Alyssa Milano, Mj Rodriguez, Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews, and Kim Petras Speak Out Against anti-LGBTQ Bullying in Spirit Day Videos

GLAAD launches annual Spirit Day Campaign and call to ‘Go Purple’ on Thursday, October 18
October 11, 2018

 

New York, NY – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today recognized National Coming Out Day with a launch the official countdown to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign in the world. On Spirit Day, Thursday, October 18, millions of people around the world will wear purple or go purple online in a unified stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth. Purple symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag.

Earlier this week, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD staff, and Campus Ambassadors participated in an Opening Bell Ceremony at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. Photos available here: https://twitter.com/Nasdaq/status/1049337500261666817.

GLAAD also launched the Spirit Day countdown today with the first set of celebrity videos speaking out against bullying and in support of LGBTQ youth:

Alyssa Milano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo6V3vUcFGU&feature=youtu.be

Mj Rodriguez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_tATQ2E3Ag&feature=youtu.be

Michelle Visage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCUcOrJJH7I&feature=youtu.be

Ross Mathews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntr7agmKiXo&feature=youtu.be

Kim Petras: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiF5mrJD-SA&feature=youtu.be

The videos encourage LGBTQ people and allies to take the pledge to go purple at http://glaad.org/spiritday

Singer Bebe Rexha helped kick off the countdown to Spirit Day when she presented Favorite Artist – Rap/Hop Hop at the American Music Awards. Rexha wore a new Spirit Day pin on stage. Photo here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BovFs_8HuY0/

Presenting partners Hilton, Target, and Wells Fargo, official partners Johnson & Johnson, the NBA and WNBA, as well as supporting partners Kellogg’s, Barilla, and Kirkland & Ellis will all participate in the anti-bullying campaign.

GLAAD also encouraged LGBTQ young people to tweet their favorite talent and ask them to participate using #SpiritDay.

“Spirit Day is a day of national importance that highlights the serious issue of bullying and its disproportionate impact on LGBTQ youth,” said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. “It also sends powerful messages of support, letting LGBTQ and other marginalized youth know that they are not alone – something sorely needed in our culture today.”

Previous Spirit Day participants include the Obama White House, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Kerry Washington, Shaquille O'Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA, all Major League Baseball teams, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.

Coinciding with National Bullying Prevention Month, Spirit Day began in 2010 when then high school student Brittany McMillan created a tumblr post asking students to wear purple following the suicide deaths of several LGBTQ and LGBTQ-perceived young people.

According to GLSEN's most recent National School Climate Survey, 57.6% of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 43.3% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 85.2% of LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment at school based on a personal characteristic.