The Hague marks Purple Friday in support of LGBT youth
Mayor of the Hague Jan van Zanen and members of the City Council wore purple clothes last Friday to mark Purple Friday. This annual event is marked across schools and educational institutions in the Netherlands to draw attention to the acceptance of LGBTI+ students and employees.
Mayor Van Zanen stated on social media: “Today is Purple Friday. On this day students and teachers wear purple clothes to show that everyone belongs, regardless of sexual preference or gender identity.”
The event aiming to promote LGBT inclusion in the educational sector has been observed on the second Friday of December in the Netherlands since 2010. Despite the Netherlands being viewed as one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes LGBT acceptance, there are still numerous issues LGBT students are faced with, The Hague mayor stressed.
“This is unfortunately still very necessary, because many young people still have to deal with misunderstanding, bullying and discrimination. Therefore, at schools in The Hague, extra attention will be paid to ‘purple Friday’ today, with guest lectures by the COC, among others. To show solidarity, the city council is also wearing purple clothing. Will you join us?” mayor Van Zanen further stated.
Purple Friday started as an awareness day for high school students. Over the years, numerous primary schools, colleges and universities joined the initiative. The idea originally comes from the United States and Canada where it is known as Spirit Day and focuses on speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and supporting LGBTQ adolescents, who are frequent targets of harassment.
“Today is Purple Friday across The Netherlands, a day to focus on our LGBTI+ members of our communities; and reiterate fundamental principles that no one should fear rejection or prejudice based on who they are or who they love,” Erasmus University Rotterdam stated in their press release on Friday.
This year, Purple Friday in the Netherlands coincided with International Human Rights Day which is commemorated around the world on December 10th every year. It honors the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. (photo credit: thehagueuniversity)