The BiCast urges bi community to stand against bullying on #SpiritDay

GLAAD's Program Strategist Alexandra Bolles appeared as a guest on the latest episode of The BiCast, a podcast for and by the bi community that's co-sponsored by BiNet USA, an organization advocating for bisexual people across the nation.

Alexandra spoke with the BiCast co-host and producer Lynette McFadzen, who also serves as Secretary on BiNet's Board of Directors, and the two recently attended a policy briefing at the White House together. The BiCast is serves as a safe, inclusive, and informative space for bi listeners and their allies.

During the 15 minute podcast, Lynette and Alexandra spoke about Spirit Day, the dangers of bullying, bisexual youths' and young adults' lives lost to suicide like Adam Kizer, and ways to empower LGBT young people by "going purple" to build visible support. Alexandra told the BiCast:

"When we talk about bullying, [it's] something that effects people, young people, emotionally, physically, and academically. LGBT kids are at a higher risk for academic troubles, not because they're not smart or they're not trying their hardest to succeed, but because they're more likely to find themselves in an unsafe environment that's not conducive to their learning or their success. It's strong support systems that not only help kids overcome bullying, but that support actually empowers these kids by making them more resilient. That's a skill and a character trait that can last them a lifetime."

On Spirit Day, when everyone is decked out in purple online and in person in support of LGBT youth, "they can literally spot with their own eyes who is standing up for them," Alexandra told the BiCast.

"To not feel supported sets them up for a dangerous situation," Lynette added, noting the loss of numerous bi and trans youth to suicide has left a deep sadness throughout the community as a whole.

Lynette and Alexandra also discussed how contemporary bullying has become "like a barrage" for youth, the importance of by-stander intervention and anti-bullying resources, and their own personal experiences of finding support in middle school and high school. Listen to the podcast here.

The BiCast has already gone all out in purple for Spirit Day, taking to social media in addition to sharing the podcast. "Bullying is something I've really taken to heart this year. Last year was really rough, and this year was even rougher," Lynette said at the episode's closing, urging listeners to learn more about Spirit Day.

Spirit Day began in 2010 following the media's coverage of a rash of LGBT teen suicides, including the tragic death of Tyler Clementi.  On October 15 this year, Spirit Day now inspires millions to "go purple" to support LGBT youth in a united stand against bullying. According to GLSEN's 2013 National School Climate Survey, 8 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school, and over 60% of LGBT students who did report a bullying case said their school staff did nothing. Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals around the world to take a stand against bullying and show their support for LGBT youth. 

Take the pledge to "go purple" now at http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/pledge, and check out www.glaad.org/spiritday for access to anti-bullying resources and more ways to get involved in Spirit Day.

Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting Partners Wells Fargo and Target; official partners DOW, Google, NBA and WNBA, NFL and WWE; and supporting partners American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Chobani, Comcast NBC Universal, Kirkland and Ellis, and Toyota.

Past participants in Spirit Day include the White House, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Laverne Cox, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Shaquille O'Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.