I’ve always quite liked purple as a colour. It’s rich, and varied – almost more so than any other colour. It varies from lilac to aubergine, merging with pink in fushias, and touching on blues at the other end.
I wonder if that is something which subconsciously occurs to people who choose it as a colour to represent them. Today is Purple Day, a day started by Cassidy Megan in Canada to raise awareness of epilepsy that is well on its way to going worldwide. It’s an amazing feat for anyone, let alone someone so young.
And it’s a day designed to bring people together, to spread knowledge, and increase understanding. It brings many disparate people together for that purpose, under a purple banner. Every year more countries recognise it, and Cassidy’s message spreads a little further. It’s an inspiring thing to behold, and I am proud to do my part, in whatever way.
This year, admittedly, that part is just wearing a lot of purple (and coercing The Girl into doing the same.) Next year I hope to be brave enough to go the whole hog and dye my hair purple and raise some money. But that’s the future.
Purple has more than one meaning for me, though. The asexual flag is not a rainbow, it is a gradient. Black, which represents asexuality. Grey, which represents grey-asexuality and demisexuality. White, for non-asexual (or ‘allosexual’) partners and allies. And finally, an anchor below them all; the purple stripe, for community. Belonging.
It’s a rich colour, a bold colour. It comes and goes in popularity but it never really goes out of fashion. I love it. I love it for its varied hues, for how there seems to be a shade to go with pretty much everything. I have purple clothes, cushions, jewellery, and notebooks. I even have a purple left-hand-friendly vegetable peeler, although that was more happenstance than intent.
It struck me this morning, how serendipitous it is that one of my favourite colours should also happen to represent me so well, no so many levels. Oh, certainly I think we all favour colours which reflect us on some level. But Purple Day started after my purple obsession began, and I’ve been on the road of grey-ace self discovery for less than a year.
So chance plays its part. But I think a lot of people are drawn to the colour for the same reason I am. There’s a shade of purple for every mood, every occasion, bold and pale, warming and cool. And it’s often seen as a non-conformist colour, too. As the poem goes: “When I am old, I shall wear purple.”
I don’t feel like waiting until I’m old. I’ll wear my purple now. Gothic days, modern days, conforming and contrary. For epilepsy, for community, and for identity. Loud and proud.