#SpiritDay 2013 Ambassadors
Spirit Day Ambassadors
Spirit Day Ambassadors are celebrities and everyday individuals who are committed to taking a stand against bullying while showing their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
The first openly transgender college athlete in NCAA Division 1 history, Kye played basketball at George Washington University. Kye is a trans advocate, public speaker, and mentor for LGBTQ youth. He is also the 2013 winner of the inaugural Campus Pride Voice and Action Athlete Award, and will pursue a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership in the fall of 2014 at NYU.
Jason, a veteran of the NBA, became the first openly gay active male pro athlete in the history of America's major leagues when he wrote an article for Sports Illustrated this year, in which he came out. Jason was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame this past summer.
Actress and advocate Laverne has broken ground for years, most recently in the role of inmate Sophia Burset on the hit series Orange is the New Black. Laverne is the first trans women of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show (OitNB), and to produce and star in her own television show (Vh1's TRANSForm Me). You can often find her speaking up for justice, everywhere from major media outlets like Huffington Post to college campuses.
Cast of Degrassi
Teens have been tuning into Degrassi since before many of its current cast members were born. Known for its relatable characters and plotlines that tackle tough issues, the series is now featured on TeenNick. Degrassi has introduced audiences to many LGBT characters over the years, most recently including Adam, who fought for trans students' rights at Degrassi Community School.
Elvis is the long-time radio host of the nationally-syndicated Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. Since coming out as gay and taking a stand against anti-LGBT hate on his program in 2010, Elvis has worked with many LGBT organizations, including Rosie's Theater Kids, Robin Hood Foundation, Rock and Rawhide, and, of course, GLAAD.
Jenni "JWOWW" Farley
TV personality Jenni "JWOWW" Farley is most widely known for her MTV reality fame on shows like Jersey Shore and Snooki & JWOWW. She also makes headlines for her activism when she takes other media figures to task for their anti-LGBT comments and stances, often through her Twitter account, @JENNIWOWW.
WNBA player Brittney Griner is no stranger to being number 1 – she was the first NCAA basketball player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots, top pick in the WNBA draft this year, winner of the 2013 ESPY Award for best female college athlete, and the first openly gay athlete to sign with Nike. 22-years-old, she is no stranger to being bullied, and is devoted to raising awareness about the cause.
Jazz is a 12-year-old trans girl who's already made a big splash in the world. A lover of all things mermaids and pink, Jazz and her family were featured In OWN's documentary special, I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition. Together, they started Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation and even got the USSF to create a policy that's inclusive for all trans athletes in the US who want to play soccer.
Singer, songwriter, and musical superstar Ke$ha has always used her art to promote acceptance and diversity with songs like "We R Who We R." Ke$ha has an eclectic resume, including rapper, reality star, and ordained minister, who officiates wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples in her spare time.
The star of his own self-titled comic book series, Kevin Keller is the first openly gay character in the history of Archie Comics. Though bullied in his younger years, Kevin has found lots of success at Riverdale High, including winning awards for his journalism and being elected class president. He provides support to many of his peers, including those struggling with their LGBT-identities.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Rapper/hip hop artist Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis have giving us dynamic hits like "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us." Their collaboration with Mary Lambert, "Same Love," has made them stand out as musicians with a message of social change. The song, performed live at the recent MTV VMAs, calls for LGBT-inclusion in politics, pop culture, and beyond.
AzMarie came to the public's attention on America's Next Top Model: British Invasion, and has since found fame as a successful, international model with an androgynous look who identifies as a lesbian. You can also spot her in the movie Precious and playing Melanie Griffith's girlfriend on OUTtv and Logo's series DTLA.
In 2010, Brittany encouraged her friends on Tumblr to wear purple to remember those young people who had lost their lives to suicide. Since then, GLAAD has helped turn Spirit Day into a global event that inspires millions of individuals, celebrities, TV personalities, media outlets, companies and schools to wear purple in a stand against bullying.
TV personality and New York Times bestselling author Maria Menounos dazzles millions of viewers as co-host of NBC's Extra. She is also the Co-Founder and Executive Producer, AfterbuzzTV- the largest new media platform on the web, as well as the Founder of Take Action Hollywood!, a charity that uses the power of Hollywood for positive social change.
Kacey Musgraves, country music artist, gained notoriety with her single "Merry Go Round," and loves collaborating with fellow musicians like Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. This year alone, Kacey received nominations for many awards, including ACM's Top Female Vocalist and CMT's Breakthrough Video of the Year.
This pre-teen does more in a day than most people. The young activist has overcome a childhood filled with severe bullying for being gay and found notoriety with his viral petition against a politician and his harmful policies. Marcel continues to make his voice heard as a regular contributor to Huffington Post.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi may stand less than 5 feet tall, but her personality is larger than life. She rose to infamy co-starring with her friend Jenni "JWOWW" on Jersey Shore and Snooki & JWOWW, and is now competing on Dancing with the Stars. The reality star speaks openly about her support for the LGBT community and marriage equality.
Journalist and influential media figure for many in the Hispanic community, Cristina is best known as host of her own talk show, El Show De Cristina. These days, you can listen to her 24/7 radio network for Sirius XM called "The Cristina Channel." Her many accolades include being the first Spanish-language television personality to ever receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, winning GLAAD's Valor Award, and founding Arriba la Vida/Up with Life Foundation, an organization dedicated to AIDS awareness and education among Hispanics.
Nev Schulman & Max Joseph
Nev, Max, and their "bromance" captivate audiences with Catfish: The TV Show as they follow couples of all kinds exploring online relationships with people they've never met. The dynamic duo has featured people who run the LGBT spectrum on their hit show. Max and Nev keep us glued to our seats as they investigate the ups and downs of love through social media, and often confront cyber bulling head on.
Darren Young made history in the sports world this summer when he became the first WWE Superstar to openly identify as gay while still active in his career. WWE, and several other Superstars and Diva, stated their unceasing support for Darren later that same day.
What is Spirit Day?
Millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy -- participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 17th as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are. Learn more & go purple at www.glaad.org/spiritday.
GLAAD thanks the Terry K. Watanabe Charitable Trust for supporting Spirit Day