On Spirit Day, as we are surrounded by a sea of purple, ballot questions about marriage equality to be voted on until November 6 may seem a ways off, but marriage equality and bullying are two sides of the same coin. We have also learned with the ‘go purple’ phenomenon that visible signs matter. That’s why Believe Out Loud chose the eve of Spirit Day, October 18, to launch their latest campaign, Paint America in Rainbows. GLAAD was there last night, showing the connection between Paint America in Rainbows and Spirit Day.
Paint America in Rainbows is reaching out to Christians who welcome and affirm LGBT people and those who identify as LGBT themselves. Paint America in Rainbows provides free bumper stickers to marriage equality supporters living in states where on November 6 voters will decide on ballot questions affecting marriage equality; Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Supporters living outside states with pending amendments affecting marriage equality can buy a bumper sticker.
Believe Out Loud is an “online network that empowers Christians to work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equality [and] helps churches and individuals live out the Christian principle to love and embrace all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” The campaign launched last night attendees being given purple ribbons to wear. Believe Out Loud also turned their iconic rainbow logo purple on Facebook.
Bullies can be anywhere, using power and force to control the lives of others, and this includes government. LGBT youth are at risk for becoming targets of bullies at school because they are different and Spirit Day aims to show them that they are not alone and that they have people who care about them and will help. Having their relationships and love treated as equal is an important step ensuring that LGBT youth feel safe and welcome in their communities.
Believe Out Loud is one of hundreds of organizations, media outlets, sports teams, congregations, schools, and landmarks that are going purple for Spirit Day. And there is still time for you to go purple! Download GLAAD’s Spirit Day resource kit which contains tools to get involved. Spirit Day participants can also spread the word and tell their friends they’re standing up against bullying, download the Spirit Day app for iPhone and Android, and text PURPLE to 80888 to donate $5 to support the important work GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project do every day to end bullying and support LGBT youth.