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.
Your Stories from #SpiritDay!
I wore purple! Did you?
If you’ve ever been asked the question, 'what difference does it make to wear purple – that doesn’t change anything!' Then take a moment to read through some of the inspiring comments, photos, and thoughts people shared on the Spirit Day Facebook page.
“Have my purple on! Fixin to leave, hoping to see a lot of other people wearing theirs!”
Wearing purple really does send a message of support. Youth everywhere saw celebrities talking about Spirit Day. One youth wrote,“The View just talked about this… how cool!” Another young person shared, “When I see people with purple on it gives me hope that other people in the LGBT community will realize that they have people who support them. It brings tears (of joy) when I see other people wear purple. I was bullied once in middle school but it changed and I feel like wearing purple will let others know they have support.”
Anastasia shared her Spirit Day coming out story:
“I wore purple today. I also came out as being bisexual.
‘Don't you have a boyfriend?’
‘Yeah? What does that matter? I still am and have been into girls. Who you love or like is who you love or like, right?’
‘No. That is gross.’
‘I guess so. Not really.’
‘Yes it is. Oh my god, Anastasia. Don't even talk to me anymore.’
‘Seriously?! You don't wanna be my friend because of that? If I wouldn't have said anything then you wouldn't have known. And things would have been normal!’
‘Just go away. Now.’
So I lost friends today. They teased me, were rude to me, and were total ***holes. But I also figured out who some of my real friends are. Who support me and our friendship didn't change at all. I feel better about myself now. Like I have nothing to hide.
It's been a good day.”
Support for Spirit Day came in all forms. Here are a few examples of the power of Spirit Day in schools:
An educator wrote “I proudly wore my purple hockey Jersey and a purple Halloween shirt to work today ( work at a middle school). I wanted the kids to know I support them.” Just in case they didn’t know this already, educators everywhere could use more of these types of reinforcing messages from students
“I wore purple! ;D I even saw some of my teachers wearing purple :’)”
“i’m wearing purple! & i spoke with my guidance counselor and it became a school event! happy spirit day:)”
“in my school today, there were many people wearing purple... my class wearing purple, everybody! People liked this event, yeah! :D”
“Wearing my purple proudly. And I'm ecstatic that I got over 100 students and teachers to participate at school!”
Then there are these messages that are just brimming with excitement:
“i don't have my purple shirt from last year but i have a purple cardigan and beanie that i've been wearing all day! i'm so glad so many people are participating!” and “I was rocking puprle at school! Lookin fly with my firends! whoo!” “Wearing my purple! As someone who was bullied a lot in high school, it means a lot to me to support this :) Go Purple!"
As a reminder that the support we show on Spirit Day needs to go beyond the color purple, one youth writes, “If you witness bullying, step in. You are sending the message to the bully that he/she is being watched and it is telling the bullied that someone cares.”
And people showed their support for Spirit Day in the most creative ways imaginable. You can see a greater example of photos on the Spirit Day Flickr pool, but take a look at a few here:
As Spirit Day winds to a close, here are just a few of the powerful words and images we can go forward with. Thank you everyone for taking part in Spirit Day and taking a stand for LGBT youth.
"The It Gets Better Pledge: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family, and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better" #SpiritDay #StopBullying #NOH8 #ItGetsBetter"
"Let Love in :)"
"I gots that western purple swag"
"Purple shirt, socks, earrings, eye shadow, and heart :) ♥ = ♥™"
"I'm proud to be wearing purple today, nd I am proud to be standig up against bullying. Go Purp!"
"THE POWER OF PURPLE""
"We love you just the way you are ♥"