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GLAAD #SPIRITDAY 2023 SHINES AS LAVERNE COX LIGHTS THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING PURPLE IN SUPPORT OF LGBTQ YOUTH AS FRANKIE GRANDE HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL #SPIRITDAY CONCERT LIVE IN LOS ANGELES FEATURING LAUREN JAUREGUI, VINCINT, THE SCARLET OPERA AND WAYNE BRADY
- Last updated: October 19, 2023
JOJO SIWA, STERLING K. BROWN, MAREN MORRIS, SASHA COLBY, KARAMO, HEIDI KLUM, JEOPARDY! CHAMPION AMY SCHNEIDER, MARCIA GAY HARDEN, PAUL FEIG, NICK CARTER, SHINJIRO ATAE, MEREDITH MARKS, SOFIA VERGARA AND MORE JOIN MILLIONS IN UNITED STAND AGAINST BULLYING #SPIRITDAY
GLAAD RELEASES FIRST ‘SPIRIT DAY INDEX’ QUANTIFIYING THE IMPACT OF EMPOWERING LGBTQ YOUTH AS ANTI-LGBTQ RHETORIC, LEGISLATION AND VIOLENCE GROWS
HOSTS OF “THE VIEW,” “GOOD MORNING AMERICA,” “HOY DÍA,” “TODAY SHOW,” CNBC, NFL NETWORK, IHEARTMEDIA, ALONGSIDE THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, THE UNITED NATIONS, PRO SPORTS AND MORE JOIN THOUSANDS IN GOING PURPLE IN SUPPORT OF LGBTQ YOUTH FOR #SPIRITDAY ORGANIZED BY GLAAD
New York, NY, October 19, 2023 – Today, GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, organized its annual united stand against bullying and show of support for LGBTQ youth: #SpiritDay. Since the inaugural #SpiritDay in 2010, GLAAD organized hundreds of 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 and united show of support for LGBTQ youth. Purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. For more information visit glaad.org/spiritday and follow #SpiritDay on social media.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING GOES PURPLE
Overnight in New York, in partnership with Sally Hansen, Emmy nominated actress and prominent equal rights advocate Laverne Cox lit up the Empire State Building purple to support LGBTQ youth and take the pledge against bullyin, alongside GLAAD Board Members, Peppermint and Samantha Lux, and Coty SVP of U.S. Marketing, Kevin Shapiro and Gotham Cheer.
Laverne Cox is the first openly transgender person to appear on the covers of TIME Magazine, British Vogue, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Essence Magazine, among others. Laverne also proudly holds two SAG Awards, winning them with her Orange Is the New Black castmates for ‘Outstanding Performance by Ensembles in a Comedy Series.’ Other accolades include a Critic’s Choice nomination for “Best Supporting Actress,” consecutive NAACP Image Award nominations for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy-Series,” and was honored with GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 25th GLAAD Media Awards in 2014.
Empire State Building event photos courtesy Getty Images for GLAAD
GLAAD’S SPIRIT DAY CONCERT
Overnight in Los Angeles, GLAAD Board Member, Frankie Grande, hosted the fifth annual #SpiritDay Concert, spotlighting some of the music industry’s top performers and emerging queer intersectional artists who are revolutionizing the industry. Powered by Live Nation and The Recording Academy, the annual GLAAD tradition opened to the public for the first time and featured performances from Lauren Jauregui, VINCINT, The Scarlet Opera and Wayne Brady. Hyundai was a Major sponsor of the concert, and M&M’s returned as an Official sponsor. Proceeds from this historic live music event will amplify GLAAD’s mission to accelerate acceptance and give LGBTQ youth, their parents, educators, allies and more an opportunity to see what’s possible when we lead with acceptance.
Spirit Day concert photos courtesy Getty Images for GLAAD
GLAAD’s SPIRIT DAY INDEX
For the first time, GLAAD will be releasing a Spirit Day Index. This new range of data will show the impact everyday people can have on the lives of LGBTQ youth by supporting days like #SpiritDay. The research was conducted by Ipsos through their KnowledgePanel, which is the oldest and largest probability-based online panel in the U.S., with about 60,000 members and found that the majority of Americans believe Spirit Day is important for LGBTQ Youth and want to take actions of allyship for the LGBTQ Community.
- 7 out of 10 LGBTQ allies* believe Spirit Day is important for LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ adults
- 6 out of 10 allies believe Spirit Day is important to ALL youth
- Americans are nearly twice as likely to agree it’s important for LGBTQ youth to feel seen and supported rather than disagree
- Nearly 3 in 10 Americans, and nearly 4 in 10 allies* have a child in their life that could benefit from knowing about Spirit Day
- Half of Americans, and 70% of allies* believe wearing purple on Spirit Day shows signs of support to LBGTQ Youth
- Americans believe that ALL sectors of life can have a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth by supporting Spirit Day
- 60% believe everyday people can have a positive impact
- 58% believe celebrities can have a positive impact
- 57% believe media participation can have a positive impact
- 57% believe online content creators can have a positive impact
- 56% believe sports leagues can have a positive impact
- 55% believe businesses can have a positive impact
- Of the 7 in 10 Americans who want to take actions of Allyship for the LGBTQ community, half do not feel they have the language or understanding to be an effective ally
See the full report and methodology HERE
“The LGBTQ community is under unprecedented attack- in statehouses, in schools, and in every day life,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Youth hear and see these messages. On Spirit Day, and beyond, they get to see and hear from the vast majority who support them. Spirit Day is a beautiful illustration of the loud and diverse support for LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day also underscores just how out of touch the handful of anti-LGBTQ extremists pushing dangerous rhetoric and policies are. Today, and every day, we encourage everyone, even if you haven’t thought of yourself as an ally before, to take the simple action of saying: I support LGBTQ youth, I am against bullying.”
Select #SpiritDay participation posts live as of this morning:
- CNBC, Today Show, Columbia Journalism, NBC News 4 Washington, Queerty, LGBTQ Nation
- Empire State Building
- The United Nations, The Congressional Equality Caucus,
- Major League Baseball, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Louis Cardinals, International Gay Rubgy,
- Laverne Cox
- Six The Musical,
- LGBTQ Commission of Kansas City, New York Education Department, Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett,
- The Naming Project, Little Bee Books
See and track the #SpiritDay conversation on social media here.
Celebrities and influential voices, Amy Schneider, Aria Brooks, Blue Hamilton, Brandon Thompson, Brandy Clark, Brooke Eden, Brooklynne Webb, Calum Scott, Christopher Gorham, EMELINE, Erin Andrews, Heidi Klum, Ian Paget, Idina Menzel, Isaac Dubar, Jaymes Vaughan, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Jessica Carter Altman, JoJo Siwa, Jonathan Bennett, Kaila Novak, Karamo, Kristin Cavallari, Lisa Edelstein, Mädchen Amick, Marcia Gay Harden, Mark Kanemura, Maren Morris, Matt Dallas, Matt Iseman, Matty Maggiacomo, Mayim Bialik, Meredith Marks, Michael D. Cohen, Nick Carter, Paul Feig, Rachel Bloom, Rebecca Zamolo, Reagan To, Ryan Michelle Bathé, Sasha Colby, Scott Turner Schofield, Shinjiro Atae, Sofia Vergara, Sterling K. Brown, The Scarlet Opera, Travis Shumake, Ty Herndon, UMI, Wayne Brady, are among thousands going purple today in support of LGBTQ youth for #SpiritDay 2023.
Faith leaders Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, Brandan Robertson, Father James Martin, and Bishops Megan Rohrer, Brenda Bos, among others, will also participate in the world’s largest and most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign.
Several studios, networks, shows, streaming services, landmarks, sports leagues, and organizations are confirmed to take part in the world’s largest and most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign:
- Companies and organizations including the United Nations, The Academy of Country Music, American Library Association, American Federation of Teachers, United Against Book Bans, Little Bee Books, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, The Choose Kindness Project and more will go purple in support of LGBTQ youth for #SpiritDay.
- Major sports leagues including the NFL, the NBA and WNBA, are community sponsors of #SpiritDay this year and will take part in the anti-bullying campaign alongside other major sports leagues and professional sports teams across the country.
- NBCUniversal: CNBC’s logo will also go purple on-air and online in support of LGBTQ youth. In addition, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC News NOW, Peacock, NBCU Entertainment – including NBC, Bravo, E!, Syfy, Oxygen True Crime and USA – and Universal Studio Group – Universal Television, UCP, Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal International Studios – will participate in taking a stand against bullying on #SpiritDay.
- Disney Entertainment Television’s portfolio of brands will take part in #SpiritDay to take a stand against bullying.
- Paramount: Casts from shows across Paramount brands will also participate.
- For a seventh consecutive year, iHeartMedia will participate in #SpiritDay by airing PSA spots in support of LGBTQ youth across its radio stations nationwide.
- Spanish-language celebrities, networks, shows, and streaming services set to participate in #SpiritDay includes Ana Maria Polo, Luis Sandoval, Curly Velasquez, The Q Agenda, Pantaya and programming across Telemundo and TelevisaUnivision including, Despierta América, Primer Impacto, El Gordo y la Flaca.
- On Broadway, the companies of Shucked, Here Lies Love, and Sweeney Todd will participate in #SpiritDay with Here Lies Love dedicating a post-curtain DJ set by Griffin Maxwell Brooks and dance party,fully devoted to #SpiritDayand GLAAD’s work to support LGBTQ youth.
- LGBTQ advocacy organizations, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, The GenderCool Project, GLSEN, The Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, +Life, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, The Los Angeles LGBT Center, PFLAG, Pride Live and The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will take part in #SpiritDay, along with the GSA Network and GSA student groups activating across the country.
- Faith organizations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, Beloved Arise, The Naming Project, Keshet, Yass, Jesus!, Outreach Faith: A Catholic Resource, Yuval David, Bishop Kevin Strickland, Wonderfully Made: LGBTQ+R(eligion), will take part in #SpiritDay.
- International organizations including the United Nations, China Rainbow Media Awards, Diversity (Italy), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and Mexican consulates in the U.S. & abroad, J-Pop star Shinjiro Atae, Marriage for all Japan, NHK Cosmomedia America, students at Christian Brothers College, will go purple for #SpiritDay.
#SpiritDay sponsors this year include: Sally Hansen, along with community sponsors Kirkland & Ellis, the NFL, the NBA, the WNBA, Skittles and the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development. The 5th Annual #SpiritDay concert is powered by Live Nation and The Recording Academy, alongside major sponsors Hyundai and official sponsor, M&M’s.
Previous #SpiritDay participants include the Obama White House, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Sec. Hillary Clinton, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Laverne Cox, Celine Dion, Shaquille O’Neal, Sam Smith, Jimmy Kimmel, Troye Sivan, Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA and WNBA, all Major League Baseball teams, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the Las Vegas Strip, and many more.
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE 2023 #SPIRITDAY SOCIAL MEDIA KIT
Please credit GLAAD for use across editorial use where possible
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 #SpiritDay.
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.
GLAAD’s 2023 Social Media Safety Index found severe harassment for LGBTQ users when compared to 2022 and found that all five major social media platforms continue to fail on LGBTQ safety. This anti-LGBTQ rhetoric then translates to real-life harm and has been cited as drivers of many of the more than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in states around the country this year alone, many of which target our LGBTQ youth.
Take the #SpiritDay Pledge to show LGBTQ youth you’ve got their backs at glaad.org/spiritday.
For more information on #SpiritDay, visit glaad.org/spiritday and follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.
About GLAAD: 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.
Nex Benedict (they/them), a 16-year-old student at a public high school in Owasso, Oklahoma, died…