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Australians ‘Wear it Purple’ to empower LGBTI youth

Australians ‘Wear it Purple’ to empower LGBTI youth

Wear it Purple ambassador Kerryn Phelps (left) attends a New South Wales police force event in Australia

Politicians, celebrities, police officers and others in Australia donned purple on Friday (August 31) in support of LGBTI youth.

‘I’m wearing purple today to let young LGBTIQ people know that they are not alone’ senator Janet Rice told Gay Star News.

Wear it Purple was founded in 2010. It supports young people at risk of bullying or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity.

‘Wear It Purple is a really important day for LGBTIQ people to come together to celebrate who we are,’ said the senator for the Australian Greens.

Importantly, it is an opportunity to recognise the impact that bullying and harassment has on LGBTI young people, she said.

‘We will persevere until the world is safe for rainbow young people to be proud of who they are,’ the organization’s website says.

With more than 1,000 tweets, #WearItPurple became the number one trend on Twitter in Australia on Friday morning.

Celebrities and law enforcers

Queensland Police Service was one of many forces across the country to wear special purple bootlaces to mark the day.

Australia’s education department tweeted their support.

Australian actor and writer, Harry Cook, uploaded a photo of him wearing a purple t-shirt to his Twitter account.

‘To the millions of queer youth out there figuring yourselves out, know that you are valued, you are worthy and you are amazing,’ he wrote.

‘Everything will make sense the more you embrace who you are. Love yourselves because you are ALL perfect’

‘A long way to go’

Australia has had some big gains in LGBTI equality recently, including legalizing same sex marriage.

But, ‘we still have a long way to go,’ said Rice.

She urged more resources for health and support services for LGBTI people. Additionally, the government should roll out safe schools and other anti-bullying initiatives, she said.

Wear it Purple Ambassador Prof Kerryn Phelps told Sky News Australia: ‘We still know there are people in our society who do not embrace equality.’

‘We want to make sure LGBTIQ people have support,’ she said.