October 17 was Spirit Day, a day when we at GLAAD asks all people, including celebrities and leaders to send a message of support to LGBT young people and to take a stand against bullying by wearing purple, turning their Facebook and Twitter pages purple, to essentially find a way to say to LGBT youth that they have an ally.
The campaign was started by Brittany McMillan, a teen who felt her LGBT friends needed a lot more support than they were getting. GLAAD has worked hard to make Spirit Day more prominent in order to reach more young people with these important messages.
Every year we see more and more participation, and this year we were thrilled this year to see more involvement than ever from Spanish-language media personality and TV and radio hosts.
It all began with iconic talk show host Cristina Saralegui taking on the role of Spirit Day ambassador. Cristina turned everything on her Facebook page purple and added GLAAD's banner, then tweeted about the day, urging others to join. Days before Spirit Day, Telemundo also promised to cover the day and its significance on five affiliates in the Latino population dense cities of Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York and San Jose.
On the day itself, we saw "Noticiero Telemundo" anchor José Diaz-Balart and co-anchor María Celeste Arrarás, who also hosts "Al Rojo Vivo" wearing purple and tweeting messages of support. Several presenters on "Al Rojo Vivo" and the entire cast of the morning show "Un Nuevo Día" on Telemundo proudly sported purple. On Univision's morning show "Despierta América," Satcha Pretto and Raúl Gonzales both rocked purple. Between them, "Un Nuevo Día" and "Despierta América" are probably on in nearly every Latino home in the United States.
Celebrities tweeted and shared messages with their followers, most notably, Ricky Martin, Kate del Castillo, Ana Maria Polo, Enrique Santos and Christian Chávez. Gabriel Coronel, Rodner Figueroa, co-host of "Sal y Pimienta" and "El Gordo y la Flaca," pushed hard this year for participation which Raúl de Molina joked about on El Gordo y La Flaca, saying that Figueroa (who wasn't on the show that day) had left him countless messages about dressing in purple.
Primer Impacto, the nightly Univision show, which often does LGBT related segments, highlighted Ricky Martin's participation in Spirit Day showing his purple twitter feed. On CNN Latino, the show "Sin Límites con Elizabeth Espinosa" did a great segment on the issue.
In addition, Latino artists in English-language media also took part in Spirit Day on Social Media; Guillermo Diaz from the hit Scandal, Sara Ramirez from Grey's Anatomy and Lana Parilla from "Once Upon a Time" tweeted their support for LGBT youth. They joined the White House, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and celebrities like Oprah and many others in going purple.
Way to rock the morado, mi gente Latina, and send a great message!