Today Black LGBTQ celebrities, Black and LGBTQ-led non-profits and community-based organizations, and Black allies lined our timelines with love and a sea of purple for #SpiritDay 2022.
While LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience bullying, with 76.1% of LGBTQ students reporting being verbally harassed, Black LGBTQ youth are found to experience higher rates of bullying, stress, and mental health challenges related to harassment based on their intersectional identities. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 “Black and African American LGBTQ Youth Report, 67% of Black LGBTQ youth “have been verbally insulted because of their LGBTQ identity,” and many Black LGBT youth face harassment from family members and the Black community at large.
Now, perhaps more than ever, it is crucial for the community to show up for LGBTQ youth, and it is especially important for us to demonstrate our support for Black LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ youth of color.
Take a look below at some of the Black voices that took the pledge and showed up loud, proud, and in purple for LGBTQ youth today.
Celebrities and Shows
— A Strange Loop on Broadway (@StrangeLoopBway) October 20, 2022
We’re going purple on #startrekdiscovery to show support for #LGBTQ youth on #SpiritDay. Take the pledge to stand against bullying on October 20th https://t.co/cMzqLnXY22 @glsen @glaad @StarTrekOnPPlus pic.twitter.com/1nVjPRQW3L
— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) October 20, 2022
— Edwin Hodge (@EdwinHodge) October 20, 2022
— Garcelle Beauvais (@GarcelleB) October 20, 2022
Community and Faith-based Organizations
— Sexual Minorities Uganda | SMUG (@SMUG2004) October 20, 2022
— Rep. Ritchie Torres (@RepRitchie) October 20, 2022
D.A. Bragg and members of the LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group are wearing purple to support LGBTQIA+ youth. Bullying, harassment and harm should have no place in our world. Be Strong. Stay Strong. #SpiritDay pic.twitter.com/YEeUFB8DG2
— Alvin Bragg (@ManhattanDA) October 20, 2022
We uplift #SpiritDay in NYC!
NYC will always be a supportive home for LGBTQ+ young people. We work hand-in-hand with advocates to ensure the community is safe, empowered, and free to live authentically.#BullyingPreventionMonth #SpiritDay2022 pic.twitter.com/24OyMjB3PW
— Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams (@nycpa) October 20, 2022
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) October 20, 2022
GLAAD organizes celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, faith groups, school districts, organizations, colleges and universities in what has become the most visible anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign in the world. Purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.
The annual tradition was started in 2010 by GLAAD and then high school student Brittany McMillan, in memory of the LGBTQ youth who died by suicide. McMillan encouraged her friends to wear purple on a day in October — a day that came to be known as Spirit Day.
Today, LGBTQ youth, and especially trans and nonbinary youth, are experiencing a level of scrutiny in schools we have never seen, leading to an environment rife with stressors beyond the peer-to-peer bullying of the past. From book bans, to bans on trans youth in sports, to bathroom restrictions and teachers barred from using correct pronouns, the means by which a student can express themselves and see others like them are increasingly being challenged.
GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, released earlier this week, reported nearly 82% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe in school. 76% experienced in-person verbal harassment (e.g., called names or threatened) and 31% were physically harassed. Earlier this year, The Trevor Project reported 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say that recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.
GLAAD’s 2022 Social Media Safety Index found severe harassment for LGBTQ users when compared to 2021. This anti-LGBTQ rhetoric translates to real-life harm and has been cited as drivers of many of the over 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in states around the country this year alone, many of which target LGBTQ young people.
Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you’ve got their backs at glaad.org/spiritday.
For more information on Spirit Day, visit glaad.org/spiritday and follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.