Millions Go Purple in Support of LGBT Youth

This year, the LGBT community suffered the tremendous loss of several young people who died by suicide. While all students have a difficult time adjusting to the pressures of school and adolescence, LGBT and perceived-LGBT youth face disproportionate rates of bullying. To help combat homophobia in the classroom and send a clear message to LGBT youth that it's okay to be who you are, GLAAD worked to raise national visibility around the first-ever "Spirit Day", helping millions of people 'go purple' in support of LGBT youth.

The idea for Spirit Day came from Brittany McMillan, a Canadian high school student who decided to create a Facebook page asking her peers to wear purple in memory of several teens who died by suicide and to show support for all LGBT youth. As the event gained attention, some users on the event page posted explicit photos and called for violence against LGBT teens. The page grew quickly and soon reached over 1.5 million respondents and, working with GLAAD, Facebook began monitoring the page 24 hours a day to remove anti-LGBT speech and calls for violence against our community.

GLAAD also worked to promote the event by way of mainstream and social media, and created an online tool that helped people to update their status about Spirit Day and change their profile pictures to the color purple. Entire networks including E!, CNBC and MTV went purple online, on the air, and even in the office after working with GLAAD, and CNN featured a segment that encouraged viewers to wear purple in support of LGBT youth. High-profile celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Martin and Jay Leno also signed on to wear purple. Just like that, Brittany McMillan's idea worked its way around the globe.

The outpouring of support on Spirit Day brought the LGBT community and its allies together and sent a strong message that anti-LGBT bullying will not be tolerated. By sharing our messages of support, young people across the nation saw that there's simply nothing wrong with being who you are.

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2014 Anti-Bullying Resource Kit (for Students)

Spirit Day was created to stand against bullying and to show support for LGBT youth. Whether you are in middle school, high school or college, here are some ways that you can get your friends, family, and community, involved in Spirit Day. Be a part of the change and go purple for Spirit Day!

2014 Anti-Bullying Resource Kit (for Parents)

Spirit Day was created to stand against bullying and to show support for LGBT youth. Whether you are a teacher in middle school, high school or college, or your children are in school, here are some ways that you can get your friends, family, and community, involved in Spirit Day. Be a part of the change and go purple for Spirit Day!

GLAAD Media Reference Guide - 9th Edition

Over the past two decades, Americans have experienced a significant evolution in their understanding and cultural acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lives.

2014 Studio Responsibility Index

The GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) maps the quantity, quality and diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in films released by seven major motion picture studios during the 2013 calendar year. GLAAD researched films released by 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Columbia, Universal Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers. The report is intended to serve as a road map toward increasing fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT film representations.

Transgender Day of Remembrance Resource Kit for Journalists

The Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice, is recognized annually on November 20. GLAAD encourages journalists to mark the occasion with stories about the pervasive problem of crimes against transgender people, as well as the diversity and resilience of the community in the face of harassment and violence.

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