GLAAD launches annual countdown to #SpiritDay on October 15

Today, GLAAD launched the official countdown to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world aimed at accelerating acceptance of LGBT youth. Spirit Day takes place on October 15 this year and will inspire millions of people around the world to wear purple or ‘go purple’ online in a unified stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth.

Each year, Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals. Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, as well as official partners Google, NBA, NFL, WNBA, and WWE, and supporting partners Barilla, Chobani, Kirkland & Ellis, and Toyota Financial Services.

“Since 2010, Spirit Day has cast unprecedented light on the issue of bullying and its disproportionate impact on LGBT youth,” said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. “This year, Spirit Day and GLAAD’s anti-bullying resources will reach more young people than ever with messages of empowerment and acceptance.”

“LGBT youth deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. To be comfortable with and proud of who they are. To be free to be exactly who they were born to be. Target is excited to be a Spirit Day presenting partner, working with GLAAD to raise awareness around the issue of bullying in the LGBT youth community.” said Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Target.

“Helping to address the challenges facing LGBT youth – and all youth – is a passion for Wells Fargo,” said John Lake, LGBT segment leader, Wells Fargo. “We are honored to work alongside GLAAD to bring visibility to this issue and those it impacts. Wells Fargo believes that all children should feel safe and empowered, and fear should never keep them from reaching their full potential.”

To mark the countdown to Spirit Day and the back-to-school season, GLAAD today also launched critical anti-bullying bullying resources for educators, parents, and students. GLAAD’s Anti-bullying Resource Kit (ARK) provides tools and information for teachers that help keep bullying out of the classroom, and help both teachers and parents support LGBT youth. Also launched today, GLAAD’s Spirit Day Kit helps people of all ages bring Spirit Day directly to their community, including schools and local media outlets.

Coinciding with National Bullying Prevention Month, Spirit Day began in 2010 after a high school student posted the idea to her Tumblr page following the suicide deaths of several LGBT and LGBT-perceived young people. According to GLSEN's 2013 National School Climate Survey, 85% of LGBT students report they have been verbally harassed with 65% percent reporting that they have heard homophobic remarks frequently or often in school. GLSEN also reported that 30% of students missed at least one day of school in a given month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable in their school environment.

Previous Spirit Day participants include The White House, The Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, 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.

For more information on Spirit Day and how GLAAD accelerates acceptance, visit