Friday 28 August 2020
It's Wear it Purple Day - a day to celebrate LGBTIQ+ youth, demonstrate a sense of community and raise awareness for the challenges faced by young people.
Leigh Elliott is a clinical psychologist and a fierce advocate for LGBTIQ+ youth.
“When we wear purple, we are saying to young LGBTIQ+ people that they are accepted, loved and have a right to be proud of who they are."
“I grew up in the country where being LGBTIQ+ was not ok.”
“It was also a time when people would use the word gay to describe something as bad or weird."
“There have since been studies that have shown just how detrimental this type of language use is.”
He explains that he didn’t feel comfortable coming out until he was living in the city and had completed his first degree.
“Days like Wear it Purple Day highlight the isolation that young LGBTIQ+ people can experience.”
“Many young people fear coming out and being ostracised by their family, friends and school.”
Leigh explains that this group is especially at risk.
“Young LGBTIQ+ people need strong support networks or they could be at risk of homelessness and even suicide.”
“We need to be the role models in our community, and foster inclusion and a sense of safety for all LGBTIQ+ people, especially youth.”
Leigh adds that there are now many incredible resources for young people like Minus 18, Safe Schools Coalition, Headspace and Drummond Street - Queerspace.
“I advocate for LGBTIQ+ people every day at work! I try to upskill my team in working with the LGBTIQ+ youth and I work in private practice with LGBTIQ+ adults.”
“We can all do our bit to make LGBTIQ+ people feel included and safe.”
You can get involved in wear it purple day by accessing a range of digital resources: