Wear it Purple Day is about showing LGBTQI+ young people that they have the right to be proud of who they are. Wear it Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments to show LGBTQI+ young people that they are seen and supported.
Every year thousands of schools, community organisations, universities and workplaces organise events across Australia. These events, directly and indirectly, reach hundreds of thousands of young people, meaning that young LGBTQI+ people will benefit from seeing the respect, recognition, love and inclusion that surrounds them.
This year’s theme is “Start the conversation… keep it going”
This theme focuses on the important and necessary conversations we have in our daily life, particularly those that centre around sexual orientation, and gender identity. It aims to remind people that the issues we reflect on during Wear it Purple Day, should not only be considered on that particular day… but every day. If we are to empower rainbow young people to be proud of who they are, and who they might become, we need to encourage and support them each day in classrooms and workplaces. The importance of pronouns and gender affirmation, as well as the use of inclusive language, is a great place to start.
In the spirit of starting the conversation, Lia Cummins, a Wear it Purple volunteer is sharing her story:
Knowledge is powerful - Lia Cummins | 21 | She/Her| @liacummins
Wear It Purple provides support and education to youth LGBTQI+ individuals, and to communities, schools, workplaces and allies. Growing up, I went to a Catholic school, where it was taboo to talk about the LGBTQI+ community in many classes. In high school, you are at a very impressionable age, and it can be quite confronting and disheartening to hear students – and even teachers – speak so poorly about the community. I was fortunate enough to be part of a friend group that fully supported me, defended me when I wasn’t present, and created a safe space.
Despite having the support of so many, growing up in the LGBTQI+ community had its challenges. Often young people at that age have an opinion formed from the education and knowledge that has been fed to them growing up, which is why Wear It Purple is so important to rainbow youth. It provides access to education and information about the LGBTQI+ community, and provides them with support and knowledge that they aren’t alone.
I am 21 now and have a supportive family, but coming from a ‘traditional (in many ways) Greek family’ growing up, I was always apprehensive about being my true self. There is so much pressure being a teenager, often feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and expectations are too high to reach. For a very long time, I was the only person I knew that was part of the LGBTQI+ community. At times I felt very alone, and as if something was wrong with me, leading to internalised homophobia (denial of your sexual orientation to yourself and others). It wasn’t until 2018 that I truly accepted myself.
I do believe that if I came across Wear It Purple at a younger age, it would have changed many of my thoughts and feelings, the trajectory of my youth, and helped me be proud a lot earlier on. I am very conscious of the story rainbow youth are writing, and they deserve the utmost support and courage to be unapologetically themselves. Despite having come a long way, the conversation is not over. Many individuals are still struggling to find support, whether it be with their immediate family and friends, or in their place of education or workplace. Wear It Purple is just one means of providing education and support.
Wear it Purple remind us that we are not alone. There are people who care, who support you, and will listen.
Amazon and Diversity
Amazon has always been, and always will be, committed to diversity and inclusion. We seek people from all backgrounds to join our teams, and we encourage our employees to bring their authentic, original, and best selves to work. We believe every Amazonian should feel comfortable sharing their unique perspectives and every Amazonian should seek out the perspectives of others.
glamazon is the LGBTQI+ affinity group for Amazon. glamazon helps make Amazon in Australia and New Zealand, great places to work by educating and informing employees about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer (LGBTQI+) issues, events, meetings, and information. The group mentors employees (LGBTQI+ and allies) and promotes diversity and visibility in recruiting and throughout Amazon. The group sponsors events and PRIDE parades around the globe. glamazon supported the creation of a Transgender Toolkit for managers and employees to use when going through a gender transition in the workplace.