Written By: Eliza Barr 2/9/15
Burwood Girls High School students proudly wore purple on Friday to support diversity after they were thrown into the spotlight over the planned screening of ex-student Maya Newell’s documentary, Gayby Baby.
State Education Minister Adrian Piccoli was criticised by inner west Greens and Labor politicians after he banned the film screening during class time.
But students were not deterred from celebrating Wear It Purple Day on Friday.
Katherine Hudson, a 2011 graduate of Burwood Girls High School, founded Wear It Purple Day in 2010 to address high rates of LGBTIQ youth suicides in their community.
“Wear It Purple has transformed over the years into a day that is just about diversity, and accepting diversity in schools,” Ms Hudson said.
“It is so sad that people have misconstrued it to be a political agenda or to be about marriage equality, which it simply isn’t.”
Year 11 students Anna and Billie said they were pleased the event went ahead.
“We shouldn’t just stand idly by and stop the whole celebration,” Anna said.
“We wouldn’t have been true to ourselves – the school’s motto is ‘Not for ourselves alone’ and this is an element of support for LGBTIQ kids in our school,” Billie added.
Anna and Billie said they were disappointed a decision had been made to stop the film screening on Friday.
“Aside from raising awareness, part of the point was that they were ex-students,” Anna said.
“We were just proud of them,” Billie said.
The prefects said on Facebook that the school intended to screen Gayby Baby yesterday after school from 3.30pm.
Students, family and friends were all welcome at the free event, where the prefects also planned to collect donations for a charity that supports LGBTIQ youth.
Students flooded into the school dressed in purple clothes, striped with purple face paint and armed with balloons, flowers and rainbow-layered cake. Strathfield state Labor MP Jodi McKay attended a morning tea celebration with students who she said stood up for their beliefs.
WHAT BURWOOD GIRLS SAID
The Prefects of BGHS wish to express their disappointment at the media coverage of the school’s intended showing of the documentary Gayby Baby.
As Burwood girls, we pride ourselves on our support of diversity – in whatever form it takes. Throughout the year we partake in multiple events which aim to support and celebrate the diversity of our school community as a collective.
These include International Day – which celebrates our multicultural community – this year raising $15,000 for international charities, an annual Iftar dinner to support our Islamic community, and Lunar New Year celebrations to support our Asian community, amongst a range of others. We consider ourselves leaders in the push for equality and acceptance – for all people. When it is considered that the LGBTIQ community has the highest rates of suicide of any population in Australia and experience significantly higher rates of mental health issues, we consider our support to be just one small step in creating better understanding in the community. We are a proud school. We are proud of our culture. And we are proud of the leadership our school shows in supporting all views and the right for all people to be accepted.
Source: The Daily Telegraph