The Gender Respect Committee has been raising awareness for inclusivity through Wear It Purple Day (Friday 27 August). The day aims to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for LGBTQIA+ young people.
The following requisites to create an inclusive environment were devised by the Gender Respect Committee and posted via the Daily Bulletin as prompts for Tutor Groups to discuss:
- Inclusivity: No matter who you are, where you come from, and why you are here, in a world that is unfortunately not all-inclusive, it can get lonely out there. Our community of staff and students will together become stronger if we include today’s rainbow youth and make them feel comfortable about themselves, no matter the situation. Will you tolerate any kind of hate speech towards the LGBTQIA+ community?
- Educate: It is important that we understand our rainbow youth and educating ourselves to better the relationship with our friends. What will you do to better educate yourselves about the rainbow community?
- Support: Wear it Purple was established to show young people across the globe that there was hope, that there were people who supported and accepted them, and that they have the right to be proud of who they are. How can you support someone in need?
- Understanding: It is important to understand why we have things like Wear It Purple Day and Pride. Having open celebrations of LGBTQIA+ creates inclusivity and support for all sexualities and genders. What are some other reasons why discussing and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community is important?
Read the below speech prepared by BGS student leaders to raise awareness for the day.
"In 1897 The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee was formed in Berlin. It was the first LGBT rights organization in history.
In 1919, The film Different from the Others was released. It was the first pro-gay film in the world.
In 1961, Jose Sarria became the first openly gay person to run for public office in the US.
Only this year, in 2021, Carl Nassib, defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, became the first openly gay active player in the NFL.
Throughout history, the LGBTQIA+ community has consistently broken stereotypes and succeeded in the face of discrimination. Today, we have the opportunity to celebrate this incredible community and the role they play in our wider BGS community through Wear It Purple Day.
So, what is Wear it Purple Day? At its core, it’s about creating a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ people to express themselves and be who they are without any fear of judgement or vilification. This year is the 10th year of Wear it Purple Day, and the theme is “start the conversation, keep it going.” Openly engaging in dialogue about how we can be respectful in the language we use and actions we take is vital for raising awareness and providing meaningful opportunities for LGBTQIA+ youth to contribute to the inclusivity of their communities. The theme highlights our need for the sustained celebration of LGBTQIA+ people and our duty to continuously learn about the issues they face to better understand what we can do to help.
You might be wondering what this looks like in practice and what actions the School is taking to show our support for Wear it Purple Day. You may have noticed your teachers using purple whiteboard markers or even a few in some stylish purple clothing. However, the most important way you can celebrate Wear it Purple Day is by being an ally, which simply means acknowledging and supporting!
Helping LGBTQIA+ people to understand that there is a wealth of allies in the community can mean more than you know. This is as simple as recognising and respecting a friend’s pronouns or calling out your mates for hurtful language or mindsets. It is also important that you take the time to understand the gravity of your words. Just as what you say and do can have an incredibly positive impact on others, it can also be detrimental.
Many LGBTQIA+ young people have to grow up surrounded by homophobia or transphobia. And every time you make such a comment or allow your friends to, you tell someone that who they are is less than. This manifests in many different ways, one being the use of the word ‘gay’ as an insult.
While you may not think your words are that serious and while you may not mean to be overtly homophobic, over time, this means gay kids must grow up and come to terms with themselves in a world where who they are is synonymous with all that is bad. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure no one lives with this internalised hate. It is everyone’s responsibility to encourage a culture of acceptance. It is everyone’s responsibility to Wear It Purple."