Four years of #SpiritDay

It’s crazy to think that it’s already that time of year again – time to make the world all purple. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was in New York for last year’s Spirit Day, manning TweetDeck and watching the screens in Times Square as they turned purple. But as unbelievable as that is, it’s even harder to imagine that this is the fourth year Spirit Day has been active!

For the past three years, Spirit Day has become a huge part of my life. Working with GLAAD to stand up against bullying has given me so many wonderful experiences and opportunities, such as presenting an award to Facebook at the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco and placing as one of the top 5 in Seventeen Magazine’s "Pretty Amazing" contest. It’s strange to think that back in 2010, it all started as a single blog post on Tumblr.

Yet here we are now, with an ever-growing list of Spirit Day's millions of participants and partners, and tons of cool celebrity and activist ambassadors. It’s been amazing to see what one person can start, and how big it can get when all different people from around the world step in to stand up for the LGBT community. Each year, I feel so honoured to hear stories from people whom Spirit Day has helped. Each year, I am overwhelmed by the words of gratitude and the levels of participation all around the world, in schools, in churches and in businesses. There’s something really incredible about millions of people wearing purple to stand up for a cause they believe in. And it makes a difference. I’ve heard stories of groups showing support for their recently “out” friends on Spirit Day, of people finding the courage to be themselves on Spirit Day after seeing crowds of purple-wearers showing their support, and I’ve heard from people who were helped out of a difficult time in their lives by Spirit Day. Stories like these give meaning to the power of purple, and I can't wait to hear more, hopefully even yours, this year.

Spirit Day has always been a collaborative effort between the people behind the scenes and the participants in purple. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has gained continuously growing support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, faith communities, even national landmarks, and of course, everyone who takes the pledge and is committed to ending anti-LGBT bullying. With all of us working together for LGBT teens and young adults, bullying doesn't stand a chance.

This is why I’m happy to say that this year’s Spirit Day is going to be even bigger and better than ever before! We’ve already got some amazing celebrity ambassadors and participants lined up. I’m so excited to see where Spirit Day will go.

So on October 17th, show your support for the LGBT community and stand up to bullying by wearing purple. Don't forget to let us know how you’ll be participating this year.

Thank you for your support! I look forward to reading about your Spirit Day events and seeing the world decked out in purple!

Happy Spirit Day,

Brittany McMillan

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GLAAD launched the countdown to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that supports LGBT youth.