Today, 20 October, was Spirit Day. In an initiative originating with a teenage student in Canada, we were encouraged to dress in purple, the colour of the stripe representing 'spirit' on the LGBT pride rainbow flag, in honour of the six gay students in the USA who have committed suicide in recent months due to homophobic bullying.
At my school, Indooroopilly State High School in Brisbane, Australia, many of us decided to dress in purple to show our support and respect for members of the LGBT community and to make it very clear that sort of behaviour was not acceptable in our society. My friends and I dressed in purple to recognise the courage it sometimes takes to come out in repressive or uninformed communities.
While I was walking around my school, seeing people wearing purple and seeing the beautiful jacaranda trees shed their purple flowers, 'spirit' seemed to be the perfect word to describe the people who refuse to buy into a narrow-minded philosophy, one of fear and ignorance.