Supporting our LGBTQIA+ youth on Wear It Purple Day
The last Friday in August every year is Wear It Purple Day. It’s a day for us to all stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ youth, celebrate their diversity and support them to live their lives as their authentic selves.
Now more than ever, we need to show our rainbow young people that we support them. The statistics tell a sobering story and show us how far we still have to go.
LGBTQIA+ youth experience bullying, poor mental health and attempt suicide at alarming rates
According to the Wear It Purple Youth Action Council, 75% of LGBTQIA+ youth are being bullied due to their identity with 80% of this occurring in our Australian Schools.
This is resulting in LGBTQIA+ youth being 12 times more likely to experience depression and 5 times more likely to experience anxiety. And those numbers get significantly worse when we factor in intersectionalities like CALD kids, young people from regional/rural areas, First Nations youth or trans and gender diverse kids.
And worst of all, 1 in 4 LGBTQIA+ young people have attempted suicide. That’s a shocking statistic that needs to change.
Shining a light and showing support for LGBTQIA+ youth
Wear It Purple Day events are held in schools, workplaces and community organisations every year to shed light on the impacts of bullying, celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity and support youth who identify as sexually and/or gender diverse.
On this year’s theme, the incoming President of Wear It Purple, Lara Husselbee said, “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”.
How BGF 'Wore It Purple'
At BGF, we celebrated with a BBQ in the park where all staff donned their purple clothes and for some of us, our purple nails! We wanted to share some personal messages of love and support to our LGBTQIA+ youth and shared this on our social media.
Our message: We see you. We stand with you. We respect you. And most of all, we celebrate you and all the colour, beauty and uniqueness you bring to the world.