By lighting up purple this August, the City of Sydney is highlighting support for LGBTIQ young people across Australia.

Wear It Purple is the national day of awareness that supports young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ). On Friday 26 August the City of Sydney will show support for LGBTIQ young people across Australia by lighting up Town Hall.

Monica Barone, City of Sydney CEO, encourages Sydneysiders to celebrate the day by wearing purple, attending a community barbecue in Newtown or watching the town hall light up in the evening.

Ms. Barone highlights how every person deserves to have a safe and supportive environment where they don’t have to worry about discrimination, harassment and bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

She said, “Wear It Purple is a fantastic initiative that is helping to create a culture of respect, understanding and acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. I encourage all Sydneysiders to get involved by attending the Newtown barbecue, by wearing something purple to your school or workplace, or seeing our fabulous Sydney Town Hall turn purple in support of the event.”

Young people who identify as LGBTIQ can be at greater risk of mental or emotional harm, recent studies have shown. 

One such study from 2014 conducted by La Trobe University and the University of New England, From Blues to Rainbows: the mental health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse young people in Australia, discovered that 81 per cent of young people that have experienced abuse or discrimination based on their gender identity had thought about suicide, 37 per cent attempted suicide and 70 per cent self-harmed.

Naomi Graham, operations manager for Wear It Purple Day, said the simple act of wearing purple would send a strong message of support and reassurance to young people facing issues due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ms. Graham says that at its core, Wear It Purple Day is about embracing diversity in all its forms and making sure safe places are provided for everyone to be themselves. “We all know how tough growing up can be, and when you add questions about your sexuality or gender to that it can potentially be a very difficult time.

“By simply wearing purple or a Wear It Purple wristband, young individuals who may be coming to terms with or struggling with their sex, sexuality or gender identity, can see that they are supported by people around them – that they aren’t alone and they have the right to be proud of who they are.”

The Newtown event will include a free barbecue, live entertainment from the NSW Police band, information stalls and giveaways.

More Information (Newtown Event)

What: Wear It Purple Day celebration 

Where: 1 Bedford Street, Newtown (corner Australia and King Streets)

When: 12pm-5pm, Friday 26 August

Visit Wear It Purple at the Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.