From the White House to the newsroom to Las Vegas to the classroom, millions participated in Spirit Day yesterday by wearing purple or going purple online – all in a visible stand against bullying and in support of LGBT young people.
Wearing purple on Spirit Day has become a national symbol for allies and all those who want LGBT young people to know that they’re supported for who they are. GLAAD worked with hundreds of partners including national and local organizations, schools, celebrities, sports leagues, Spanish-language media, web sites, and corporations.
Now it’s up to all of us to continue Spirit Day’s message throughout the year. And we need your help to continue #SpiritDay by texting 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.
Take a look at some of the more unexpected participants – including athletes, FOX News hosts, Honey Boo Boo and her family, the Las Vegas strip and the CEO of Twitter! Check out all of the participants and let us know who your favorite Spirit Day participant was in the comments below!
“At a time when 8 out of 10 LGBT youth report being harassed at school, it’s now more important than ever that we let every young person know that it’s okay to be who you are," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Spirit Day saw participation from such a wide range of celebrities, landmarks, sports teams and churches, that it's clear we're living in a world where anti-gay attitudes are outdated and out of step with the rest of our culture."
Check out the photos below or on Facebook.
The White House went purple on Facebook and Twitter and the #Obama2012 campaign tweeted a White House blog post about Spirit Day!
Other landmarks included the New York Stock Exchange, Welcome to Las Vegas sign and Vegas strip, LAX Airport and Time Square!
All professional sports leagues sent messages to bullied LGBT young people yesterday! Plus all Major League Baseball teams turned twitter photos to purple.
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) October 17, 2012
More than 100 famous faces spoke out to let LGBT youth know that they are supported and accepted! Check out our list here.
Ricky Martin, Fran Drescher
Paris Hilton, Brandy Norwood
Reba McEntire and the cast of Malibuy County, Snooki and other Jersey Shore cast
Shay Mitchell & Maria Menounous, Avan Jogia
Modern Family cast members, Wanda Sykes
World Renowned Dog Behaviorist & star of the upcoming series “Leader of the Pack” Cesar Millan along with People en Espanol editor Armando Correa and his family
Lindsey Shaw and Lance Bass, Henry Winkler
On TV, hosts of Access Hollywood, CNBC, CNN, E! News, FOX News, Good Morning America, Live with Kelly and Michael, MSNBC, TODAY, and Watch What Happens Live participated! Plus many Spanish-language broadcasters including Telemundo wore purple and Wendy Williams turned her whole audience purple!
Spirit Day's message spread widely on social media, and major tech companies supported the effort at the highest levels. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg both wore purple in photos posted on their sites. Tumblr, Hulu, StumbleUpon and Yahoo! also participated.
“Creating a culture of respect and trust is part of PepsiCo’s values and it’s the source of our strength in the marketplace. That’s why we’ll need the unique talent and insights of today’s students and young people to lead our company in the future. We commend GLSEN for their leadership and support GLAAD’s anti-bullying efforts as part of Spirit Day.”
EDUCATION, SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES
Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan tweeted a photo showing his support and LGBT young people had their voices heard and worked to turn their local communities purple. Teenager Blake Danford spoke out on Facebook: “Not only was it amazing to see SO many different people and organizations "Go purple" (like the white house's website, for example), but it created an incredible dialogue on Facebook. I remember a good friend of mine posting a picture of himself in his purple shirt, accompanying a very heart-felt story of why he chose to wear it that day. He, a straight male and one of the best allies to the LGBT community I have ever known, shared his story of how he was bullied all through school, and how no one should have to go through what he went through. Stories like his are what made that day so special.”
GLAAD worked with dozens of faith organizations to spread support for LGBT people. Richard Oceguera, the President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of New York told GLAAD, “Proud. Welcomed. Loved. These are some of the feelings I experienced as I listened to my pastor announce St. Francis Xavier's participation in GLAADs Spirit Day initiative. But what blew me away was hearing Spirit Day included in the prayer section of the mass. How amazing is it that a Catholic church is praying for the success of Spirit Day? Hats off to GLAAD for taking LGBT equality to our religious institutions!"
ORGANIZATIONS AND WEB SITES
Hundreds of local and national organizations helped to spread the word. Check out the full list here and photos of GLAAD staff below!
Thanks to everyone for making #SpiritDay a great day for LGBT young people!