Purple hearts

Wear it purple is a youth-run initiative that celebrates Australia’s LGBTQ+ community, striving to foster an inclusive environment for young queer people across Australia.

Supporters of Wear it Purple at the 2023 Mardi Gras. Photo: Supplied. 

WIP vice president Brenna Harding says young queer people are at risk in Australia, with three quarters of LGBTQ+ students experiencing bullying at school.

“We’ve got LGBTQ+ youth 12 times more likely to experience depression, four times more likely to experience anxiety and 93 per cent of these students have heard homophobic language used in their school,” she says.

“We’ve got disproportionate effects on young LGBTQ people in terms of rejection, harassment, homelessness, self-harm and suicidal ideation.”

Ms Harding says Australians should ‘wear it purple’ to identify themselves as visible allies to the queer community.

Curtin University guild queer officer Imari Morris says he has experienced discrimination first hand.

“While technically it is illegal to discriminate based on gender, sex and sexuality, the reality is you’re still going to face a lot of workplace harassment and discrimination if you come out depending on your workplace,” he says.

He says he hopes to see more inclusion across Australia.

“The more allies we have in the community, the safer queer people are.”

Imari Morris gives examples of how to be a queer ally. Video: Reilly Leeson.

Youth Action Committee member Brandon Daly says queer people within the community are suffering at horrifying rates.

“I do think that overall, if you look at the statistics, it’s unfortunately the reason why our purple date has to exist is because the queer community has a higher rate of suicide and mental health issues,” he says.

The Wear it Purple team at the 2023 Mardi Gras. Photo: Supplied.

WIP began in 2010 when co-founder Katherine Hudson was still in high school and is now adopted by schools and workplaces across Australia.

Mr Daly says he is both shocked and proud of how the initiative has grown.

“It’s weird to think that it started out of a garage by two high school students back in 2010, so it’s come a long way,” he says.

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