Facebook goes purple for Spirit Day
In 2010 Facebook was the site of a grassroots effort to spread the word about Spirit Day, a day to honor the lives of teens who had died by suicide, and to stand up against anti-LGBT bullying. Therefore it was fitting that on the second annual Spirit Day held on October 20, 2011, Facebook itself went purple on two of the company's pages. Both the Facebook Safety and Facebook Diversity page photos went purple for the entire day, and Facebook also posted information about Spirit Day to both pages.
Facebook profile photos of many indivduals, public figures, and organizations went purple for the day, many using the "purple your profile" tools offered by GLAAD. In the afternoon of October 20, the White House's Facebook page went purple as well. In a blog post, the White House noted the impact of the mass participation in Spirit Day on social media sites: "If you visit Facebook today, or Twitter, or Tumblr, there's a good chance you'll be seeing purple."
Facebook was one of many tech companies, including Yahoo! and Mobli, to get involved with the Spirit Day campaign. The Huffington Post applauded some of Facebook's other accomplishments in LGBT inclusion, such as its addition of "civil union" and "domestic partnership" to the relationship status options.
Facebook recently released the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Social Pledge Facebook App in time for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
GLAAD is part of Facebook's Network of Support, an educational initiative comprised of LGBT advocacy organizations, including GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, PFLAG and The Trevor Project, in conjunction with MTV's "A Thin Line" campaign.
Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag.
This month the United States Supreme Court will issue decisions on two cases critical to marriage equality. GLAAD is working with media outlets and couples around the country to push for marriage. Follow GLAAD for up to date news about the Supreme Court's decision at www.glaad.org/marriage