Wear it purple (http://wearitpurple.org) is all about telling young people that they have the right to be proud of who they are. On their website it says "Wear it Purple exists in order to support sexuality and gender diverse (rainbow) young people at risk. Run by students, we aim to stop the ignorance, bullying and suicides." They are based in NSW however they are gaining popularity around the country and a number of people around the world have started to notice the group.
Wear It Purple came to existence in late 2010 as a tragic circumstance made it clear that things needed to change for LGBTIQ kids. In late September an 18 year old male in New Jersey took his life due to being 'outed' as being gay by his roommate who video streamed footage of his sexual encounter with another man on the internet without his knowledge. After this incident was highly reported on, numerous other stories of teenagers taking their lives due to bullying and homophobia were brought to light. Ellen Degeneres then made a public statement on her talk show about the incidents:
"Something must be done. This month alone, there has been a shocking number of news stories about teens who have been teased and bullied and then committed suicide; like 13-year-old Seth Walsh in Tehachapi, California; Asher Brown, 13, of Cypress, Texas; and 15-year-old Billy Lucas in Greensberg, Indiana. This needs to be a wake-up call to everyone: teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing."
Katherine Hudson and Scott Williams came up with an idea: for one day, they would encourage people everywhere to “wear it purple” in order to raise awareness about homophobic bullying and youth suicide. They wished for WIP to be a world-wide student led movement that annually expresses support and awareness to potentially save thousands of lives and change countless minds.
The Wear It Purple Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wearitpurple) is always posting inspirational photos and quotes that bring hope to all who follow the page's activity. However the biggest activity of the organisation is Wear It Purple Day where everyone in schools, workplaces and the community are encouraged to wear purple for a day to show their support for students all over the world. Wear It Purple has also had a stall at Fair Day (which I volunteered my time at this year) which is helping build its reputation. This year we sold t-shirts and water bottles, had a lolly guessing competition, handed out flyers about WIP and made a few new friends. They have also been able to secure a place in the annual Sydney Mardi Gras parade for the last three years. I have marched with them all three times and loved every single moment of it! Better than Christmas!
From now on, Wear it Purple day will be the last Friday in August so this year - AUGUST 30! You can pop it in your diary for years to come.
Get your school, uni workplace and friends involved and let everyone know how proud you are to be who you are and WEAR IT PURPLE!