GLAAD RALLIES OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT FOR LGBTQ YOUTH ON SPIRIT DAY 2017 WITH ATHLETES, CELEBRITIES, BRANDS, LANDMARKS, AND SCHOOLS ‘GOING PURPLE’ IN A UNITED STAND AGAINST BULLYING

October 19, 2017

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028
mgoodman@glaad.org

Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Laverne Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Britney Spears, Wanda Sykes, Christina Aguilera, Sterling K. Brown, Sara Ramirez, Wrabel, Luis Fonsi, Nico Tortorella, Tatiana Maslany, Wilson Cruz, and Lisa Vanderpump participating on Thursday, October 19

CNBC proudly displays purple NBC peacock and hosts of  TODAY, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, The View, TRL, and Access Hollywood wear purple on-air as landmarks including Times Square, the New York Stock Exchange, and Wells Fargo Duke Energy Tower are lit purple

All 30 Major League Baseball teams to go purple on Twitter

NEW YORK, NY – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced participants who are wearing purple or going purple online today for Spirit Day in a united stand against bullying and show of support for LGBTQ young people. Each year, GLAAD organizes hundreds of celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, tech leaders, influencers, faith groups, school districts, organizations, colleges and universities in what has become the largest unified show of support for LGBTQ youth.

Taking place on October 19, Spirit Day has inspired millions around the world to wear purple or ‘go purple’ online since it began in 2010. For more information visit http://glaad.org/spiritday

For the latest participants follow @GLAAD and the custom #SpiritDay twitter emoji.

Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target, and Wells Fargo, as well official partners Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NBA/WNBA, and Toyota Financial Services; supporting partners Barilla, Kellogg's, Kirkland & Ellis, and NFL.

“With hate crimes on the rise, discriminatory legislation popping up around the country, and an administration that is actively working against the LGBTQ community, Spirit Day is needed now more than ever,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. “LGBTQ youth already experience disproportionate rates of bullying, and the current social and political climate only adds to that. But when people ‘go purple’ and take a stand on Spirit Day, it sends a resounding message to LGBTQ youth that they are loved and valued.”

For the first time since 2011, the White House will not be participating, however GLAAD counts more celebrities, landmarks, athletes, brands, media outlets, elected officials, and LGBTQ youth as participants than ever before.

To support Spirit Day, Kellogg Company launched a video featuring its beloved characters Tony the Tiger, Julius Pringles (“Mr. P”), Ernie Keebler, Toucan Sam, Snap, Crackle & Pop, and Cornelius (“Corny”) the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes mascot. Each character plays a role in ‘speaking out’ against bullying in support of Spirit Day. Many of Kellogg’s social media channels will also support Spirit Day, turning their handles purple.

View the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB2mPafJnZw

GLAAD National Board of Directors member and songwriter Justin Tranter also kicked off Spirit Day with a private concert to celebrate LGBTQ youth in Los Angeles featuring Courtney Love, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Lambert, JoJo, Troye Sivan, Parson James, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tinashe, August Getty, Gigi Gorgeous, Sofia Carson, and Chris Colfer.

‘Will & Grace’ stars Debra Messing and Megan Mullally also shared a message of support for Spirit Day. Check out the video here: https://twitter.com/WillAndGrace/status/920649422211608576

All 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs are scheduled to change twitter profile photos to purple. Twitter also designed a custom #SpiritDay emoji in partnership with MLB.

YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous took over GLAAD’s Instagram account (@glaad) to promote Spirit Day and talk about its importance.

GLAAD also released a video of LGBTQ advocate Dylan Marron speaking with two young LGBTQ people about how bullying has impacted them as students and what advice they would give to their younger selves. This video was filmed at Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School, founded to create safer spaces and a bully-free zone for LGBTQ youth.

Check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngUp2uDzp8Q&feature=youtu.be

Joining GLAAD in their support of LGBTQ youth on Spirit Day are: 

Celebrity Participants: Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Halsey, Laverne Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Britney Spears, Whoopi Goldberg, Olivia Newton-John, Fergie, Christina Aguilera, Sterling K. Brown, Lily Tomlin, Wanda Sykes, Minnie Driver, Wrabel, Luis Fonsi, Nico Tortorella, Tatiana Maslany, Wilson Cruz, Lisa Vanderpump, Malin Akerman, Cody Alan, Stephanie Beatriz, Mayim Bialik, Dan Bucatinski, Sarah Wayne Callies, Candis Cayne, Asia Kate Dillon, Tommy Dorfman, Lisa Edelstein, Cameron Esposito, Brad Goreski, Gigi Gorgeous, Steve Howey, Mario Lopez, Kyle MacLachlan, Monica, Maulik Pancholy, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Carrie Preston, Lily Rabe, Franchesca Ramsey, Michael Ray, Vincent Rodriguez III, Angelica Ross, Zeke Smith, Zeke Thomas, Russell Tovey, David Tutera, Cary Deuber, Dorit Kemsley, Dorinda Medley, Brandi Redmond, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Sophie Stanbury, David Alpay, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Brittany Ashley, India de Beaufort, Sara Benincasa, Matt Bernstein, Luna Blaise, Blossom Brown, Jasmine Savoy Brown, Karamo Brown, Sam Bruno, Ever Carradine, The Chew, Katie Cook, Mason Cook, Jackie Cruz, Torrey DeVitto, Gaby Dunn, Teala Dunn, Max Emerson, Alayna Fender, Jordan Fisher, Nicola Foti, Rafael de la Fuente, Broderick Greer, Pooch Hall, Jade Hassoune, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Merrell Hollis, Blair Imani, Emma Kenney, Faulkner, Ryan Kinder, Nikki Leigh, Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Marsh, Dash Mihok, Kate Moennig, Toby Leonard Moore, Fiona Morris, Bethany Mota, Toks Olagundoye, Barrett Pall, Sydney Park, Shadi Petosky, Allison Raskin, Malcolm Ribot, Daniel Rice, Matt Rife, Louise Roe, Bryan Safi, Ryan Sallins, Nico Santos, Callum Scott, Ryan Serhant, Lili Simmons, Alicia Sixtos, Skylar Stecker, Danny Strong, Julia Goldani Telles, Jacob Tobia, JJ Totah, Alok Vaid-Menon, Jean Watts, Adam Eli Werner, the cast of A Very Sordid Wedding, and more.

Hosts: Hosts of Access Hollywood, CNN, Good Morning America, TODAY, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, MTV’s TRL, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Chew, The View, Un Nuevo Día (Telemundo) and Despierta America (Univision) will also participate by wearing purple on air.

Networks and platforms: CBS, The CW, HBO, Hulu, Freeform, Logo, and MTV will be participating on social media. CNBC, MTV, Logo, and VH1 are among brands changing on-air logos.

Landmarks: American Eagle Outfitters Times Square, NASDAQ, NYSE, Thomson Reuters Times Square, Viacom’s 1515 Broadway, Target Plaza South (Minneapolis), and the Wells Fargo Duke Energy Building (Charlotte).

Businesses: Wells Fargo, The Gap, and Delta Employee Equality Network (DEEN).

Faith partners: Dignity New York, Unitarian Universalist Association UN Office, The Naming Project, Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), and MyOutSpirit.com.

Organizations: The United Nations,The Ally Coalition, Athlete Ally, DoSomething, The BiCast, BiNet USA, Bisexual Resource Center, Dharma & Martia, Equality for HER, Equality Texas, Equality Utah, Fair Wisconsin, Femsplain, Freedom For All Americans, Geeks Out, Georgia Equality, GMHC, Hetrick Martin Institute, League of United Latin American Citizens, The LGBT Center NYC, Mpowerment Project, National Center for Transgender Equality, UnidosUS, One Colorado, PFLAG National, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, Rock The Vote, LGBT Community Center of the Desert, LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute, Tennessee Equality Project, Resource Center, National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation, Kappa Xi Omega Sorority, San Diego LGBT Community Center, Safe Schools Action Network, Gender Spectrum, Trans Student Educational Resources, Amazin LêThi Foundation, and Fair Wisconsin.

Schools and GSAs: Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services, Undergraduate Government of Boston College, GLBTQ+ Leadership Council (GLC), and College at Old Westbury State University of New York Pride.

“No child should feel alone in the face of bullying,” said Wells Fargo Vice President & LGBT Segment Leader John Lake. “Spirit Day is a powerful opportunity to show LGBTQ youth that they are supported and respected. Wells Fargo is proud to stand together with GLAAD as part of our long commitment to empower our LGBTQ team members, customers and communities.”

"At Target, we believe that everyone has something to contribute and deserves the chance to pursue new opportunities," said Caroline Wanga, Target's Chief Diversity Officer. "This commitment ensures we understand and fulfill the needs of the guests we serve and are able to influence and be influenced by the communities we support. As a result, our collective work and purpose is strengthened, which is good for all. Target is proud to stand with the LGBTQ community on Spirit Day and raise awareness about the impact bullying has on the potential of young people, everywhere."

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 LGBTQ and LGBTQ-perceived young people

Social network Hornet also released Spirit Day survey results of one thousand gay and bi men on their app. Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe anti-LGBTQ bullying and hate speech has increased since the 2016 Presidential election. The survey also found that two-thirds of survey takers were bullied or harassed as a child or teen, and nearly seven out of ten of the survey’s respondents have witnessed anti-LGBTQ speech or overt harassment toward LGBTQ people on social media.

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 (e.g., called names or threatened) at school based on a personal characteristic.

For more information on Spirit Day and how GLAAD accelerates acceptance, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday

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