GLAAD, CELEBRITIES, TV NETWORKS, CORPORATIONS JOIN MILLIONS TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST ANTI-LGBT BULLYING BY 'GOING PURPLE' ON SPIRIT DAY, OCTOBER 20

Anti-bullying PSAs launch with Jersey Shore's Vinny, Naya Rivera, Amy Poehler, Shaquille O'Neal, Chaz Bono, Tori Spelling and more

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

October 13, 2011

New York, NY, October 13, 2011 - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced an initial list of participants in Spirit Day as well as the launch of its “Amplify Your Voice!” public service announcement (PSA) campaign featuring celebrity talent and young people speaking out against anti-LGBT bullying.

The PSAs urge viewers to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and direct viewers to GLAAD.org for resource kits offering best practices to parents, teachers and students. The free kits feature resources from the American Federation of Teachers, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project, among others.

Celebrity participants in GLAAD’s ‘Amplify Your Voice’ campaign -- a project developed with the American Federation of Teachers -- include: Chaz Bono, Kristin Chenoweth, Vinny Guadaginino, Rashida Jones, Dustin Lance Black, Sandra Lee, Mario Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Amy Poehler, Naya Rivera, Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott, Ariel Winter, and the cast of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. The campaign also features the personal stories of young people from New York’s LGBT Community Center (the Center). The Center’s Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program is open to LGBT and questioning people between the ages of 13 and 22, and provides them with community support to foster healthy development in a safe, affirming and drug-free environment.

Videos and resource kits are available here: www.glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice. Media interested in posted the videos can find instructions here. Comcast will serve as a leading media partner for the PSA campaign, contributing $3 million in national airtime and bringing this important message to more than 20 million homes over the next year. Additional videos to be released in coming weeks.

GLAAD also announced initial participants who will join millions of Americans by wearing purple on October 20, 2011, to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and show support for LGBT youth on Spirit Day. GLAAD is working with organizations including GLSEN, GSA Network and the Trevor Project as part of National Bullying Prevention Month to inspire individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities to wear purple.

For a list of celebrity participants, media outlets, TV networks, organizations and corporations visit www.glaad.org/spiritday. Additional participants will be announced in coming days.

Hosts from the CNBC, CNN, E!, the Dr. Drew Show, MSNBC and The View will be wearing purple on-air.

MTV will be turning the on-air logo purple along with their Facebook, Twitter, MTV.com and MTV Act logos.

Celebrity participants include: Tamra Barney (Bravo, Real Housewives of Orange County), Laura Bruce (WE, Downsized), Andy Cohen (Bravo), Aisha Dee (Fox, I Hate My Teenage Daughter), Drew Ginsburg (Bravo, Most Eligible Dallas), Carson Kressley (ABC, Dancing With The Stars), Padma Lakshmi (Bravo, Top Chef), Kristi Lauren (I Hate My Teenage Daughter), Katie Leclerc (ABC Family, Switched at Birth), Vanessa Marano (ABC Family, Switched at Birth), Shay Mitchell (ABC Family, Pretty Little Liars), Mary Murphy (So You Think You Can Dance), David Nadelberg (Sundance Channel, The Mortified Sessions), Matt Nordgren (Bravo, Most Eligible Dallas), Rosie Pope (Bravo, Pregnant in Heels), Garo Sparo (Sundance Channel, Unleashed by Garo), Steve-O, TJ Thyne (Bones), Diann Valentine (WE, I Do Over), Kathy Wakile (Bravo, Real Housewives of New Jersey), Joe Zee (Sundance Channel, All on the Line with Joe Zee), and the cast of Sundance Channel’s Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys are among celebrities who will participate by wearing purple or changing Twitter and Facebook photos for the day. Participants in 2010 included Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Martin, Khloe Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Perez Hilton, Kristin Chenoweth, the Dixie Chicks, cast members from of Glee, Joan Rivers, among dozens of others.

Companies including American Airlines, AT&T, B|W|R Public Relations, Comcast, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, McGraw-Hill, NBCUniversal, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Verizon, Yahoo! and Yahoo! Pride will participate in 2011. Participating companies will be distributing information to employees about wearing purple. Some have also pledged to turn logos purple for the day. For more information on specific plans visit: http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/corporate.

The Sundance Channel employees will be participating and the Sundance Channel social media logos will turn to purple on Spirit Day.

LOGO will air a Spirit day purple ribbon on the channel to drive viewers to NewNowNext.com to increase awareness against bullying. Additionally, their Twitter (@LogoTV) and Facebook photos will ‘go purple’ and pictures of staff, fans and talent will be posted to Tumblr throughout the day.

Here Media will turn logos on Advocate.com, Out.com and SheWired purple for the day.

Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s ‘Ally Week’ (October 17-21), a week for students to organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate Allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools and communities. GLSEN has partnered with GLAAD to promote Spirit Day as an event for students to participate in during ‘Ally Week.’ For more information about ‘Ally Week’ visit www.allyweek.org.

In addition to GLSEN, GSA Network and The Trevor Project, dozens of local and faith-based organization are also participating in Spirit Day including: Basic Rights Oregon, COLAGE, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Pacific School of Religion, Coalition of Welcoming Congregations of the Bay Area, DignityUSA, Equality Hawaii, Equality Michigan, Equality Utah, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Human Rights Campaign's Religion & Faith Program, Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Keshet, Lutherans Concerned/North America, More Light Presbyterians, Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality, PROMO, Religious Institute: Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), United Church of Christ Office for LGBT Ministries, Straight But Not Narrow.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a way to show support for LGBT youth and remember those lives lost to suicide. Millions of teachers, workplaces, media personalities and students wore purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.

“From Hollywood to corporate America, it’s clear that an overwhelming number of Americans today support LGBT youth and believe that no one should be bullied for being who they are,” said GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson.  

“On Spirit Day and with our new ‘Amplify Your Voice!’ campaign, some of the greatest Hollywood, news and sports voices will be brought into America’s living rooms, reminding millions that no matter who you are, you have the power to make a difference.”