This year, more Australians will participate in Wear it Purple Day – on August 31 – than ever before. President of Wear it Purple Matt Janssen highlights what we can expect.

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There’s an old saying that goes: when it’s all said and done, more is said than done.

When I’m passionate about something, I take action.

That’s why, when approached by Wear it Purple to lead the organisation through its next phase of growth, I agreed to join the board in the role of President.

It wasn’t about joining another board for me. It was about joining a cause that could help create a better future for young, rainbow people.

Wear it Purple was founded in 2010 in response to the alarming numbers of young people who were being bullied and harassed because of their sexuality or gender and identity, and were ultimately taking their own lives.

We’re a not-for-profit association that aims to foster supportive, safe, and accepting environments for young, rainbow people.

We don’t want them to be disadvantaged by their environments, and we want their wellbeing to equal that of their straight and cis peers.

Research in the area has been damning: 75 per cent of LGBTI youth have reported experiences of discrimination, 61 per cent have reported experiences of verbal abuse, 19 per cent have experienced physical bullying, and 24.4 per cent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have experienced depression, compared to 36.2 per cent of trans Australians.

This year, more Australians will participate in Wear it Purple Day—on August 31–than ever before.

We’ve packed more merchandise and resource packs for schools and community groups, and with financial support provided by Telstra over the years, have been able to include complimentary wristbands in the packs.

More than 50,000 Australians will be wearing the wristbands with pride this year, including the New South Wales police.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell has given us continued support, as have our community partners like Headspace, Twenty10, and PFLAG.

This year we have two major capital city events slated for Hyde Park in Sydney and Queens Park in Brisbane.

We’re also thrilled to announce that Kerryn Phelps, Jackie Stricker-Phelps, Transcend’s Beck Robertson, and Victoria’s gender and sexuality commissioner Ro Allen have all become patrons of Wear it Purple.  

These patrons are all passionate LGBTI advocates who for many years have taken action to empower the LGBTI community.

We’re equally excited to share some of Australia’s most talented members of the LGBTI community and their allies as Wear it Purple Day ambassadors.  

They include Matildas star Michelle Heymen, actors Scott Lee, Lynne McGranger, and Harry Cook, Australia’s Young Victorian of the Year Georgie Stone, Mr Gay World Jordan Bruno, comedian Tom Ballard, LGBTI advocate Casey Conway, and the talented Jordan Raskopoulos.

To mark this year’s Wear it Purple Day, a number of Australian landmarks will light up purple.

International Towers Sydney in the Barangaroo precinct will light up purple for a full week from Monday 27 August.

Other landmarks lighting up include the Sydney Town Hall, Story Bridge in Brisbane, Melbourne Town Hall, Adelaide Oval and the Adelaide Riverbank, and the new Optus Stadium in Perth.

This week we’ve launched a GoFundraise page to make it easier for all Australians to support us in doing what we do best, as well as our new initiatives.

Our new initiatives include our national growth and participation in pride events across Australia, a Rainbow Youth Party, and national events on Wear it Purple Day in 2019.

We have a dream that Australia will wake up on August 31 this Wear it Purple Day, and be inspired to take action and head to work or school wearing purple.  

It’s time to show young, rainbow people they are loved, supported, and empowered to bring their whole selves to their lives.

To purchase Wear it Purple merchandise, visit: wearitpurple.org/online-store

To donate to Wear it Purple, visit: gofundraise.com.au/beneficiary/wearitpurple

To download important resources, visit: wearitpurple.org/wip-day-resources

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