Daylesford turns purple to support young LGBTQI+ community

Daylesford was painted purple on August 31 in an effort to show support to young people in the LGBTQI+ community. 

Launched in 2010 as a small-scale social media campaign in response to young people taking their own lives as a result of bullying and a lack of acceptance of their sexuality and gender identity, Wear It Purple day has become a nationwide celebration of diversity. 

Wear It Purple is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to foster supportive, safe and accepting environments for rainbow young people. 

According to the Wear It Purple organisation, 75 per cent of all LGBTQI+ youth experience some form of discrimination, with 61 per cent experiencing verbal abuse and 19 per cent of young people experiencing physical bullying. In addition, 24.4 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience depression, which is a huge jump from the 6.9 per cent of the general population who experience it.  For trans people, the number is 36.2 per cent.

Students from Daylesford Secondary College took part in a number of activities for the day, including face painting at recess while a number of year seven students travelled to the Hepburn House aged care facility to partake in an afternoon of entertainment, positive conversation and social interaction while enjoying an array of purple cakes for afternoon tea and performances by staff member “Cara”. 

PURPLE: Daylesford Secondary College year seven students Isobella Campbell-Smith and Danielle Baldovino, with Hepburn House resident Florence Craigie. Photo: Kate Healy

PURPLE: Daylesford Secondary College year seven students Isobella Campbell-Smith and Danielle Baldovino, with Hepburn House resident Florence Craigie. Photo: Kate Healy

Teacher Kelly Tolcher said it was important for the school to show the community its support. 

“It is good for us to get involved in events in the outside community too. The school is such an isolated environment and a lot of these kids don’t have the opportunity to interact with older people,” she said. 

Manager of Hepburn Aged Care Dianne Jones said the afternoon tea was organised to bring two different sectors of the community together. 

“Hepburn House has received  rainbow tick accreditation which means we have been certified by the accreditation bodies to provide LGBTQI+ inclusive care.

“It is a process that we have to continue and work with and as part of that, we have an ageing with pride committee and ongoing events to try to create a more inclusive environment for the people that live here,” she said. 

She said the committee wanted to recognise and show their support for the community’s young LGBTQI+ people.