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Be inclusive every day
Many schools, workplaces and organisations recently celebrated Wear It Purple Day in order to demonstrate their support for LGBTIQ or rainbow young people.
For students in schools that celebrate Wear It Purple, it is a day they can feel recognised and welcomed in their school community. It brings about a sense of connection between the school and LGBTIQ students, and may be one of the few moments in their school year where LGBTIQ students see themselves visibly acknowledged and reflected in the broader school curriculum.
However, without broader inclusive school policies and practices the progress made with a celebration on one day of the year can slide away, so schools and workplaces should be mindful to implement inclusive practices throughout the year.
Days of LGBTIQ recognition seek to celebrate or bring visibility to particular issues that are specific to LGBTIQ communities. Throughout the year there are a number of significant dates that acknowledge particular events or parts of the LGBTIQ community and provide the opportunity for people to reflect and/or celebrate their LGBTIQ students, colleagues, friends and family.
Combined with LGBTIQ inclusive practises in the broader school curriculum (such as inclusive policies, LGBTIQ resources and topics in the curriculum, and LGBTIQ/diversity groups) days of recognition or celebration provide an opportunity to make LGBTIQ people in your school community feel welcome, included and valued.
Despite gains in relation to marriage equality and an increase in knowledge of the general public about LGBTIQ matters, many LGBTIQ people still experience violence, discrimination, exclusion and invisibility.
While work still needs to be done to address such negative outcomes, particularly for students in our schools, recognising days of significance can be one of the actions to work towards a more inclusive and equal community.
Activities that recognise LGBTIQ dates of significance are just one way to be more inclusive with welcoming environments for LGBTIQ folk, and schools and workplaces are encouraged to participate on these special days.
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