watching with their family.
“We are organizing a supportive rally to fight against bullying, to show that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable in this day and age,” said Clark Jahn, one of the organizers of Mission’s 4×4 Christmas fleet.
“It’s time to show [them] acceptance and compassion. It’s OK to be different.”
The pink parade will commence at 3 p.m., but attending persons should arrive 30 minutes before in front of the Cineplex Theatre in the Junction Plaza (32555 London Ave).
From there the parade will slowly drive singlefile through a gravel road running through the Braich Family’s waterfront property. An open box will sit near the end for attendees to drop letters of support.
Everyone is encouraged to wear rainbow or pink shirts, and make posters to message support of the teen. Posters should be held out left side of the vehicle where the family will be viewing the parade.
The student identifies as non binary, and therefore does not identify by gender, the organizers said, so the letters and notes should be mindful of this.
The parade will strictly be a drive-by affair, as the event will be following proper COVID-19-safety protocols.
Aj Gopinath, one of the organizers, said they are looking for approximately 20 volunteers to help them set up at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
“Let’s turn something negative into something Positive and show the bullies we don’t stand for their actions,” Gopinath said.