Wear It Purple Day is an annual event that aims to create safe and supportive environments for young individuals. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ youth, promoting inclusivity, and fostering a sense of belonging. In our volunteer communities, this day is about acceptance and celebrating diversity amongst our volunteers, paid staff and people accessing our services and spaces.
The importance of Wear It Purple Day in four key takeaways:
1. Promote visibility: The day encourages people to visibly show their support for LGBTQIA+ youth by wearing purple. This visible representation helps create a sense of validation and solidarity for those who may be struggling with their identity or facing discrimination. Within your workspaces, having a small sign at your entrance to display your support will speak volumes and act as conversation starters.
2. Challenge stereotypes and stigma: By wearing purple and actively participating in the day, individuals can challenge societal stereotypes and fight against the negativity and stigma often associated with being LGBTQIA+. It helps promote understanding and acceptance, ultimately working towards a more inclusive society. Within your workspaces consider watching a two-minute video during your staff meeting to raise awareness amongst your volunteers, that highlights those who are LGBTIQ+ and what safety and acceptance means to them.
3. Create safe spaces: Wear It Purple Day inspires communities, schools, and workplaces to create safe and supportive environments for LGBTQIA+ youth. It reinforces the message that everyone deserves to be celebrated and valued, the embodiment of their sexual orientation and or gender affirmed identity. This promotion within our community spaces will send out a message that it is safe and affirming to volunteer in our organisation.
4. Conscious raising awareness: The day serves as an opportunity to promote conscious awareness raising about LGBTQIA+ issues, including the challenges faced by young people in the community. It encourages conversations, resources, and support networks that can help address these challenges effectively. Within our workspaces, it can provide safe conversations about embracing difference and disrupting fear and ignorance.
In summary, Wear It Purple Day plays a vital role in promoting inclusivity, challenging stereotypes, creating safe spaces, educating the wider community, and empowering LGBTQIA+ youth to live authentically and with pride. As an older trans woman who is deeply committed to volunteerism, it is a day that I give my time to speak about the value of being allowed to be visibly my authentic self, in my community. What we bring into our volunteer spaces is the genuine need to connect with our communities and some of us may be part of the rainbow family.
Written by: Ricki Spencer (M Ed. BEd. BA BSW)