The users of Twitter have used Spirit Day to take what was once a homophobic hash tag and turned it into a learning opportunity. The hash tag, #SignsYoSonIsGay has normally been the place for homophobic stereotypes and jokes about gay men.
Today, LGBT allies have decided that it was time to turn #SignsYoSonIsGay into an honest and positive portrayal of LGBT people. People noticed that the homophobic hash tag was trending and decided to do something about it. We tweeted from our own Twitter account:
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 18, 2012
Others chimed in as well:
— Cheeks (@GoCheeksGo) October 18, 2012
— Family Equality (@family_equality) October 19, 2012
Actress Marlee Matlin aided in the call to change the conversation about both #SignsYoSonIsGay and #HowToTurnDownAUglyPerson:
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) October 18, 2012
After that, LGBT advocates began listing positive attributes with the hash tag #SignsYoSonIsGay. Many notable LGBT advocates joined in.
— John M. Becker (@freedom2marry) October 19, 2012
Smart, funny, decent, loving people swipe #SignsYoSonIsGay hashtag from the homophobes, unfit parents, and haters. Inspired and inspiring!
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 19, 2012
#signsyosonisgay He loves his husband & children more fiercely, appreciates them more because their legal standing is so precarious
— randy roberts potts (@randyrpotts) October 19, 2012
#SignsYoSonIsGay He's still a beloved child of God & nothing can ever change that.
— The Marin Foundation (@MarinFoundation) October 19, 2012
Other Twitter users expressed joy that the homophobic hash tag had been appropriated for a positive purpose. Cyber-bullying is one of the forms of bullying most prominent today. By going purple on Spirit Day on line, you are giving a signal of hope for someone who might otherwise be feeling isolated. And, apparently, the media is taking notice.
— PR Newswire LGBT (@PRNlgbt) October 19, 2012
The reappropriation of #SignsYoSonIsGay is one of many ways that you can stop bullying. You can also get involved by downloading GLAAD’s Spirit Day resource kit, which contains tools to help turn your community purple in a stand against bullying. Spirit Day participants can also spread the word by telling their friends that they’re going purple on 10/19. Or, you can 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.
Nothing to wear? Visit American Apparel's official Spirit Day store and look good while giving! Use discount code SPIRIT at check out for an exclusive 10% Spirit Day savings. From 10/12 - 10/19, American Apparel will also donate 10% of all purple proceeds to GLAAD.