Today, October 17, 2019, millions of Americans and people around the world will “go purple” on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth. In an effort to close the gap between growing legal protections and lived LGBTQ+ acceptance, GLAAD is once again leading the charge to inspire and engage the participation of individuals, celebrities, corporations, small businesses, media outlets, schools, local communities and even national landmarks. It is more important than ever to show LGBTQ youth and young people everywhere that you are committed to ensuring their ability to live safely and authentically. On Spirit Day, participants can easily demonstrate their support for LGBTQ kids, teens, and young adults simply by going purple: wearing it, talking about bullying, and taking action online and in local communities.
How can I participate?
1. Pledge to go purple: Take the Spirit Day pledge right now at glaad.org/spiritday and then wear purple on October 17 in a stand against bullying. Encourage members of your community to do the same.
2. Go purple online: Turn your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pictures purple. Find out how at glaad.org/spiritday Share your support: Tweet, post media, share GLAAD social media posts, send Snapchats, and take selfies in your Spirit Day purple using #SpiritDay. Suggested tweet: Join me in wearing purple for #SpiritDay on 10/17 to support LGBTQ youth. Go purple here: glaad.org/spiritday
3. Donate to the Spirit Day fund: By chipping in just $5 or whatever amount is right for you, you’ll be helping to support GLAAD’s year-round efforts to combat bullying, protect LGBTQ youth, and bring Spirit Day to more people than ever. Find out how at glaad.org/spiritday?donate
How can I encourage community participation?
1. Wear purple at your job, in school, at church, or just around town. Tell people why you are wearing purple, share the history and message of Spirit Day, and ask those around you to participate by wearing purple in a stand against bullying.
2. Contact local businesses and organizations, and ask them to support Spirit Day and LGBTQ youth by going purple at their place of operation and on social media. Encourage local media outlets to cover an event for Spirit Day or pitch a story to them that raises awareness of bullying and issues faced by LGBTQ youth.
3. Hold an event for Spirit Day at your local community center, your college campus, or another public area.
4. Encourage attendees to wear purple and center the event on raising awareness about a local issue pertaining to LGBTQ youth or bullying.
How did Spirit Day begin?
High school student Brittany McMillan founded Spirit Day in 2010 in response to the alarming number of young LGBTQ lives lost to suicide—notably, the loss of Tyler Clementi. She wanted to create a day of awareness, acceptance, and love to prevent such tragedies. With GLAAD’s help, millions of teachers, workplaces, media personalities, and students wore purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag, to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ youth.
Today, Spirit Day is an international movement of solidarity. Every year since 2010, on the third Thursday of October, millions go purple to stand up against bullying and to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ kids, teens, and young adults. When Laverne Cox lit the Empire State Building purple during 2014’s Spirit Day, she got to the heart of the vision: “I want LGBTQ youth all over this country to know that they are beautiful, to know that they are divinely made, and that their lives matter.”
It all starts with you.