More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
First Rule of Spirit Day: You DO Talk About Spirit Day
Great! So far so good. You're honoring the memories of the LGBT young people we've lost to bullying and homophobia, and you're sending a message to those who are still struggling with those issues every day that you love them, you care about them, and you stand with them.
But what message are you sending to those who don't know about Spirit Day? None whatsoever. Let's do something about that. Starting a conversation about it with friends, family members or co-workers is incredibly easy.
"So I had to dig through my closet to find something purple to wear today."
"It's this thing called Spirit Day ..."
And there you go. You can talk about how you're showing solidarity with young people who are struggling with anti-gay bullying, how you're honoring those we've lost, how you're expressing your support for stronger anti-bullying efforts. You can tell people to keep an eye on the TV for celebrities and media personalities wearing purple. You can talk about our Twitter and Facebook campaigns.
You can tell your own stories about being bullied (if you were bullied, and if that's something you're comfortable discussing) - you can talk about other friends or relatives you know who have gone through something like this, or you can say whatever your reasons are for wanting to observe Spirit Day.
But no matter what you say, say something. Spirit Day won't have a lasting impact unless we talk about the importance of these issues and raise awareness of the hardships faced by young people who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
And know that when you say something, you're making a real difference in the world.
Here are some other ways you can show your support for the teens who took their lives because of anti-LGBT bullying from www.glaad.org/spiritday:
1. Wear purple on Wednesday, October 20!
3. Facebook pic: Click here to create a purple version of your Facebook profile pic - Then look for the purple photo in a new photo album called "Twibbons," click on the purple photo, and click "Make Profile Picture." Works best on square profile pictures.
5. On Wednesday, post this Facebook status: I'm wearing purple today to support LGBT youth - make your profile pic purple today for Spirit Day at http://glaad.org/spiritday
6. Tweet your Spirit Day pics to @glaad! And if you're on Flickr, add your pics to this group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/spiritday
7. Help promote by downloading this graphic for your blog or website
On Twitter? Use the hashtag #SpiritDay in your tweets - let's make #SpiritDay a trending topic!