Chicago to paint the town purple for LGBTQ youth

Tue. October 19, 2010 3:45 PM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - Chicago's LGBT community is encouraged to wear purple on Wednesday, Oct. 20, as part of an event called "Painting the Town Purple" created to raise awareness about LGBTQ bullying and suicide.

Organizers say purple represents "spirit" on the rainbow pride flag, so the color was chosen to honor the spirit of community as the lives of the LGBTQ youth lost to bullying and suicide are remembered. They also hope to raise awareness and let LGBTQ youth know they aren't alone and it does get better.

Local businesses are coming together to help raise awareness. Scarlet and Minibar in Boystown will be participating in "Painting the Town Purple" with events on Wednesday beginning at 10 p.m. to benefit the Trevor Project.

Scarlet, 3320 N Halsted, will donate portions of the proceeds from their Wednesday night event. There will also be a Video Filming Booth on location for the It Gets Better Project.

"Unfortunately, this is a topic that almost every gay person can relate to in their own life," Scarlet owner Paul Cannella told "If I can participate in something positive, that might influence some kid to make a much better decision, I'm honored to do so. Life is great, and it only gets better and better!"

At Minibar, 3341 N Halsted, a $5 suggested donation to the Trevor Project includes a free drink ticket, plus $1 from each martini sold will be donated.

Vivid Seats Ltd has donated general admission floor seats to the February 28 Lady Gaga/Scissor Sisters concert at the United Center to be raffled at both bars.

According to research from the Trevor Project, LGBT teens are four times more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts. Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among 15 to 24-year-olds and is the second leading cause of death on college campuses.

The Trevor Project operates the nation's only 24-hour suicide and crisis prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. They also run TrevorChat, an online messaging service that connects young people with a counselor.

Chicago Ambassadors of the Trevor Project encourage the community to wear purple all day, come out Wednesday night and get involved.

LGBT youth in need of immediate help should contact The Trevor Project's 24/7 Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).