Officers and staff of the Queensland Police Service will wear special purple bootlaces to support LGBTIQ youth on this year’s Wear It Purple Day on August 31.
Wear it Purple was founded in 2010 in response to young people taking their own lives as a result of bullying and harassment from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity.
QPS Commissioner Ian Stewart has backed the initiative, saying he wanted LGBTIQ young people to know that they have the support of the police.
“‘Wear it Purple’ is a simple message: you have the right to be proud of who you are and sexuality or gender identity does not change this – ‘Wear it Purple’ if you agree – and we do,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“We know that this small display of support can have a significant impact on LGBTIQ young people.
“This symbolism of the purple shoelaces is simply to encourage people – including our police – to think about walking in someone else’s shoes for the day.
“This is an important message and one I am proud to support as Commissioner.”
More than 250 pairs of the purple laces will be supplied to QPS officers and staff by Brisbane company Ted & Lemon.
“We started Ted & Lemon with a simple idea to inject a bit of fun and colour into a standard, everyday accessory – we never imagined it would take off the way it has,” co-founder Trenton Mabbott said.
“We’re throwing our support behind the movement to stamp out bullying and support and respect all young people, which is an issue close to our hearts.”
The theme of this year’s Wear It Purple Day is “empower together,” and young people, individuals and employees in workplaces are encouraged to participate by wearing the colour to show support for diversity.
An event for Wear It Purple Day will be held in Brisbane’s Queens Park from 11am to 3pm on August 31.
The Queensland Police Service, Headspace, Open Doors Youth Service, DV Connect, Amnesty International and PFLAG and others will be in the park to celebrate the day. More details are available on the Facebook page.
For more information about Wear It Purple Day, visit the organisation’s website.
If you need support, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.