Wear It Purple Day: our queer counsellor explains why it’s so important

Friday 28 August is Wear It Purple Day. Not sure what it’s all about? We asked La Trobe queer counsellor Rebecca Gomo to explain the significance of the occasion and to let us know how we can lend support this very important cause.

On the 28 August, 2020, we will celebrate 10 years of Wear It Purple Day, an annual LGBTIQA+ awareness day especially for young people.

This day was founded in response to stories from around the world about the effects of bullying and harassment towards sex-, sexuality- and gender-diverse young people.

The majority of LGBTIQA+ young people in Australia still experience bullying because of their identity, contributing to the significantly higher rates of depression and anxiety among this population.

Over the years, Wear It Purple Day has shifted from a day solely focused on risk prevention, to a day of celebration for rainbow youth and diversity within our community. Supporters of the day wear purple to celebrate and support members of the LGTBIQA+ community, while also discouraging discriminating behaviours in schools, universities, workplaces and in the broader community.

COVID-19 means the way we in Victoria participate in Wear it Purple Day will be a bit different this year. Luckily, Wear it Purple have put some great suggestions on their website about how individuals, schools, universities and workplaces can participate from home.

We also have a great example from La Trobe Universities’ Queer on Campus group who put together a photo series of queer allies and their messages from one of our campus residences – check it out below!

The theme of Wear It Purple Day 2020, “We Are the Change”, feels particularly relevant at a time when the impact of individual action on community wellbeing has never been clearer. Remember that your participation on the day, however small, can have a big impact in creating a safer and more accepting world for the LGBTIQA+ community.   

So come 28 August (that’s this Friday, chuck on a purple shirt for your zoom class and be the change.

Or, how about adding a little bit more purple to your online class and downloading this Wear It Purple Day Zoom background, which is sure to make queer classmates feel safe and supported? We’ve uploaded the image below as well, if you’d like to click and save.

If seek support from QLife, a LGBTIQA+ specific phone and web-based peer support and referral service, on 1800 184 527 or at their website.

You can also phone Lifeline 24 hours a day on 13 1114.

You can also connect with the LBTIQA+ specific counselling support and group programs offered by the La Trobe University Counselling Service.  

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger contact 000.