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LGBTQ youth speak out against bullying in powerful #SpiritDay video

October 15, 2018

Today, GLAAD released a video featuring four LGBTQ young people speaking out against bullying to bring awareness to Spirit Day, the world's largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign.

Click here to take the pledge to stand against bullying

The students featured in the video are four of GLAAD's Campus Ambassadors, Joshua Elmore, The Julliard School; Julia Saliba, NYU; Aaron Giglio, LaGuardia Community College; and Trey Shimizu; Stony Brook University. GLAAD Campus Ambassadors are a volunteer network of LGBTQ and ally college and university students who work with GLAAD and within their local communities to build an LGBTQ movement to accelerate acceptance and end hate and discrimination. GLAAD Campus Ambassadors are, who are located in over 40 states across the country, are scheduled to take action on over 100 college campuses on Spirit Day. 

In the video, the students share how it made them feel to be bullied and report that over 85% of LGBTQ youth are verbally harrassed because of their identities. They also encourage all people to take a stand against bullying by pledging to go purple on Thursday, October 18, 2018.

Bullying and harassment are extremely prevalent for the LGBTQ community, especially for youth. According to GLSEN’s 2017 National School Climate Survey, the vast majority of LGBTQ students (87.3%) experience verbal harassment (e.g., called names or threatened) at school based on a personal characteristic, most commonly sexual orientation (70.1% of LGBTQ students) and gender expression (59.1%).

As anti-LGBTQ policies, hate crimes, and harassment are on the rise, it is now especially important to let all marginalized youth know they are supported.

This year, Spirit Day is on October 18, 2018. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you've got their backs at glaad.org/spiritday. Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.

Clare Kenny is the Director of Youth Engagement at GLAAD. She leads GLAAD's Campus Ambassador Program, Rising Stars Grants Program, and amp series. Clare is a graduate of Skidmore College.

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