There’s a relatively new holiday on the block, and it’s one worth getting to know. Spirit Day commemorates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are or have been victims of bullying and harassment.
How Spirit Day started
In 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan started Spirit Day to honor those victims of bullying and homophobic abuse who had recently died. She campaigned for people to take a stand against this injustice by wearing purple for one day in October.
How to observe Spirit Day
The color purple in the rainbow flag stands for spirit. To show your spirit and share a message of hope, you can wear purple in support of LGBTQ youth and the fight against bullying.
You can also “purple” your profile pic for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites as a way of showing your support.
The bullying epidemic
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 28 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported being bullied (PDF). Yet there are few protections in place that can properly address this activity — particularly when it comes to LGBT youth, as adults in authority sometimes condone, participate in, or turn a blind eye to the harassment.
That’s why Spirit Day and efforts to address and combat bullying — both in the gay and straight communities — are important. Join us today by adding a little color (purple) to your world, and make a statement in favor of diversity and inclusion!
Show your spirit
Visit GLAAD’s Spirit Day page to learn about the event and how to “purple” your profile pic for a number of social media sites.