Wear it Purple!
More than 75 schools, 45 workplaces and 16 tertiary bodies across Australia are wearing it purple today to show their support for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people. Participation will include pledges to not say “that’s so gay”, purple ‘no uniform’ days and purple-themed morning teas.
Established in 2010 by two young Australians, in response to a number of suicides as the result of bullying based on sexuality and gender identity, Wear it Purple Day has evolved into a celebration of sexuality and diversity.
This year, the young organisers are focusing attention on language as a restriction to the safety of these young people.
Wear it Purple Spokesperson, Jayde Ellis, stresses “words like ‘gay’, ‘fag’ and ‘homo’ are often thrown around in casual conversation to connote negativity. We hear these words tossed around in schools, public transport and on social media without realising who might hear them, or the impact on a young persons’ perception of themselves.
They send a subconscious message of negativity, which can be detrimental. You hear ‘gay’ instead of ‘undesired’, and you assume the person who’s said it means that being gay is terrible. When so many of these young people are bullied and face rejection from families, friends and the community at large, the last thing they need is this continual internal discrimination.”
The students are calling on the community at large to support the initiative and commit to not use such language in a negative way. The organisers are aiming for 50,000 people to take the online pledge on www.wearitpurple.org and show rainbow young people everywhere that they are not alone and can be proud of who they are.