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.
Spirit Day Creator Brittany McMillan on Advocate's "40 Under 40"
GLAAD congratulates Brittany McMillan on having been named to Advocate's "40 under 40" list of people who are shaping the future of the LGBT movement. (Brittany appears about halfway down the page, but all of the profiles should be read.)
At 17, Brittany is the fourth-youngest person on the list, but by creating Spirit Day, she has arguably reached the most people. For the last two years, celebrities, media outlets, public figures (up to and including the White House) have joined countless everyday Americans in wearing or displaying the color purple on October 20th, at Brittany's request, to show support for LGBT youth and opposition to bullying. She told the Advocate “Spirit Day only takes place one day out of the year, but homophobia happens every day."
Brittany's generation is already the most LGBT-supportive that we have ever seen, and young leaders like her are a main reason why. When we reached out to personally congratulate her, Brittany told us "I'm honored, but I couldn't do it without the help of GLAAD, or the participation of people worldwide!"
Brittany McMillan will be a special guest at the 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on June 2nd. You can see highlights from Spirit Day 2011 here, and read our Q&As with Brittany both before and after last year's Spirit Day.