College students from across the country go purple for #SpiritDay

the voice and vision of a new generation
Image credit: Apollo Lomba

College students from across the country go purple for #SpiritDay

October 19, 2020

On October 15, college students from across the U.S. virtually took a stand against bullying for GLAAD’s annual #SpiritDay. This year looked different for students; unable to join one another on campus, these students took to social media. From sharing advice to posting their experiences and selfies, a virtual purple hug was sent out to youth across the world. Despite the obstacles that this year has brought, these students made sure that all LGBTQ youth had someone to stand up for them. 

Check below to see examples of GLAAD Campus Ambassadors taking social media by storm.

Grace Ancrum, North Carolina A&T University

Grace shared her Spirit Day story in an article that outlined her experiences with bullying and coming into her gender expression. 

Eli Chazin, Pace University

Eli took to Instagram and created an original video wearing the signature #SpiritDay purple. In this video Eli shared statistics about LGBTQ youth and bullying while doing his makeup to honor Spirit Day.


A post shared by Eli Levi (@elileviofficial) on

Kaylie Duffy, University of Central Missouri

Hey, that’s me! For this year’s Spirit Day, I shared my #SpiritDay role model on Instagram and how they helped me accept my identity as an LGBTQ individual.


A post shared by Kaylie Duffy (@ky_berry32) on

Aaron Giglio, CUNY Guttman Community College

Aaron headed to Times Square to see the Thomas Reuters billboard that featured his photo! The photo of Aaron, that included three other GCA Alums, was from a Spirit Day PSA encouraging allies to support LGBTQ youth. The billboard of Aaron and the other Campus Ambassadors was displayed in Times Square in the week leading up to Spirit Day. 

Shannon Li, University of Michigan

Shannon created a website for LGBTQ+ to amplify their voices and to love and support one another. On this interactive and informative site Spirit Day is told from the perspectives of LGBTQ+ members from across the U.S.

Apollo Lomba, Pratt MWP

Apollo created an illustration of his fellow GLAAD Campus Ambassadors in honor of Spirit Day. Apollo also posted a touching tribute to his #SpiritDay role model, Travis Alabanza, for GLAAD's photo campaign.

Andre Menchavez, University of Washington

Andre penned an op-ed for University of Washington’s student newspaper, The Daily, about his experience being a young queer person of color dealing with racist and homophobic bullying. 

Amiri Nash, Brown University

Amiri joined in on Spirit Day by writing an impassioned op-ed for Out on the experience of being young, Black, and Queer in America today. 

Amiri Nash, Brown University; Arlene Reynolds, UCLA; Darid Prom, Swarthmore College; Kaylie Duffy, University of Central Missouri, Matt Jacquez, Stanford University; Mikayla Galaviz, California Lutheran University; Trey Shimizu, Stony Brook University

These seven Campus Ambassadors told their personal stories of dealing with and overcoming bullying. Their stories aimed to help other young people who are or may have gone through similar experiences with bullying and harassment. 

Other GLAAD Campus Ambassadors made sure that they shared their #SpiritDay pride through Instagram and Twitter posts showing off their Spirit Day gear covering their social media pages with one big purple wave of love for everyone who may need it. 

Isabel Corp, The New School


A post shared by Isabel Corp (@izzyandthestooges) on

Indya Donovan, UCLA

Jeremy Drischler, Point Park University


A post shared by germ (@jeremydrisch) on

Mikayla Galaviz, California Lutheran University


A post shared by milkyberg • clu ‘23 (@mkay.mikayla) on

Lisa Kaari, Rutgers University


A post shared by LISA (@lismk8) on

Nasir Anthony Montalvo, Stevens Institute of Technology

Addie Orr, University of Alabama


A post shared by Addie (@addiewithaquill) on

Rafaela Pontes, Penn State University


A post shared by Rafaela Pontes (@rafaelaspontes) on

Riley Reed, DePaul University

Ted Ravago, NYU


A post shared by Theodore Simon (@teddy_the_monarch) on

Athena Schwartz, University of Utah

Camryn Simons, University of Pittsburgh

Jack Waguespack Almeida, Delgado Community College


A post shared by Jack Waguespack Almeida (@jackkalmeida) on

Federico Yniguez, University of California Long Beach


A post shared by CSULB Queers & Allies Club (@csulb.qanda) on

About Spirit Day 

Each year, millions go purple for GLAAD’s Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth in a united stand against bullying. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan in response to numerous young LGBTQ lives lost to suicide, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, and advocates around the world, all joining together to stand against bullying and support LGBTQ youth.

Presenting partners Delta Air Lines, Kellogg Company, and Target, official partners Amazon, NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and the New York City Council, and Skittles, as well as community partners Kirkland & Ellis, NBA & WNBA will all participate in 2020 Spirit Day.

In 2020, Spirit Day takes on a renewed importance due to the unprecedented challenges facing LGBTQ youth. This year, many LGBTQ youth are beginning the school year at home and are unable to attend in-person meetings of Gay-Straight Alliances, Gender-Sexuality Alliances or on-campus college LGBTQ organizations. Some LGBTQ youth may be confined to a home environment that may be unsupportive or abusive. Calls to The Trevor Project’s hotline for LGBTQ youth have at times more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

This year, Spirit Day is on October 15, 2020. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you've got their backs at Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.

Kaylie Duffy is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador and senior at the University of Central Missouri studying Psychology and Womens, Gender, & Sexuality studies. She is a WGS ambassador for her campus and has worked on educational programs for her campus and the community that allows the audience to learn about advocacy for those who do not have a voice. Throughout her time as a WGS ambassador for UCM she has focused on advocacy through social media. Kaylie serves as a Lead Organizer for the GLAAD Campus Ambassador Program.

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