Wear It Purple
Wear it Purple has a simple message:
“You have the right to be proud of who you are.”
We exist in order to raise public consciousness on the issues surrounding rainbow youth suicide. We express this in three platforms: advocacy, support and education. We are run by high school students and university students.
Every year on “Wear it Purple Day”, we ask people everywhere to wear purple to school, university, work, or other public venues to help raise this consciousness.
We also work through the following three strategies:
• Advocacy – responding to situations as they arise and ‘being a voice’ for young people often too scared to speak for themselves.
• Support- meeting young people where they are at, through our networks with other organisations and individuals who can provide opportunities for youth to love life.
• Education- Telling people about the issues that affect GLBT youth, and to be a source of information regarding services available to various persons affected by these issues.
History and Origins:
On September 22nd 2010, 18 year old Tyler Clementi threw himself off the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey. He had just been publically ‘outed’ as gay by his roommate, who video streamed footage of his sexual encounter with another man on the internet without his knowledge or permission. A media frenzy began, and report after report poured in about the individual stories of young people who were committing suicide because of bullying and homophobia.
Ellen DeGeneres made the following public statement on her talk show: highlighting many other cases of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) youth suicides:
“Something must be done. This month alone, there has been a shocking number of news stories about teens who have been teased and bullied and then committed suicide; like 13-year-old Seth Walsh in Tehachapi, California; Asher Brown, 13, of Cypress, Texas; and 15-year-old Billy Lucas in Greensberg, Indiana. This needs to be a wake-up call to everyone: teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing.”
Instead of being overwhelmed by negative emotions, some of us found ourselves experience a new sense of conviction and purpose as we saw the faces of these precious young people who had been lost. If only there were some way of letting young people, all over the world know that there was hope, that there were people who would accept them, and that life would get better. Katherine Hudson and Scott Williams came up with an idea: on one day, they would encourage people everywhere to “wear it purple” in order to raise awareness about homophobic bullying and youth suicide.
In just a few weeks, the idea went viral, and travelled all over the world. We now believe that an annual Wear it Purple campaign has the potential to become a world-wide, student led movement that annually expresses support and acceptance to rainbow youth. This movement has the potential to save thousand of lives, and change countless minds.