The White House Joins GLAAD and Millions in 'Going Purple' for Spirit Day

Seth Adam
Senior Manager of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018
adam@glaad.org

October 19, 2012

Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, LIVE with Kelly and Michael, Ricky Martin, ‘Honey Boo Boo,’ Reba McEntire, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, Country Music Television (CMT), MTV, BET, NBCUniversal, Dianna Agron, Chaz Bono, Joel McHale, Sir Ian McKellen, Maria Menounos, Bernadette Peters and more wear purple in stand against bullying

All Major Professional Sports Leagues Go Purple for Bullied LGBT Youth

NEW YORK, NY, October 19, 2012 - The White House today joined GLAAD and millions of Americans in ‘going purple’ for Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. The move comes after thousands signed a Change.org petition started by anti-bullying advocate Katy Butler, which called on President Obama and Governor Romney to wear purple for Spirit Day on October 19.

The White House turned its official Facebook, Twitter and Google+ icons purple for Spirit Day. Butler continues to urge Romney to take a stand against bullying.

For Spirit Day stories or posts, please link to http://glaad.org/spiritday and for photos visit: http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/photos

This morning hosts of CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘LIVE with Kelly and Michael,’ ‘TODAY’ and 'The Wendy Williams Show' were wearing purple on-air. Ginger Zee of ‘Good Morning America’ and Williams gave Spirit Day a special shout out on-air. Andy Cohen and his guests were also in purple last night on ‘Watch What Happens Live.’

GLAAD previously announced that hundreds of celebrities including Reba McEntire, Ricky Martin, ‘Honey Boo Boo,’ her uncle Lee Thompson, and cast members of Jersey Shore would be participating. See more more names below or for a full list updated in real time visit: http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/entertainment

For a full list of participants, an anti-bullying resource kit for students and parents as well as Spirit Day digital apps visit http://glaad.org/spiritday and follow #SpiritDay

In an unprecedented show of support, GLAAD announced this week that the six most prominent American major sports leagues -- The National Basketball Association (NBA) / Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and NASCAR's diversity program -- will also ‘go purple’ for Spirit Day. The leagues join athletes like Shaquille O'Neal and Terrell Owens.

This morning all Major League Baseball teams turned their team Twitter photos purple.

“From sports leagues to faith institutions to national monuments, schools and celebrities, millions of Americans will unite this week in an extraordinary show of support for LGBT youth and in a stand against bullying,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “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.”

Viacom’s brands will be participating on-air, online, through social media and employee engagement efforts. MTV, VH1, Logo, TV Land and TeenNick will turn on-air logos purple on Spirit Day; MTV, VH1 and Logo will turn online logos purple as well and support through social media, VH1.com, LogoTV.com and NewNowNext.com, which will be posting feature stories and never-before-seen "It Gets Better" clips. MTV will turn its 44 ½ high-definition screen in Times Square purple for the day. The cast of TeenNick’s ‘Degrassi’ and ‘Victorious’ star Avan Jogia will be wearing purple and Viacom, BET, CMT and Paramount Pictures will also support the day through social media. MTV stars, including ‘Jersey Shore’ cast members DJ Pauly D, Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley, Sammi Giancola and Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi will also participate.

Comcast and NBCUniversal will participate including NBC owned stations, Telemundo network and owned stations. Hosts of “Access Hollywood,” CNBC, and E! News, among others, will wear purple. Hosts of “Extra,” “the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “The Wendy Williams Show” are also confirmed to participate.

The Sundance Channel will also participate by turning its on-air and web logos purple for Spirit Day on October 19. Additionally, the network will go purple on its social media pages and share photos of Sundance staff in their Spirit Day purple.

The 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign' will be turned purple and several hotels on the Las Vegas strip will light their marquees purple with an anti-bullying message, GLAAD previously announced with R&R Partners Foundation. In addition, the Duke Energy Tower in Charlotte, NC will join the New York Stock Exchange, Thomson Reuters’ Times Square screen, the LAX Pylon Lights and JFK traffic tower in lighting up purple for Spirit Day on October 19.

American Apparel, the vertically integrated clothing manufacturer based in downtown Los Angeles, launched a Spirit Day store featuring the company’s purple clothing items. Spirit Day supporters will receive a special 10% discount on the purple items by using the promo code ‘SPIRIT’ at check out. American Apparel will also donate 10% of all ‘purple proceeds’ to GLAAD.

Each year GLAAD coordinates hundreds of national and local organizations, schools, celebrities, media, sports leagues, corporations, parishes, faith groups and landmarks. GLAAD is also working with gay teen Katy Butler who is calling for President Obama and Governor Romney to wear purple on Friday. Her Change.org petition has garnered thousands of signatures: http://glaad.org/purple2012. Earlier this year, Katy launched a Change.org petition to call on the MPAA to change the rating of the documentary BULLY. 

Additionally, celebrities including Chad Allen, Juliette Angelo, Louis Van Amstel, Bryan Batt, Kristin Bauer van Straten,  Chaz Bono, Brandy, Bailey Buntain, Keenan Cahill, Kristin Cavallari, ‘Quan T. Chanteur, Crystal Chappell, Preston Charles, Christian Chavez, Derek Chavez, Margaret Cho, Mario Cimarro, Andy Cohen, Ron Corning, Andres Cuervo, Bianca and Chiara D’Ambrosio, the cast of Days of Our Lives, the cast of Degrassi, Heather Doerksen, Fran Drescher, Elvis Duran, Carmen Electra, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Craig Ferguson, Ray Ford, Fun., Stephen Fry, Rose Garcia, Teresa Giudice, Tony Goldwyn, Greer Grammer, Renee Graziano,  Kathy Griffin, Damien Haas,  Randy Harrison, Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, Lisa Hochstein, Cheyenne Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Peter Marc Jacobson, Avan Jogia, Kaya Jones, Tamala Jones, Jarod Joseph, Keahu Kahuaui, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Jennifer Knapp, C.J. Koegel, Kara Laricks, Laura Leon, Bubba Lewis, Judith Light, Mario Lopez, Katie Lowes, Jessica Lu, Lilia Luciano, Desi Lydic, Sean Maher, Marlee Matlin, Edith Marquez, Katlin Mastandrea, Lucia Mendez, Dean McDermott, Reba McEntire, Joel McHale, Sir Ian McKellan, Maria Menounous, Paula Meronek, Windell Middlebrooks, Andy Mientus, Justin Mikita, Cesar Milan, Dannii Minogue,  Alicia Minshew, D.W. Moffett, Rita Moreno, Sarah Mitchell,  Shay Mitchell, Sonja Morgan, Jessica Morris, Mary Murphy, Brandon Nelson, Matt Nordgren, Tyler Oakley, Shaquille O’Neal, JD Ordonez, Terrell Owens, AJ Pagan, Ian Patrick, Marysol Patton, Zack Pearlman, Bernadette Peters, Melissa Peterman, Pauly D, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Joey Pollari, Marisa del Portillo, Stephanie Pratt, Cierra Ramirez, Emilie de Ravin, Jasmine Reynaud, Jillian Rose Reed, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Rickards, Joan Rivers, Brent Ridge, RoBA, Chef Jason Roberts, Robin Roberts, Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Sara Rue, Thomas Sadoski, SallyAnn Salsano, Erin Sanders, Helenna Santos-Levy, Kenny Santucci, Robb Schreiber, Diego Schoening, Benji Schwimmer, Ryan Serhant, William Shatner, Lindsey Shaw, Christina Sicoli, Gail Simmons, Freddie Smith, Evan Starkman, KaDee Strickland, George Takei, Molly Tarlov, Lea Thompson, Shannon Tweed-Simmons, Kirsten Vangsness, Vanessa Villela, Michelle Visage, Bruce Vilanch, Kathy Wakile, Stephen Wallem, Kerry Washington, Trey Weatherholtz, Jill and Nikki Weiss-Goldstein, Wendy Williams, Henry Winkler, Marissa Winokur and Kyra Zagorsky will also participate by going purple on October 19. Additional TLC stars, including Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis from ‘DC Cupcakes,’ stars of ‘The Little Couple’ Bill Klein and Jen Arnold, Theresa Caputo of ‘The Long Island Medium,’ and Monte Durham and Lori Allen from ‘Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.’ For a full list please visit: http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/entertainment

Celebrity participants and Spirit Day Ambassadors are also encouraging fans and supporters to donate to GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project by texting ‘PURPLE’ to 80888 to make a $5 contribution. AT&T is the exclusive underwriter of the Spirit Day Text Purple campaign.

In addition to the ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Treasure Island, The Tropicana Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will also turn their resort marquees purple along the Las Vegas Strip 11 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. and then again 10 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. The Fremont Street Experience will also go purple for Spirit Day at 10 p.m. and again at 11 p.m., lighting its famed Viva Vision canopy, which consists of more than 12 million LED lights and spans four city blocks. Organized by The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center), a meet-up for teens and young adults will take place that evening at the Fremont Street Experience. Marquee Nightclub, located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, will host a Spirit Day after-party with special celebrity host NHL star Sean Avery.

Other Las Vegas-area participants include Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA); Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN); Golden Rainbow; Hilton Garden Inn; Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce; Las Vegas Pride; Nevada State Senator David Parks; QVegas; and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

GLAAD and Toyota Financial Services last week announced the release of the “Go Purple for #SpiritDay powered by Toyota Financial Services” apps for iPhone and Android. The app provides users with anti-bullying resources, calls to action, and a tool that can turn photos purple and share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The free app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. To download, visit: http://GLAAD.org/spiritday/app

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s second largest school district with more than 640,000 students in over 900 schools, will participate by sharing information about Spirit Day with students on its website and through its social media channels.

Corporations including AMC Entertainment, American Airlines, American Apparel, AT&T, atelier-lb, Caesars Foundation, Carat, Citi, Comcast, CreagerCole Communications, Delta Air Lines, Draftfcb, Digitas, Ernst & Young LLP, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hyatt, Johnnye’s East Texas Soul, LBNY, Leo Burnett Business, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Marquee Las Vegas, Marriott International, MediaVest, MetLife, MSL New York, Mobli, NBCUniversal, Nielsen, Omnicom Group, PepsiCo, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, PwC, Saatchi & Saatchi, Seventeen Magazine, Southern California Edison, StumbleUpon, Thomson Reuters, Toyota Financial Services, tumblr, Viacom, Warner Bros., Wells Fargo, Yahoo! and Zenith Optimedia will also participate in Spirit Day. Participating companies will distribute information to employees about wearing purple and/or turn their logo purple on October 19.

Additional media partners include 495 Productions, The Advocate, AutoStraddle.com, Boy Culture, Diversity News Magazine, Edge Media Network, Frontiers in L.A. Magazine, Gay.com, Gay.net, Here TV, HIV Plus Magazine, HollyScoop.com, HollywoodLife.com, HuffPost Gay Voices, Hulu, Instinct Magazine, JoeMyGod.com, MicahJesse.com, Mombian.com, Next Magazine, OUT, OUT Traveler, Queerty.com, RumorFix.com, Seventeen, The Seattle Lesbian, SheWired.com, Think Progress.

The Washington Blade will be purple online and in print.

Local and national groups and organizations including All Out; The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth; American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Athlete Ally; Bienestar; bklyn boihood; Born This Way Foundation; Broadway Impact; The Brown Boi Project; Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization; the BULLY Project; Campus Pride; CenterLink; Circle of Voices; Courage Campaign; Empire State Pride Agenda; Equality California; Equality Florida; Equality Illinois; Equality Maryland; Equality Matters; Equality Michigan; the Equality Network; Equality North Carolina; Equality Ohio; Equality Texas; Equality Utah; Fair Wisconsin; FALGBT; Familia es Familia; Fierce; Forty to None Project; Forum for Equality; Freedom to Marry; FriendFactor; Forum for Equality; Garden State Equality; Georgia Equality; Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY); Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD); the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD); Give a Damn Campaign; GMHC; GSA Network; Hetrick-Martin Institute; Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC); Human Rights Campaign (HRC); Immigration Equality; Indiana Equality; It Gets Better Project; Latino Equality Alliance; Latino GLBT History; LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent; Log Cabin Republicans; the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Mass Equality; Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC); MOVILH; National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC); the National Bullying Prevention Center by PACER; the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE); National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP); the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC); One Colorado; One Iowa; OutFront Minnesota; Out & Equal; OutServe; Palm Beach County Human Rights Council; Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Point Foundation; promo; Progress Florida; Reaching Out MBA; Safe Schools of South Florida; SAGE; Save Dade; Sean’s Last Wish;  Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN); Straight But Not Narrow; Sun Serve; Sylvia Rivera Law Project; The Task Force; Tennessee Equality Project; Transgender Law Center; Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF); Trans People of Color Coalition (TPCC);Tennessee Equality Project; Trans Ohio; Trans People of Color Coalition; Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN); The Trevor Project; True Colors Fund; The Village Family Services; We Are Family; WikiQueer; and Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) will all participate by wearing purple on October 19, turning their social media channels purple, and encouraging members to participate.

This year, more than 50 faith organizations, congregations and synagogues are going purple for Spirit Day. Notable faith leaders like Bishop Gene Robinson, Christian music artist Jennifer Knapp, and YouTube theologian, Matthew Vines have all encouraged their followers to go purple for Spirit Day. Faith-based organizations include the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, Metropolitan Community Churches, Believe Out Loud, Sojourners, Muslims for Progressive Values, Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Dignity USA, Fortunate Families, the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Holy Angels Catholic Community, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics, Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, Catholic Association of Students for Equality, New Ways Ministry, Keshet, the Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality, Star of Davida, Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, Beth Chayim Chadashim, He'bro, The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, Eden Theological Seminary Common Grounds, Auburn Seminary, Affirmation United Methodists, Reconciling Ministries Network, Druid Hills United Methodist Church, Travis Park United Methodist Church, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Pacific School of Religion, Coalition of Welcoming Congregations in the Bay Area, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, More Light Presbyterians, Presbyterian Welcome, Religious Institute: Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion, Human Rights Campaign Religion & Faith Program, ReconcilingWorks, St. James Lutheran Church, Journey Fellowship, BJUnity, Canyonwalker Connections, Groundswell, Inside, Owldolatrous, The Evangelical Network, The Marin Foundation, The Naming Project, and LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent. Congregations and faith organizations are encouraged to visit the faith page of the Spirit Day web site (http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/faith) to participate in Spirit Day.

Other sports organizations include the You Can Play Project, GLAAD partner Athlete Ally, GO! Athletes, and UK Rugby champion Ben Cohen's StandUp Foundation. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), like the NBA, will be taking part in Spirit Day for the second consecutive year. USA Track & Field will also participate by providing support through social media.

In 2010, teenager Brittany McMillan called on her friends to wear purple as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives to bullying. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.

"Showing support for your friends, family and teachers can make all the difference in the world to young LGBT people, whether they are going through a tough time or not,” said 17-year-old McMillan. “This year, Spirit Day is going to be bigger and better than ever, and I’m so thrilled to be going purple alongside some of my favorite celebrities, as well as millions of others in a united stand against bullying.”

For more information visit http://glaad.org/spiritday