Wear it Purple Day is about showing LGBTQ+ young people that they have the right to be proud of who they are. It is about creating safe spaces in schools, universities, workplaces and public spaces (such as those we love to protect and keep wild) to show LGBTQ+ young people that they are seen and supported.
This years theme is “start the conversation… keep it going.”
START THE CONVERSATION… KEEP IT GOING
You may now be asking yourself, “what sort of conversation do I start?”. Again, great question.
Pronouns and gender affirmation
The use of inclusive language is a great place to start.
Pronouns are substitutes for nouns such as names, such as They/Them/Theirs, She/Her/Hers or He/Him/His. These pronouns may seem simple and harmless, but when the wrong pronoun is used to describe someone ,they can be deeply hurtful. This is because pronouns in the English language (and many other languages) are gendered.
Don’t assume someone’s pronouns. You can try to normalise inclusive language it by changing your email signature to include your pronouns etc. You can also change your Zoom name to include your pronouns, introduce yourself at team meetings with your pronouns and ensure they are printed on badges (when the world returns to face-to-face events).
Wear It Purple provides a fantastic resource about misgendering and pronouns, which you can access here.
Make your support of Wear It Purple Day visible
This visibility can be achieved in a virtual environment by wearing purple (preferably a t-shirt, scarf or anything else that can be seen in your Zoom screen – don’t worry, you can still wear your pyjama bottoms during your corporate Friday client meetings), changing your Zoom background and posting to social media. We also highly encourage you to encourage others in your workplace, school or virtual environment to show their support as well.
Young LGBTQ+ people will benefit from seeing the respect, recognition, love and inclusion that surrounds them.
Here are some great resources that can be easily downloaded, including a Zoom background, email signature, social media posts and posters (for those who are essential workers). You can also find some great ideas about other ways to celebrate here.
Use critical judgement when purchasing
During pride month, it’s not unusual for businesses to roll out their rainbow-coloured merchandise. I’ve seen rainbows slapped on shampoo bottles and now, thanks to Listerine, my mouthwash (who also donate 20 cents per purchase to Wear It Purple). Whilst I will always choose a rainbow-coloured Listerine bottle over their standard bottle (mainly in an attempt to render myself visible in the shopping centre), my support for the LGBTQI+ community does not end here.
Although not specifically “Wear It Purple”-centric, maybe you could try to support small businesses that are run by LGBTQI+ members of the community. There are so many little cafes that have “LQBTQI+ safe space” signs or pride stickers in their window, or you could buy a pride pin at your local bookstore (usually found at the counter – the ‘impulse buy’ section) when they re-open.
A note from newsletter gal, Elanor
As a member of the LGBTIQ+ community (I identify as lesbian and my pronouns are she/her/hers) I recognise that there is a paucity of trail-running specific initiatives that support LQBTIQ+ youth and members of the community. I’m proud to be part of the FWP team, who also recognise this, and we are having behind-the-scenes conversations to generate momentum in the space of trail running and inclusivity. I do, however, recognise that one person’s experience does not represent all (far from it). We invite all friends (and foe’s, we don’t really mind) to contact us to help us with this conversation, sharing your story and helping us to convert talk into action.
Elanor Finch, Friday 26th August 2021