This Spirit Day, GLAAD is calling on LGBTQ people to share their #SpiritDay stories to encourage allyship for LGBTQ youth! Participants post photos to answer the question: Who empowered you to accept and celebrate yourself as LGBTQ?
It’s easy to get involved! To share your story, post a photo of you and the person who empowered you to accept and celebrate yourself as LGBTQ. Tell the story of what their allyship meant to you in your caption using #SpiritDay. Post your story on all social media platforms from today through Spirit Day on October 15. Use the hashtag #SpiritDay and tag @GLAAD on your posts.
The words, work and tremendous presence of Travis Alabanza consistently leave me feeling empowered and inspired. Their words pushed me to broaden my ideas of gender identity, gender expression, and the intersections of queerness, blackness, and trans identity. They empowered me to use my voice, to explore the complexity in my identity, and to break out of the restricting mold of being “inspirational”. I had the pleasure of meeting them at the Black Lavender Experience at Brown University. They performed their show “Before I Step Outside (You Love Me).” During that performance, I’ve never felt more seen. Not only did I feel visible, I felt invincible. #spiritday #glaadcampusambassadors
LGBTQ youth deserve strong allies. Telling the story of who empowered you to accept and embrace yourself as an LGBTQ person can create a chain reaction of positivity and much needed allyship for LGBTQ youth around the world.
Allies come in all shapes and sizes. For some, an ally is a teacher that used their correct pronouns, for others their ally might have been a fellow queer person whose existence served as their first example of what it meant to be out and proud. No matter who empowered you, your story is valid and can serve as a vital reminder to youth everywhere that they deserve to be accepted just as they are.
Someone that has always made me feel empowered and comfortable in my own skin is Hannah Getahun (@hannah_getahun ). I have this personal philosophy: you have multiple soulmates – people you connect with on a deeper and spiritual level. Hannah is definitely one of those people. She has empowered me by erasing the innate otherness that so many LGBTQIAP+ people feel. She’s introduced me to her friends and has always made space for me. From watching RuPaul’s Drag Race to clowning around on Twitter, she’s always made me feel good about myself. She has encouraged me to explore my Latinx heritage and what it means to be an advocate. Her allyship has not only made me a stronger person but a more compassionate and understanding person. I am thankful everyday that I have someone like her in my corner. * * #SpiritDay #LGBTQ #LGBTQIAP #Latinx
About Spirit Day
Each year, millions go purple for GLAAD’s Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth in a united stand against bullying. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan in response to numerous young LGBTQ lives lost to suicide, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, and advocates around the world, all joining together to stand against bullying and support LGBTQ youth.
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, NBA & WNBA will all participate in 2020 Spirit Day.
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. Calls to The Trevor Project’s hotline for LGBTQ youth have at times more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
This year, Spirit Day is on October 15, 2020. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you’ve got their backs at glaad.org/spiritday. Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.
Clare Kenny is the Director of Youth Engagement at GLAAD. She leads GLAAD’s Campus Ambassador Program, Rising Stars Program, Spirit Day campaign and Amp digital platform. Clare is a graduate of Skidmore College.