The Big Apple Turned Purple for LGBTQ Youth on #SpiritDay

GLAAD is headquartered in New York City, and we are so proud that the city around us went purple for LGBTQ youth on Spirit Day. This year, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, the NYC Department of Education, and the New York City Council joined as sponsors of Spirit Day. New York City has a storied LGBTQ history that perfectly positions it as the geographic heart and soul of this, the world’s largest LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign. Thanks to you, we’re creating a brighter future for LGBTQ youth -- today, and every day!

Empire State Building was lit purple. RuPaul Drag Race winner Symone joined GLAAD's President Sarah Kate Ellis for the lighting ceremony.

Sally Hansen's Kevin Shapiro joined in to flip the switch.

Several Times Square buildings went purple, giving visitors and locals a message of solidarity with LGBTQ youth.

NASDAQ MarketSite


American Eagle store


1515 Broadway and ViacomCBS


New York State Attorney General Letitia James also went purple


As did the New York State Department of Education


Several NYC nonprofits also went purple. 

Lambda Legal


The Point Foundation


Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies


Hetrick-Martin Institute


JMTC Theater


Metro New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Trevor Project


New York Health System


The New York City sports teams made sure to share messages of solidarity and support with LGBTQ youth

The New York Mets


New York Yankees


The Teletubbies showed up early on--at the City’s cultural hub, Lincoln Center--to make sure their hugs were ready to go:


Even the local news got into the purple spirit. Here's ABC Eyewitness News 7 and ]hosts of NBC New York and Spectrum News NY1

National morning shows and cable news based in New York City also showed their support for LGBTQ youth including hosts of The View, ABC's Good Morning America, Gayle King of CBS This Morning, Drew Barrymore, Ross Mathews, Trevor Noah, Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest, MSNBC's Craig Melvin, Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and CNN's Don Lemon.



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 sponsors Target, Visible, and Wells Fargo, official sponsors NYC Dept of Youth and Community Development, the NYC Department of Education, Sally Hansen, Porsche, SKITTLES, and community sponsors Amazon, Kellogg Company, Kirkland & Ellis, National Basketball Association & Women’s National Basketball Association, NFL, Nike, and Shutterfly will all participate in Spirit Day. 

In 2021, Spirit Day takes on a renewed importance due to the unprecedented challenges facing LGBTQ youth. Over the last year and a half, many LGBTQ youth have not been in school, unable to attend in-person meetings of Gay-Straight Alliances, Gender-Sexuality Alliances or on-campus colleges LGBTQ organizations. During this time, LGBTQ youth have also become increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of cyberbullying, specifically with heightened levels of anti-LGBTQ hate and harassment on social media. Some LGBTQ youth may be confined to a home environment that may be unsupportive or abusive. As well, an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures specifically targeting trans and nonbinary youth have been in the news. 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 21, 2021. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you've got their backs at Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.