A POSITIVE message is a powerful change agent.
This year, the theme for Wear it Purple day is Don’t Put Me in a Box and if there is one thing we at Twenty10 have learnt about the many incredible young people involved with Wear it Purple, it’s that they are definitely not too be boxed in.
For an organisation like Twenty10, the incredible and growing success of Wear It Purple inspires hope that we will see a day where people are free to be themselves regardless of their gender, sexuality or intersex status.
With increased visibility through the media and progressive changes to legislation, it seems clear that acceptance of LGBTI diversity is slowly moving in a positive direction.
However, at Twenty10 the team works everyday with young people dealing with the impacts of homophobia and transphobia. Our work, our clients and the research is telling us that the issue is still very real and has a terrible impact on young people’s health and well being.
It’s the messages that we all send young people about gender and sexuality that can have significant negative impacts. It’s the parent worried that their child coming out as bisexual will have a more difficult life. The teacher that ignores the homophobic comment in the classroom. Or the principal that won’t allow a trans* student to wear the uniform or use the toilets that affirm their gender identity for fear that they will become a target to other students.
The messages being sent are: you are a risk and at risk; you’re not like us; you’ll have to put up with it; and you’ll always struggle. These messages can and do have profound impacts, disruption and disengagement from education, family, community and increasing the instances of anxiety, depression, self harm and homelessness.
Wear It Purple and Twenty10 believe you shouldn’t have to struggle or feel less than other people. You have the right to be proud of who you are, whoever that is.
The Wear It Purple organisation is lead and run by young people, voluntarily giving their time to grow Wear It Purple Day into a major annual event on the calendar proving to be a vibrant and powerful organisation creating positive change. It’s not just asking for acceptance of diversity but to celebrate and unite everybody for their individuality.
At Twenty10, not only have we enjoyed collaborating and working alongside an emerging organisation like Wear it Purple, it has also been a learning and growth experience for our organisation.
We congratulate and thanks the entire team at Wear it Purple and everyone participating on tomorrow, August 29.