Wear It Purple Day – Friday 28 August 2020 – is about raising awareness for LGBTIQA+ youth mental health, and this year’s theme is ‘we are the change.’
LGBTIQA+ youth have significantly higher rates of mental health issues, in large part because of by the stress cased by bullying, discrinimation and fear of coming out.
Showing young people it’s ok to come out, and to your colleagues that it’s ok for them or their kids to come out, makes the world a kinder, safer place to be.
By chucking on a purple shirt, pulling up your purple socks, or literally dyeing your leg hair purple, you are visibly showing your support for LGBTQ+ youth and reminding young people they are loved, accepted and have the right to be proud of who they are.
Whether you’re celebrating in person or online this year, here are four important reasons why you should wear it purple!
In Australia, 11.2% of young people identify as attracted to the same sex. That is 110 people in a school of 1000, or 2 in a group of 20. Despite this big number, discrimination and harassment still occurs against people who are, or even appear as, LGBTIQA+ members.
Wear It Purple Day, offers the opportunity for education around sexuality and gender diversity, as well as a way to break harmful stereotypes surrounding the LGBTIQA+community. We have the chance to spotlight how LGBTIQA+ people are normal human beings, who exist in all spaces. With greater awareness comes the creation of a safer, more accepting society.
A staggering 75% of LGBTIQA+ youth experience some form of discrimination due to the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity. Compared to the general population, LGBTIQA+ people are far more likely to have thoughts of suicide, or attempt suicide in their lifetime.
When you wear purple, you are sending a message to young rainbow people that you support them. Whether you wear purple in your school, university, workplace or in the community, you’re actively making a safe space where young people can feel empowered and are encouraged to be proud of who they are.
While we have taken huge strides in the direction of equality, we are still far from true freedom and acceptance. Horrible discrimination didn’t happen “a long time ago.” It was only 42 years ago when the 78ers marched down Sydney’s streets and created what we know today as Mardi Gras. In some countries people still face violence, torture, and even execution because of who they love, how they look or who they are.
Wear It Purple was founded in 2010 in response to young people taking their own lives after experiencing bullying and harassment. It is important to recognise our history, and even more important to continue awareness events. LGBTIQA+ people have the right to express themselves in public without fear.
A sense of belonging is something everyone needs. It is especially important for rainbow youth in the community. Too often young people don’t know how much support they have until they see events like these.
Wear It Purple Day allows us to celebrate our sexual and gender identities in public, brings people together, and keeps the discussion, personal story sharing and learning going. It is a great way to support the next generation of LGBTIQA+ youth.
So whether you’re part of the LGBTIQA+ community or an ally, join us on 28th August to celebrate Wear it Purple Day.
It’s the small things that can make all the difference to a young person.