GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, is counting down the days to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that supports LGBT youth.
Spirit Day, which will take place on October 16, inspires millions to wear purple or ‘go purple’ online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth. Each year, Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals. Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its national partners PepsiCo and Wells Fargo, as well as official partner Comcast-NBCUniversal, and supporting partner American Eagle Outfitters.
“As we continue to make historic gains for equality in this country, LGBT youth are still facing startlingly disproportionate rates of bullying at school,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “By wearing purple for Spirit Day on October 16, we can send a powerful message to young people everywhere that it’s okay to be who you are. Bullying simply won’t be tolerated.”
Millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.
According to GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey, 63.5% of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, 43.9% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 81.9% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 63.9% because of their gender expression.
Previous Spirit Day participants include The White House, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Shaquille O’Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.
For more information, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday.