Wear purple, build rainbows

Mel Smith

Wear It Purple has a simple message — “You have the right to be proud of who you are!” The student-led organisation believes everyone has the right to live and learn in a safe and supportive environment where diversity is valued and everyone feels included. They encourage schools to use Wear It Purple Day on Friday August 26 as an opportunity to make this commitment known to their school community.

Research shows that bullying and discrimination against rainbow young people (i.e. young people who are LGBTIQ or questioning) in schools has increased.

This can result in reduced participation at school, reduced wellbeing and poor health outcomes.

Wear It Purple Day can be used as a platform for conversations about inclusion, diversity and assist in addressing issues of discrimination and bullying.

It can also provide an opportunity to practise important social and emotional skills in order to develop a sense of shared responsibility for keeping classrooms and school communities respectful and inclusive for all members.

Wear It Purple Day is not just a celebration for high schools: an increasing number of primary schools are joining to mark the day.

Activities to celebrate Wear It Purple day may include:

  • Mufti Day (wearing purple!)
  • putting up posters and other printable promotional material that promotes diversity and acceptance of others (especially rainbow young people)
  • wearing Wear It Purple wristbands (provided free for registered schools)
  • showing the Wear it Purple video
  • setting up stalls (face-painting, purple bake sale, themed photo booth)
  • writing a pledge, creating a petition or creating a book with messages of support
  • including a reference to Wear It Purple Day on the school news board, school newsletter and/or school calendar
  • introducing curriculum resources that are inclusive of rainbow young people — this could include new LGBTIQ books in the school library with a Wear it Purple themed display, or teaching resources that have been developed to be used with the film, Gayby Baby.

Wear It Purple has many resources for schools, such posters and wristbands, as well as information on how to run a Wear It Purple Day.

Register to receive free resources and advice at the organisation’s website.