I attended an inspiring event at NSW Parliament House last week, which acknowledged the second Wear It Purple Day in Australia.
The Wear It Purple movement began following a series of well-publicised suicides by same-sex attracted and gender questioning youth in the United States as a result of school bullying.
Wear It Purple Day, held on September 2, encourages people to wear purple to help raise public awareness of the issues surrounding LGBT youth suicide and promotes the simple message that ‘you have the right to be proud of who you are’.
The reception was hosted by Upper House members, including Trevor Khan MLC from the National Party, Labor’s Penny Sharpe MLC, Cate Faehrmann MLC from the Greens, and Liberal MPs Matt Kean and Bruce Notley-Smith.
Students and teachers from schools including Burwood Girls High School, Castle Hill High School, Kogarah High School, and Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School, who supported Wear It Purple Day at their schools, also attended.
The reception was a tribute to the co-founders of Wear It Purple in Australia, Burwood Girls High School student Katherine Hudson and University of Western Sydney student Scott Williams, and the work they have done to promote the Wear It Purple message.
In her opening address, Sharpe noted that it was the first time in her long parliamentary career that she had attended a cross-party event of this nature and it was wonderful to see MPs from across the political spectrum supporting Wear It Purple’s anti-homophobic and anti-transphobic message.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli also spoke about the importance of combating homophobia and transphobia in schools and committed to continuing the Proud Schools Pilot, introduced by then Labor MP Verity Firth before the election.
I was incredibly moved by students, including Katherine Hudson, who spoke so passionately about the success of Wear It Purple Day in their schools.
The reception signified a change for the better, with young people and politicians from across the political spectrum coming together to promote acceptance of LGBTI people. This is a promising sign for the future of our campaigns for legal equality and social justice.
INFO: The GLRL encourages you to attend Parramatta Pride Picnic this Sunday, September 18 at Parramatta Park.
By KELLIE MCDONALD, NSW GLRL