This year’s theme, Write Your Story, aims to encourage young people to embrace their unique perspectives and share their stories with others. Seeing others share their stories can be crucial for young LGBTQI+ people who may feel isolated, marginalised, or uncertain about their place in the world by validating their own experiences.
LGBTQI+ History in Australia
The history of LGBTQI+ individuals in Australia is complex and diverse, with a range of experiences and challenges. During the 1960s and 1970s, activists fought for the decriminalization of homosexuality, anti-discrimination laws, and recognition of same-sex relationships. Homosexuality was illegal in Australia until 1975, and Tasmania was the last state to legalize it in 1994.
The first Mardi Gras event in Australia was held on June 24, 1978, and hundreds of people marched from Taylor Square to Hyde Park in Sydney. However, when they tried to pass through barricades, the police intervened. As a result, fifty-three individuals were arrested, and some experienced violent assaults. The heavy-handed approach by authorities was strongly criticised and led indirectly to a relaxation of protest laws in NSW. The event the next year was peaceful and successful, and it soon became a popular Sydney event: ‘The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’.
In 2017, same-sex marriage was legalized, and in 2019, laws were passed to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQI+ students in religious schools. Although Australia has made significant progress in promoting the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals, there is still much work to be done.
Why we celebrate
Wear It Purple Day was created to raise awareness of the struggles faced by LGBTQI+ youth. The day was established in response to heartbreaking stories of mistreatment and the devastating loss of several young community members who tragically took their own lives due to bullying and harassment.
The movement started as a way to show young people around the world that there is still hope and that there is support and acceptance for them. It is about showing LGBTQI+ young people that they have the right to be proud of who they are.
Purple was chosen as it isn’t a primary colour, and it takes many colours to mix to get purple. Similar to the colour, Wear it Purple stands for being made from a diversity of the LGBTQI+ community and coming together to do something good.
How to Show Support
There are plenty of ways you can show support on Wear It Purple Day
- Wear something purple
- Host a morning tea at your workplace or school
- Donate to Wear It Purple
- Encourage any out/open LGBTQI+ staff members to present at your event and share their story
- Put Wear it Purple posters up around your office or school
So, on the 25th of August, put on your best purple outfit and Wear it Purple!