CUPE BC secretary-treasurer Mark Hancock and staff members at the B.C. regional office wore purple yesterday, in honour of Tyler Clementi and other LGBT youth who have committed suicide in recent weeks and months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and schools.
The case of Clementi, a Rutgers University student who took his own life last month after his roommate’s Internet broadcast of an intimate encounter with another man, made global headlines and has raised awareness about the troubling frequency of gay teen suicide.
The colour purple represents spirit on the LGBT rainbow flag. By wearing purple clothing on October 20, participants sent a strong message of encouragement to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans teenagers to keep their spirits up.
“The point of wearing purple is, on one hand, to show that homophobia is not okay and, on the other, to remind LGBT youth that times will get better,” said Hancock. “To all young people coming to terms with their sexual orientation, it’s important to remember that, even if times are tough right now, you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, regardless of your sexuality.”