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GLAAD’s #SPIRITDAY SPOTLIGHTS WIDESPREAD AND DIVERSE SUPPORT FOR LGBTQ YOUNG PEOPLE
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
NFL AND GLAAD LAUNCH #SPIRITDAY PSA FEATURING OUT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS LINEBACKER CARL NASSIB IN SUPPORT OF LGBTQ YOUTH
HOSTS OF “THE 11TH HOUR WITH STEPHANIE RUHLE,” CNBC, “DESPIERTA AMERICA,” “ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT,” NFL NETWORK’S “GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL,” “MSNBC,” “THE TALK,” “TODAY,” AND “THE VIEW” SUPPORTED LGBTQ YOUTH ON-AIR
KELLY CLARKSON, WILSON CRUZ, MAREN MORRIS, JIM PARSONS, DJ “SHANGELA” PIERCE, ALFONSO RIBEIRO, JOHN STAMOS, WANDA SYKES AND MORE PARTICIPATED AND WENT PURPLE
NEW YORK’S ICONIC EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WENT PURPLE FOR #SPIRITDAY WITH SINGER AND SONGWRITER JUJUBEE, GOTHAM CHEER, AND SALLY HANSEN
New York, NY – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, yesterday celebrated Spirit Day, when participants around the world wear purple or go purple online in a united stand against bullying and show of support for LGBTQ young people. Since the inaugural Spirit Day in 2010, GLAAD organizes hundreds of celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, tech leaders, influencers, faith groups, schooLS, organizations, colleges and universities in what has become the most visible anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign. Purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. For more information visit glaad.org/spiritday and follow #SpiritDay.
For journalists, a list of links to select social media posts from notables is available: here
NFL Media produced a PSA with GLAAD emphasizing the importance of taking a stand against bullying and discrimination against LGBTQ youth. The spot features NFL Network talent Kimmi Chex, James Palmer and MJ Acosta Ruiz as well as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Carl Nassib who was the first active NFL player to come out publicly and Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride, who is the first NFL player with same-sex parents. It also features members of the Carolina Panthers Top Cats Cheerleaders, including Javontre Booker, Ebonee Bryant-Smith, Chris Crawford and Justine Lindsey – who became the NFL’s first openly transgender cheerleader this year. All featured in the PSA echo the importance of being allies, standing up for LGBTQ youth across the country and wearing purple as part of the Spirit Day pledge. Video here.
Wednesday night, in Los Angeles, GLAAD kicked off Spirit Day with the fourth “Beyond” Spirit Day Benefit Concert. Hosted by acclaimed songwriter & activist Justin Tranter, the evening featured performances by Billy Porter. The event was supported by the Kellogg Company, M&M’s, WWE as well as long-time GLAAD supporter Ketel One Family-Made Vodka. Special guests in attendance included Shea Diamond, Dan Reynolds, Chappell Roan, Jake Wesley Rogers, and many more. Photos available here courtesy of GLAAD/Getty Images.
Singer and songwriter Jujubee joined Sally Hansen, Gotham Cheer, and GLAAD to light the iconic Empire State Building purple and kick off Spirit Day. Photos available here
GLAAD also responded to the introduction of a federal ‘Don’t Say LGBTQ’ bill by Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, California Rep. Doug LaMalfa, and over 30 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation could affect federally funded facilities and programs including libraries, hospitals, and federally funded schools. It would prohibit materials or discussion involving “any topic involving gender identity, gender dysphoria, transgenderism, sexual orientation, or related subjects.” According to NBC News, this would include providing sex education or library books that include LGBTQ topics to children. It would also bar public libraries from using funds to host Drag Story Hour events.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded to the legislation on Twitter today.
“Don’t Say LGBTQ bills, as well as bills that harm transgender young people, are growing in number and creating a more dangerous and discriminatory America. At a time when anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, violence and legislation continue to rise at alarming rates, LGBTQ young people need to hear a loud message of affirmation on Spirit Day and all year long,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “We hope LGBTQ young people see Spirit Day participation from so many notable individuals, organizations, sports leagues, elected officials, faith leaders, and brands today and recognize they are loved and supported just as they are.”
This year, presenting sponsors Kellogg Company, Sally Hansen, Target, and Visible, along with community sponsors Amazon Corporate Security, Kirkland & Ellis, L’Oreal/ Viktor&Rolf, NFL, NBA and WNBA, Skittles, and Taimi will all participate in the anti-bullying campaign.
Celebrities and other notables including: MJ Acosta-Ruiz, Chante Adams, Cody Alan, Aly & AJ, Ben Aldridge, Louis Van Amstel, Cynthia Bailey, Elizabeth Banks, Gazelle Beauvais, Jonathan Bennett, Mayim Bialik, Sue Bird, Kent Boyd, Lina Bradford, Bright Light Bright Light, Aria Brooks, Sterling K. Brown, Lady Camden, Kristin Cavallari, Margaret Cho, Brandy Clark, Kerri Colby, Jason Collins, Wilson Cruz, Marti Gould Cummings, Shannon Dang, Kelsi Davies, Heather Dubrow, Daniel Durant, Daniel Franzese, Mikalah Gordon, Belinda Gosbee, Will Graham, Mollee Gray, Alexandra Grey, Darren Hayes, Faithe Herman, David Hernandez, Ty Herndon, June Jambalaya, Jeka Jane, Ken Jeong, Amrit Kapai, Dorit Kemsley, Meghan King, Carson Kressley, Cheryl Ladd, Lisa Linke, Mayan Lopez, Alexis Lynn, Baker Machado, Matty Maggiacomo, Don Mancini, Brooks Marks, Idina Menzel, Mothé, Maddy Morphosis, Maren Morris, Chris Mosier, Netta, Joy Oladokun, Jim Parsons, DJ “Shangela” Pierce, Olivia Ponton, Kyla Pratt, Ashlee Marie Preston, Randy Rainbow, Alfonso Ribeiro, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Adam Rippon, Jai Rodriguez, Jake Wesley Rogers, Lily Rose, R.K. Russell, Jeri Ryan, Karl J. Schmid, Amy Schneider, Deja Skye, Karla Souza, Orion Story, Wanda Sykes, Brooklynne Webb, Renika Williams, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Gregory Zarian and more.
Broadway productions including: “A Strange Loop,” Jujamcyn Theaters “Hadestown,” “Into the Woods,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and “1776.”
Elected officials, politicians, and members of the Biden Administration Alvin Bragg, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Ritchie Torres,, Jumaane D. Williams,
TV show participation including: “Call me Cat,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “Good Trouble,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Single Drunk Female,” “The Come Up,” “The Challenge,” “The Cleaning Lady,” “The L Word: Generation Q,” “We’re Here”
On-air hosts of: CNBC, Univision’s “Despierta America,” “Entertainment Tonight”, “Good Morning Football,” “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” “The Talk,” “The View,” “TODAY,” the 3rd Hour of “TODAY” and “TODAY” with Hoda & Jenna, “Wake Up with Cheddar,” and Cheddar News’ “Trending” participated by wearing purple and speaking about Spirit Day on-air.
Networks, media outlets, studios, and streaming services including: The Advocate, Apple Music, Comcast NBCUniversal, Disney/ABC, Freeform, iHeartMedia, LGBTQ Nation, Logo, OUT, Paramount, Pixar, Q.Digital, Queerty, Warner Bros. Discovery, Telemundo, Twitter, TikTok, Spotify, Univision and more.
Sports leagues and organizations including: Major sports leagues including the NFL, a community sponsor of Spirit Day this year, will take part in the anti-bullying campaign alongside the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and the NHL.
Faith organizations including: Affirming Youth Ministries, Fortunate Families, More Light Presbyterians, Reconciling Ministries Network, The Naming Project, and United Church of Christ will take part in Spirit Day.
Spanish-language networks, shows, and streaming services including: Spanish-language networks, shows, and streaming services set to participate in Spirit Day include Despierta América, Hoy Día, Pantaya, Telemundo, TelevisaUnivision, The Q Agenda.
Landmarks including: Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, The Empire State Building, the Spheres at Amazon’s Seattle campus, The Stonewall National Monument Visitor’s Center, Screens in Times Square including Paramount, NASDAQ, the M&M’s store, and American Eagle billboards are set to go purple for Spirit Day, along with Mars buildings in Newark, New Jersey and Chicago’s Mars Wrigley Building.
Brands including: Barbie, Monster High, M&Ms, Skittles, Wendy’s.
Organizations and nonprofits including: American Library Association, American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO,) Color of Change, United Against Book Bans, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, SAGE, LGBTQ advocacy groups GLSEN, PFLAG, NCLR, The Trevor Project and +Life, International organizations including Chinamerica Radio, Okaeri (Japan), GagaOOLala (Taiwan), Mermaids (UK), Gendered Intelligence (UK) and the United Nations went purple for Spirit Day.
GLAAD previously announced the kick off to Spirit Day 2022 with Maren Morris launching a new shirt where 100% of the proceeds will go to GLAAD’s work to support LGBTQ young people. The shirt reads “You Have A Seat at This Table.” Purchase Maren Morris’s Purple #SpiritDay Shirt HERE. Morris is also partnering with digital fundraising platform Fandiem and with Bandsintown on a special sweepstakes supporting GLAAD to give her fans a chance to be her guest in Nashville for the final show of her “Humble Quest” tour, including a flyaway for the winner and a guest, 2 VIP tickets, an exclusive virtual meet-up with the singer, and more specially chosen experiences. Fans can Donate To Win at fandiem.com/marenmorris
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 then 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.
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.
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