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OCTOBER 15: SPIRIT DAY SENDS A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT AND ACCEPTANCE TO LGBTQ YOUTH AROUND THE WORLD
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
Director of Communications, GLAAD
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS, SEC. HILLARY CLINTON, GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, CELINE DION, HALLE BERRY, SAM SMITH, THE CHICKS, REBA MCENTIRE, ADAM LAMBERT, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, SARAH JESSICA PARKER, STERLING K. BROWN, NICK JONAS, LIONEL RICHIE, LIAM PAYNE, DON LEMON, JAZZ JENNINGS, PEPPERMINT, JAMES CORDEN, ANDY COHEN, RITA ORA, AND MANY MORE SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR LGBTQ YOUTH ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Good Morning America, TODAY, CNBC, CNN New Day, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, Despierta América, MSNBC, The View, The Talk, CBS This Morning, NFL Network, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Watch What Happens Live, Primer Impacto, Un Nuevo Día, and LATV’s The Zoo hosts recognize Spirit Day on-air
Sports leagues including all 30 Major League Baseball teams, the NBA & WNBA, and the NFL also went purple on social media
Disney/ABC, TikTok, iHeartMedia, Spotify, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, Sony Pictures, The CW, Hulu, LA Times, Refinery29, The Advocate, Out, Pride Media, Outsports, Billboard, Teen Vogue, Openly, NewNowNext, and them among other media participants
Global brands who participated in 2020 Spirit Day include Kellogg’s, Target, Skittles, Jeep, Nissan, Wells Fargo, Pringles, M&Ms, among others
Landmarks that went purple for Spirit Day included AT&T’s headquarters in Dallas, the Spheres at Amazon’s Seattle campus, the ViacomCBS Building at 1515 Broadway, the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, the M&M’s Times Square Jumbotron, and the Reuters, NASDAQ, and American Eagle billboards in Times Square
New York, NY, Friday, October 16, 2020 – 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, school districts, organizations, colleges and universities in what has become the most visible anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign. Purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.
For journalists, a list of live links to select social media posts from celebrities and other notables is available here.
This year, presenting partners Delta Air Lines, Kellogg Company, and Target, official partners Amazon, NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and the New York City Council, and Skittles, as well as community partners Kirkland & Ellis, the National Basketball Association (NBA) & the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will all participate in the anti-bullying campaign.
#SpiritDay was trending at #1 in the U.S. on Twitter on Thursday and garnered over one billion impressions on social media and over 100 unique press articles about LGBTQ youth and bullying.
Links to social media posts from participants available here.
A non-comprehensive list of #SpiritDay participants follows:
Celebrities, politicians, and other notables including: Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, Sec. Hillary Clinton, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Celine Dion, Halle Berry, Christina Aguleria, The Chicks, Reba McEntire, Sam Smith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sterling K. Brown, Chelsea Clinton, Liam Payne, Jazz Jennings, Adam Lambert, Nick Jonas, James Corden, Lionel Richie, Connie Britton, Andy Cohen, Peppermint, Wilson Cruz, Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Banks, Rosario Dawson, Justin Tranter, Elizabeth Gillies, Rita Ora, Meghan Trainor, Sunny Hostin, Daughtry, Mandy Moore, and LeAnn Rimes.
Additional politicians, celebrities, and notables included: The Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Robin Roberts, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ashlee Simpson, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Anthony Rapp, Elvis Duran, Jack Galinsky, New York State Senator Brad Holyman, Beanie Feldstein, Samantha Bee, Alison Brie, LeAnn Rimes, Toni Braxton, Tatiana Maslany, Jessie J, JoJo, Tegan & Sara, Betty Who, Fran Dresher, Lionel Richie, Patrick Starrr, FLETCHER, Blu Del Barrio, Ian Alexander, Javicia Leslie, Clea Duvall, Nico Tortorella, Gloria Trevi, Trinity The Tuck, Jaymes Vaughan, Craig Melvin, Stephanie Ruhle, Ali Velshi, Shane McAnally, Jake Borelli, Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman, Nicole Maines, Ava Max, Brooke Lynn Hytes, D.J. “Shangela” Pierce, Jordin Sparks, Maggie Lindemann, Elaine Hendrix, Shemar Moore, Cody Alan, Daniel Franzese, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Joel McKinnon Miller, Gigi Gorgeous Getty, Karl Schmid, Melanie Scrofano, August Getty, Brandon Stansell, Natalia Jiménez, Tiffany Hendra, Ginger Zee, Kameron Westcott, Chaz Cardigan, Dario Yazbek Bernal, Rachel Slawson, Ken Jeong, Jujubee, Padma Lakshmi, United Nations Free & Equal, Nina West, Ben Lewis, Colin Mochrie, Mollee Gray, Chris & Ian, Father James Martin, Macarena Achaga, Amy Allen, Jonathan Bennett, Garrett Clayton, Harper Grae, Lindsey Lomis, Elizabeth Berkley, Aria, Regina Blandón, Bright Light Bright Light, Ryan Eggold, Megan Boone, Ely Henry, Tyler Labine Jiggly Caliente, Coty Camacho, Scott Turner Schofield, Derek Warbuton, Roberto Carlo, Jackie Cox, Miz Cracker, Kat Cunning, Blair Imani, Paulina Davila, Alexis Michele, Ariana DeBose, Anne Heche, Ana de la Reguera, Nicky Doll, Andrés Durán, Lisa Edelstein, Anupam Kher, Luis Sandoval, Ednita, Brita Filter, Kany García, Carlie Hanson, Ty Herndon, Megan Hilty, Juan Pablo Jaramillo, Lali, Elyfer Torre, Jason Lewis, Jaime Wyatt, Litzy, LeeAnne Locken, Mauricio Martinez, Bárbara López, Countess LuAnn, MAX, Ava Max, Coco Maxima, Bethany C. Meyers, Ben O’Keefe, Eureka O’Hara, David Boreanaz, Janet Montgomery, Adriana Barraza, Finn Bailor, Adamari López, Hoda Kotb, Emma Norton, Joey Zauzig, Brooke Lewis, Kaliko Kauahi, Christian Chavez, Enrique Sapene, Amanda Troop, Jaicy Elliott, Lisa Linke, Cici Nicole, Tommy DiDario, Sander Jennings, Horacio Pancheri, Maite Perroni, Angel Bonilla, Calle y Poché, Michael Ray, Ana Rizo, AnnaSophia Robb, Frankie Rodriguez, Vincent Rodriguez III, Johnny Sibilly, Dahlia Sin, SOKO, Speelburg, and LGBTQ advocates and allies from South Africa, Ecuador, and India, part of the Global Shapers community.
Cast members from: This Is Us, The L Word: Generation Q, Grown-ish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Bold Type, The Amazing Race, Good Trouble, Superstore, Connecting, New Amsterdam, THE CRAFT: LEGACY, Shameless, Everything’s Going to Be Okay, NCIS, NCIS LA, NCIS New Orleans, FBI, FBI: Most Wanted, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Talk, Mom, Bob Hearts Abishola, Magnum P.I., MacGyver, All Rise, Unicorn, SEAL Team, The Neighborhood, B Positive, SWAT, Blue Bloods, Omar y Argelia, American Housewife, among others.
Networks, studios, streaming services, and social networking platforms including: Disney/ABC, TikTok, iHeartMedia, Spotify, Freeform, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, Sony Pictures, The CW, Hulu, ViacomCBS, Twitter, and Pantaya participated on social media or through talent.
Media outlets including: Associated Press, TODAY.com, NBC News, Adweek, LA Times, BET.com, ET.com, Billboard, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Reuters/Openly, NFL.com, iHeartRadio.com, CBS New York, Yahoo!, Out, The Advocate, NewNowNext, Queerty, Pride.com, Outsports, them, Ms. Magazine, She Knows, South Florida Gay News, PinkNews, Mombian, Outtake Voices, Broadway World.
On-air hosts of: Good Morning America, TODAY, Today with Hoda & Jenna, CNBC, CNN New Day, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, Despierta América, The View, The Talk, MSNBC, CBS This Morning, NFL Network, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Daily Pop, Primer Impacto, Un Nuevo Día, and LATV’s The Zoo.
On-air logos on: CNBC, NBC, MTV, Logo, and VH1.
Sports leagues including: All 30 Major League Baseball teams, the NBA & WNBA, and the NFL.
Landmarks: AT&T’s headquarters in Dallas, the Spheres at Amazon’s Seattle campus, the Baltimore Orioles Park & Camden Yards, the ViacomCBS Building at 1515 Broadway, the CBS Broadcast Center, the M&M’s New York Jumbotron, and the Reuters, NASDAQ, and American Eagle billboards in Times Square were lit in purple. WarnerMedia also put together a light-up installation inside Hudson Yards in honor of Spirit Day.
Brands and corporations including: Kellogg’s, Target, Skittles, Jeep, Nissan, Wells Fargo, Pringles, M&Ms, RXBAR, Fido, Capitol Records, and Island Records all participated on social media.
For journalists, a list of live links to select social media posts from celebrities and other notables is available here.
GLAAD also collaborated with the Global Shapers Community and the Forum of Young Global Leaders – both initiatives of the World Economic Forum – to ensure messages of solidarity, acceptance, and support reached LGBTQ youth around the world on Spirit Day. On October 15, GLAAD and Global Shapers released a video featuring young leaders in South Africa, Ecuador, and India sending special messages to LGBTQ youth for Spirit Day. Members of the Global Shapers Community and the Forum of Young Global Leaders are also participating throughout the day on social media. Learn more about their participation here.
Influencer Parker Kit Hill joined GLAAD and presenting partner Target to create the official 2020 Spirit Day Dance. Posted on Instagram (@ParkerKitHill), Parker danced to “Just Do You” by India.Arie and encouraged his and GLAAD’s followers to go purple and make their own dance videos to spread the Spirit Day message.
To recognize Spirit Day and fight back against cyberbullying, GLAAD worked with Zoom to share some best practices to secure virtual meetings and protect yourself online. In addition to elevating Zoom’s overall security recommendations, GLAAD & Zoom have identified top tips to protect the LGBTQ community, who disproportionately face bullying in-person and online.
GLAAD and Little Bee Books also released a new LGBTQ-inclusive children’s book titled, Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy. The Spirit Day title is the sixth book to be released in an ongoing series of LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books with Little Bee Books. Illustrated by Joy Yang, Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy is a beautiful, bold board book that teaches children about Spirit Day and its mission to stop bullying. Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy can be purchased on Amazon, Bookshop.com, Barnes & Noble, and at various in-store locations.
“From the effects of COVID-19, to the social uprising against racial injustice and police brutality, to the Trump administration’s consistent attacks on LGBTQ people, this year has presented unprecedented challenges and crises, all of which continue to uniquely and disproportionately impact LGBTQ youth,” says GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “At a time when LGBTQ youth may be isolating in homes that are not affirming or do not have access to their usual support systems, this year’s Spirit Day saw LGBTQ people and allies come together to send messages of acceptance and support to LGBTQ youth when they need it most.”
Coinciding with National Bullying Prevention Month, Spirit Day began in 2010 when then high school student Brittany McMillan created a Tumblr post asking students to wear purple following the suicide deaths of several LGBTQ and LGBTQ-perceived young people.
According to GLSEN‘s most recent National School Climate Survey, 70.1% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed. Additionally, 59.5% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 44.6% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 87.3% of LGBTQ students experienced harassment or assault based on personal characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender expression, gender, religion, actual or perceived race and ethnicity, and actual or perceived disability.
The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ identity. The Survey also found that more than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide. A new study released by the Trevor Project on October 6, titled “All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth,” found that 44% of Black LGBTQ youth reported seriously considering suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth and half of all Black LGBTQ youth ages 13-17 years old. The study also found that Black LGBTQ youth who had high levels of family support had nearly 3 times lower rates of suicide attempts in the past 12 months. However, less than 1 in 3 Black LGBTQ youth actually reported having high levels of family support.
In 2020, Spirit Day takes on a renewed importance due to the unprecedented challenges facing LGBTQ youth. This year, many LGBTQ youth are beginning the school year at home and are unable to attend in-person meetings of Gay-Straight Alliances, Gender-Sexuality Alliances or on-campus college LGBTQ organizations. Some LGBTQ youth may be confined to a home environment that may be unsupportive or abusive. GLAAD’s Spirit Day resource kit for students is available here and GLAAD’s kit for parents and educators here.
For more information on Spirit Day, visit glaad.org/spiritday.
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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