Today is Wear It Purple Day, an event that sees thousands of schools, community organisations, universities and workplaces hold events in support of our community’s LGBTQIA+ youth and the issues they face. This year’s theme is: ‘Still me, still human’.
The celebration is to show the LGBTQIA+ youth that we as a community believe they have the right to be proud of who they are and who they are becoming.
Wear it Purple Day is now an international movement of expression, celebration and support. By wearing purple on the last Friday of August, you demonstrate to hundreds of thousands of rainbow young people across Australia that you see them, you support them, and you respect them.
This year the theme’s message is that people tend to focus on labels, the news story, the target or data and forget that the LGBTQIA+ are human.
The 2022 theme encapsulates the message of humanity, honesty, integrity and authenticity when discussing all diverse identities within the LGBTQIA+ community, who are your hospitality workers, your retail staff, your lawyers, your financial advisors, your teachers and, most importantly, your youth.
We are human
This event reassures the LGBTQIA+ people that the world is changing for the better to embrace a variety of diverse individuals and, over time, remove dehumanising stigmas surrounding LGBTQIA+ communities.
This year’s theme is very important.
As a broader community, LGBTQIA+ people know the feeling and have a lived understanding of the impact of discrimination.
Watching debates over Religious Discrimination Bill, The Marriage Plebiscite and the rhetoric chosen by news organisations or politicians on the rights of Trans and our Gender Diverse (to list just a few) has had huge negative impacts on health, wellbeing and safety of the community.
It’s not easy being queer
The ever-increasing public attack on rights is driving up the already staggering statistics of poor mental health and suicide rates in our community.
The young LGBTQIA+ people in the Wear It Purple Youth Action Council (YAC) and broader youth networks say that they face the fear of being rejected or discriminated against. Statistics show that 75 per cent of LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia are bullied owing to their identity, 80 per cent of this occurring in our Australian Schools, resulting in LGBTQIA+ youth being 12 times more likely to experience depression and 5 times more likely to experience anxiety. It is worse if we look at intersections like regional, rural, our First Nations and our Trans and Gender diverse kids.
Horrendously, 1 in 4 LGBTQIA+ young people has attempted suicide.
Incoming President – Wear it Purple Australia, Lara Husselbee, says that being queer and visible is a privilege not a lot of people have. ‘For our youth, one of the many factors impacting this is their safety and the role models they have around them.
‘People who are confident to carry courageous conversations, to ask questions, to learn, to create space for youth voices and to actively listen. So often, we can be caught up in the data or the words in the messages we are trying to deliver, resulting in the fact we are forgetting we are talking about people.
‘That’s why I am so proud of our Youth Action Council, for once again reminding us of the importance of empathy and that we are talking about people’s lives. This year’s theme, Still me, still human, I believe, is our most powerful yet.’