This LGBTQIA+ Awareness Day was established in 2010 in response to the suicide of teenager Tyler Clementi and aims to show queer* teenagers that they are not alone. The idea originally comes from Australia, where Katherine Hudson and Scott Williams encouraged participants to wear a purple wristband or clothing item to visibly show their support for young individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community. Nowadays, the day is celebrated all around the world on the last Friday of August as a symbol of pride and the diversity of the rainbow youth.
But why was Wear it Purple Day introduced?
Unfortunately, young people who do not conform to the prevailing norms of gender, sexuality, and lifestyle are still often victims of discrimination, criticism, rejection, or hostility. Our society is heavily oriented towards two genders that align with biological sex and heterosexual orientation. This is often described by the term “heteronormativity.”
Due to this rejection, many young people feel “unnatural,” suffer from self-hatred, or hide their true gender and sexual identities.
Especially when their personal environment tries to downplay or change these feelings, self-doubt and conflicts are exacerbated.
The Wear it Purple Day aims to draw attention to exactly this issue and show affected individuals that there are many who stand behind them.
The day has five goals:
Some organizations provide materials for schools, universities, workplaces, etc., and wearing purple clothing is often associated with educational events.
Through the color and the events, young people from the LGBTQIA+ community can make connections and learn about support and recreational opportunities.
Make the environment safer
During and through Wear it Purple Day, safe spaces are created for those affected by discrimination – both digitally and analogously.
On one hand, it’s naturally the networking among young people themselves, but also the networking of organizations and associations that support and guide queer teenagers.
Empower young people
What makes this day truly special is that it shows young members of the LGBTQIA+ community that their feelings are by no means wrong or something they should be ashamed of and that many people stand behind them.
And what can you do on Wear It Purple Day right now?
As the name suggests, participants wear purple T-shirts or bracelets to make their support evident and show solidarity. Additionally, you should let LGBTQIA+ community members have a voice, as this not only demonstrates your openness towards them but also provides an opportunity for you to learn a lot! Besides, many schools, workplaces, universities, etc., hold events for Wear it Purple Day and its significance. Not happening in your case? You can also organize an event yourself. To learn how and to find useful materials, visit the website https://www.wearitpurple.org/.
So, Wear it Purple Day is a great opportunity to stand against hatred and promote diversity, pride, and tolerance outwardly. However, we shouldn’t only engage in this on just one day; we should work for the rights of our fellow humans throughout the year!
And since LGBTQIA+ matters are very important to us at matabooks, we’d love to share the knowledge we’ve gained with you. Therefore, feel free to read the other blog articles on our website. There, you’ll find things like an overview of Pride flags or tips on what else you can do to combat discrimination.
*Note: The term “queer,” used in this blog article, refers to the diversity of gender identities and (sexual) lifestyles that are “askew” to the majority’s lived cisgender heteronormativity. Originally used pejoratively, the LGBTQIA+ community has since reclaimed it as something positive. Of course, this is an umbrella term and should be understood as plural, as behind the word “queer” are many different genders and ways of life.