A SHOW of support as simple as wearing purple can make all the difference to those affected by homophobia.
Brophy Family & Youth Services is asking people to add a splash of purple to their outfit tomorrow as part of the Wear It Purple campaign and show their support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
The project began in the US in 2010 after four teenagers committed suicide in one week due to homophobic bullying.
Brophy project worker Jackie Wallis said the campaign was focused on schools, where the simple act of wearing purple could make a huge difference to a young person.
“Young people are always looking out for subtle signs of support,” Ms Wallis said.
“By wearing purple on this day, they know you are supporting them. Such signs and symbols show there’s support in the community.”
While it’s aimed at schools, Ms Wallis said she hoped the campaign could be taken up by the wider community and encouraged people to wear purple to work tomorrow.
Members of Youth United Making Change against Homophobic Attitudes (YUMCHA) will also be hitting the streets in the Brophy bus tomorrow to relaunch their Honk If You Hate Homophobia campaign.
Ms Wallis said previous efforts with the campaign had received excellent support.
“We were getting lots of toots and people following us up and down the street,” she said.
“We had older people pulling up next to us and giving us the thumbs-up. That can mean a lot to young people.”
Other upcoming projects include a rainbow sticker campaign, in which YUMCHA members hope to sign up businesses to a memorandum of understanding. Businesses will then put a rainbow sticker in their door or window to show they do not condone homophobia or discrimination.
Later this year, Warrnambool will also host “The Gay Camp” — a gathering of about 70 young people from regional youth groups connected to the Way Out Rural Youth Council.
It will be the first time the camp has been held in Warrnambool. It brings together same-sex-attracted people to work on campaigns and projects targeting homophobia and other issues affecting young people.