SUPPORT GROWS: A few members of Trident High School’s Gender Sexuality Alliance students wear purple shirts for a good cause. Back, from left, Angeline Seay, Finn Spod, Xavier Bain, Rhiannon Harper, and teacher support Jaime-Lee Coffey. Front, from left, Cameron Buist, Emma Paine, Maia Alexandre, and Jada Melbourne. Photo Troy Baker D8908-05

TRIDENT High School students swapped their blue uniforms for purple last Friday in support of their rainbow youth.

The school’s recently formed Gender Sexuality Alliance held a Purple Shirt Day, hosting fundraising activities such as a bake sale and selling themed wrist bands.

They raised $310 for the Australian charity Wear it Purple, which directly helps young people in the rainbow community.

Wear it Purple is a charity founded in 2010 in response to young people taking their lives as a result of bullying and harassment because of individuals’ sexual or gender identities.

Trident’s alliance co-founders Maia Alexandre and Finn Spod say they have been planning a rainbow day to get visibility for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgenger, queer and intersex students at their school because they knew there were a few who weren’t as visible or heard.

They got in touch with the Wear it Purple team across the Tasman after seeing that the organisation was giving out free school packs.

“I got in touch with them and said ‘hey we’re from New Zealand, I see you’re only shipping to Australia but can we still support you guys somehow?’ and they were like ‘that’s really cool that we have family across the ditch wanting to help out’ so they sent us a free school pack,” says Maia

Rainbow youth in Australia have been wearing purple on October 30 for nine years. Purple represents the spirit of the community in the rainbow flag.

Finn and Maia encouraged as many people as possible to participate in their school’s day of purple pride.

Maia says the essence of purple shirt day was to include everybody who wanted to participate and to acknowledge how diverse the LGBTQIA+ community really was.

“It’s really about standing up and being proud and visible for the community and having a day where even if no one comes out, that there’s a group of us here and we will support you, and we’re doing this for you,” says Finn.

hazel.osborne@thebeacon.co.nz