Social Issues October 20, 2011
Support LGBT Youth on Second Annual Spirit Day

Have you noticed that everything seems a little more purple today?

Hopefully you have, as today is Spirit Day, the annual GLAAD-endorsed day of observation that encourages everybody to wear purple as a show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

The very first Spirit Day occurred last year on October 20, 2010; founded by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan to speak out against anti-gay bullying, Spirit Day won the support of people like Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton and the cast of Glee.

This year, celebrity support for the day has exploded, with names like Tyra Banks, Conan O'Brien, Joel McHale, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, and many, many others pledging to wear purple. But that's not where the purple haze ends: Facebook, Yahoo!, PepsiCo and Viacom, among other massive corporations, have encouraged employees to wear purple today; groups like the NBA and MTV have tinted their Twitter ID photos purple; and the runway lights at the LAX airport in Los Angeles will guide planes to the ground with rows of purple beams.

Even if you're already dressed for the day, it's worthwhile to take a moment and share the message of Spirit Day with friends, family and co-workers. The tragic suicides of 15-year-old Ottawa teen Jamie Hubley last week and 14-year-old New York teen Jamey Rodemeyer last month are fresh, terrible reminders of the anguish caused by online and in-person bullying.

There is, of course, still time to show your support; check out GLAAD's Spirit Day page for some resources and tips on how to lend a purple hue to your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profile photos.



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