GLAAD leads millions in a united stand against bullying for Spirit Day

October 16, 2014

Seth Adam
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8018

The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Empire State Building, NASDAQ, Major League Baseball, NBA, United States Senators and Representatives, and more ‘go purple’ in support of LGBT youth

PepsiCo, Wells Fargo, Comcast-NBCUniversal, Google among supporting companies

NBC News, MTV, MTV2, VH1, Comedy Central, OWN, TV Land turn on-air logos purple for Spirit Day

GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today showcased participants who are wearing purple or going purple online for Spirit Day today in a stand against bullying and to show support for LGBT youth. Spirit Day began in 2010 in remembrance of several young people who lost their lives to suicide after being bullied. Each year, GLAAD organizes hundreds of celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, faith groups, school districts, colleges and universities to speak out for LGBT youth on Spirit Day.

For more information about Spirit Day or to ‘go purple’ online, visit:

GLAAD presents Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its national partners PepsiCo and Wells Fargo, as well as official partners Comcast-NBCUniversal and Google, and supporting partners American Eagle Outfitters, Kirkland & Ellis, and Toyota Financial Services.

Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox joined GLAAD to light the iconic Empire State Building in purple for Spirit Day. Cox was also joined by young people featured in the new documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word,” premiering on MTV and Logo TV on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7pm ET/PT. Photos of the lighting are viewable here:

Other celebrity participants included Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Fran Drescher, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, Ricky Martin, Debra Messing, and more. 

Hosts of NBC’s “Today Show,” as well as dozens of NBC’s local broadcast affiliates across the country wore purple on air for Spirit Day. Other NBC News properties including CNBC, MSNBC, and Univision hosts also donned purple on the air for Spirit Day. Hosts of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “The View” also wore purple and spoke out in support of Spirit Day on the air.

Viacom participated across the company’s properties, including MTV, MTV2, MTVU, Logo TV, VH1, BET, CMT, Tr3s, Comedy Central, TV Land, and Paramount Pictures. Viacom’s digital billboard in Times Square was also turned purple today, and features messages about bullying and LGBT youth.

Additional television networks including ABC, ABC Family, CBS, HBO, HLN, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Syfy, TLC, and USA also participated online and on air.

More than forty members of the United States Congress showed their support for Spirit Day and LGBT youth, and other public officials including Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Santa Fe Mayor Javier M. Gonzales also participated.

Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) & Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shared Spirit Day information on social media including official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Additional participating companies include AT&T, Bello Hair LLC, Brown-Forman, B|W|R Public Relations, Carmichael Lynch, CBS, Chambord, Cisco, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, DigitasLBi, Disney / ABC Television Group, Duane Morris, DuPont, Facebook, FedEx, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt, iHeartMedia, Johnson & Johnson, Lend Lease, LinkedIn, Lyft, Miratel Solutions Inc., MSLGROUP, MTV, Nielsen, Publicis Groupe Égalité, Publicis Healthcare, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Starcom MediaVest Group, Stokes Counseling Services, Target, Thomson Reuters, TransPerfect, United Airlines, Viacom, VivaKi, Walgreens Co. Additional corporate participants to be announced.

Millions wear purple on Spirit Day in a united stand against bullying and to show support for LGBT youth. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered international support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. This year Spirit Day takes place during GLSEN’s Ally Week and coincides with National Bullying Prevention Month.

According to GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey, 63.5% of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, 43.9% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 81.9% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 63.9% because of their gender expression.

For more information, visit