Wear it Purple has introduced presentations and workshops that aim to provide a platform for schools to increase awareness about sexuality and gender diversity and reduce stigma, stereotypes and bullying behaviours.
The education program has been launched in the lead-up to the fourth annual Wear it Purple Day on August 30. The day is designed to help schools build environments that are safe, inclusive and supportive of every student, irrespective of their sexuality or gender identity. Wear it Purple Day is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our schools’ communities and to foster environments that embody this.
In comparison to their peers, rainbow students — students of diverse sexuality and/or gender identity — face a variety of challenges to their mental health, connectedness and academic outcomes. Rainbow young people often feel isolated and different from their peers, fearing bullying, rejection or harassment based on their actual or perceived sexuality and gender identity. Furthermore, unintentional cultures exist in schools that make these students feel that there is something wrong with them, perpetuating insecurity over their identity.
All students deserve to feel safe, valued and respected in our schools. Wear it Purple Day is an opportunity for the school community to openly demonstrate their support of rainbow young people. It is an opportunity to affirm to rainbow students that they are not inferior to their peers, but are respected, celebrated and supported by their schools. It is an opportunity to show rainbow students that their sexuality or gender identity has no influence on their place in this school.
Schools can register for Wear It Purple Day at wearitpurple.org/wear-it-purple-day.
Jayde Ellis is an executive officer at Wear it Purple.