Purple town hall embraces Sydney’s diversity

Posted .

Sydney Town Hall will be lit up purple for Wear It Purple Day this August, highlighting the City of Sydney’s support for same-sex attracted and sex and gender diverse young people across Australia.

The national day of awareness on Friday 26 August supports young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ).

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, invited Sydneysiders to celebrate the day by wearing purple, attending a community barbecue in Newtown or watching the town hall light up in the evening.

“Everyone has the right to a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ms Barone said.

“Wear It Purple Day is a fantastic initiative that is helping to create a culture of respect, understanding and acceptance of sexual and gender diversity.

“I encourage all Sydneysiders to get involved by attending the Newtown barbecue, by wearing something purple to your school or workplace, or seeing our fabulous Sydney Town Hall turn purple in support of the event.”

Recent studies have shown young people who identify as LGBTIQ can be at greater risk of mental or emotional harm.

A 2014 study by La Trobe University and the University of New England, From Blues to Rainbows: the mental health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse young people in Australia, found that 81 per cent of young people who had experienced abuse or discrimination on the basis of their gender identity had thought about taking their own life, 37 per cent attempted suicide and 70 per cent self-harmed.

Wear It Purple Day operations manager Naomi Graham said the simple act of wearing purple would send a strong message of support and reassurance to young people facing issues due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“At its very core, Wear It Purple Day is about embracing diversity in all its forms, and providing safe places for everyone to be themselves,” Ms Graham said.

“We all know how tough growing up can be, and when you add questions about your sexuality or gender to that it can potentially be a very difficult time.

“By simply wearing purple or a Wear It Purple wristband, young individuals who may be coming to terms with or struggling with their sex, sexuality or gender identity, can see that they are supported by people around them – that they aren't alone and they have the right to be proud of who they are.”

The Newtown event will include a free barbecue, live entertainment from the NSW Police band, information stalls and giveaways.

What: Wear It Purple Day celebration Where: 1 Bedford Street, Newtown (corner Australia and King Streets) When: 12pm–5pm, Friday 26 August

The Newtown event is co-hosted by City of Sydney, Wear It Purple, the NSW Police Force, Inner City Legal Centre, ACON, Amnesty International, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and Inner West Council.

For more information visit wearitpurple.org or whatson.Sydney

For media enquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Angela Dorizas on 0455 958 503 or adorizas@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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