Celebrating Wear It Purple Day for LGBTIQ+ young Australians!

Have you heard about Wear It Purple Day? It's an annual day dedicated to celebrating LGBTIQ+ young people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer or questioning, plus everyone in between!).

A bit of background

Since its formation in 2010, Wear it Purple has developed into an international movement. In Australia, a diverse range of organisations, workplaces, allies, and the LGBTIQ+ community come together on 28 August every year and wear a purple item, bake purple cupcakes to share with colleagues, host a queer film screening for the community, or engage in other fun and educational activities. (Note: 'queer' is an umbrella term for LGBTIQ+ people, often used interchangeably with the acronym.) 

Let's get serious about suicide prevention 

Wear It Purple Day isn't all about fun and celebration. It promotes important messages about fostering supportive, safe, empowering, and inclusive environments for LGBTIQ+ young people; a cohort of our community who face much higher rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. (Note: 'cisgender' refers to people whose gender identity aligns with their biological sex.)

In fact, according to a 2020 health snapshot by the National LGBTI Health Alliance (the Alliance):

* LGBTIQ+ young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime

* transgender people aged 18+ are nearly eleven times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime

* people with an intersex variation aged 16+ are nearly six times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime

* a whopping 77.6% of bisexual people aged 18+ reported having thoughts of suicide in their lifetime [data on attempts for bisexual people is unavailable].

These statistics paint a sobering picture of the work we need to do to help prevent suicide among LGBTIQ+ young Australians, and LGBTIQ+ communities more broadly.

How you can help

As the 2020 theme for Wear It Purple Day proclaims ... we are the change! On 28 August, what will you do to show your support for LGBTIQ+ young Australians? Here are some suggestions:

* show your support on social media using the campaign materials

* donate to the cause

* host an event (at an appropriate physical distance!) and register your event online

* educate yourself and others about the unique health and social issues impacting the wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ Australians. Check out the Alliance's Knowledge Hub for general resources or visit minus18.org.au for information about LGBTIQ+ advocacy and services specifically for young people. 

If this article has raised any issues for you, or if you know an LGBTIQ+ person in need of support, call QLife on 1800 184 527 or visit qlife.org.au.