Advance Diversity Services (ADS) staff and volunteers dressed in PURPLE clothes and accessories to support Wear It Purple Day (WIPD) on August 27.

‘Despite being in lockdown in Sydney, we wanted to celebrate diversity and young people from the Rainbow community,’ said Corporate Services Manager, Michael Cheung. ‘We were keen to do this because we know 75 per cent of LGBTIQA+ youth experience some form of discrimination due to the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity.’

Staff and volunteers took selfies or got household members to snap them in their purple finery, he said, which was a public affirmation of WIPD’s aims and a sign they want Rainbow young people to feel safe and supported when using ADS services.

‘WIPD is also a great way to show we really mean what we say in our inclusivity statement – that all are welcome,’ said Mr Cheung.

Wear It Purple was founded in 2010 in response to young people taking their own lives after experiencing bullying and harassment. LGBTIQA+ people have the right to express themselves in public without fear.

In Australia, 11.2 per cent of young people identify as attracted to the same sex. However, when compared to the general population, LGBTIQA+ people are far more likely to have thoughts of suicide, or attempt suicide in their lifetime.

‘We wore purple for WIPD to send a strong message to young Rainbow people that we support them and that ADS is a safe place where they can find acceptance and belonging,’ Mr Cheung said.

‘Although many ADS staff are working from home, we are still available to talk with LGBTQ+ young people to help them find the support they need to handle any difficulties they’re facing.’

If you are an LGBTIQA+ young person who needs support please call 9597 5455. To find groups and services across Sydney see our LGBTIQA+ Support Directory.