Little purple on campus this purple Friday

Today is Purple Friday in schools, colleges and universities.
Whether intentional or not, bicycles turned purple as well today. Photo Coretta Jongeling

‘Purple Friday is a day to express your support for LGBTQ+students and colleagues by wearing a purple item of clothing’, states the intranet post. But a tour of the education buildings Aurora, Forum and Orion shows that this day has not yet been fully embedded. We asked those that were wearing purple how they feel about the initiative.

Text Yvette Langenberg and Coretta Jongeling

Janine Bekebrede, student

‘The key issue for me is that people should be able to be open about their orientation. Particularly as I, myself, am wondering whether or not I am asexual. I also have friends who struggle to be open about their orientation. Seeing that people accept you as you are gives me hope.’

A day like Purple Friday is particularly helpful for those who expect less acceptance because of their faith or family circumstances. I can imagine it is nice to see that people will accept you as you are at the university.’

Yoran Riewers, student

‘In my secondary school, Purple Friday was more of an event, which is why I wanted to join in here at the university. I feel there is not much of an issue with acceptance at the university, but maintaining awareness is important.’’

Tessa Stroeken, student

‘I’m wearing purple because I want to show that I accept everyone, both here at the university and elsewhere in Wageningen. I saw the message on Instagram and thought: I’ll join tomorrow. It is a simple gesture.

I don’t know whether it will have any effect. I see few people wearing purple today. If the whole university were donned in purple, it would have been great to see that everyone accepts everyone. I also believe not many people own purple clothing. I happen to own a single purple sweater, which I wear every year on Purple Friday.’

Saskia van Marrewijk, education assistant Plant Sciences Group

‘I chose something purple this morning by coincidence! Now I know why. If I had known ahead of time, I would certainly have done the same.’

Sarah Makkink, student

‘I happened to see that today is Purple Friday, and it struck me as a great initiative to support. In my secondary school, this was a special day with purple bracelets being handed out to those who did not have anything purple to wear. That would be a great plan here also.’

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