October 18, 2011

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) will join millions of lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and allies by participating in Spirit Day and wearing purple on October 20, 2011. Wearing purple on this day symbolizes support for LGBT people and against bullying of LGBT teens. For more information, visit: www.glaad.org/spiritday.

GLAAD is working with organizations including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the PACER Center, GLSEN, GSA Network, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), PFLAG and The Trevor Project as part of National Bullying Prevention Month to inspire Americans to wear purple on Spirit Day.

Celebrities including stars of the WWE, Chaz Bono, Mia Farrow, Lukas Haas (Inception), Allison Janney, Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, Sara Ramirez, and cast members of TeenNick’s Degrassi will be wearing purple. MTV participants include Sammi Giancola and Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore), Farrah Abraham, Tyler Baltierra, Maci Bookout and Catelynn Lowell (Teen Mom) as well as  Jillian Rose Reed, Nikki Deloach, Matthew Fahey, Greer Grammer, Jessica Lu, Desi Lydic, and Beau Mirchoff (Awkward.). CW stars Shenae Grimes (90210), Gale Harold (The Secret Circle), Isis King (America’s Next Top Model) will participate. NBC participants include Christopher McDonald and Karen Olivo (Harry’s Law), Bob Harper (Biggest Loser), and Zoe Lister-Jones (Whitney). Additional celebrities include: basketball player John Amaechi, Bon and Whit (Big Rich Texas), Kate del Castillo of Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur, Kaya Jones, Ross Matthews and Darryl Stephens (Noah’s Arc). Previously announced names below.

Wendy Williams, Conan O’Brien, and hosts of The View, Access Hollywood Live will join CNBC’s Jim Cramer and Simon Hobbs, Dr. Drew of CNN, E!’s Marc Malkin, and Thomas Roberts of MSNBC by wearing purple on-air. Entertainment columnist Rob Shuter will wear purple on The Today Show. The Sundance Channel has announced that its on-air logo will be purple, and Seventeen magazine announced that the magazine will turn its Twitter avatar purple for the day.

MTV will be turning its on-air logo purple along with the network’s Facebook, Twitter, MTV.com and MTV Act logos. Online and on-air logos for MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits, MTV Jams and RateMyProfessors.com will also turn purple. MTV 44 and ½, the jumbotron in Times Square, will also light purple for Spirit Day.

The LAX Gateway lights at Los Angeles International Airport will also be lit purple.

Previously announced companies that will participate include AMC Entertainment, American Airlines, AT&T, B|W|R Public Relations, Comcast, Delta, Draftfcb, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, McGraw-Hill, NBCUniversal, Nielsen, PepsiCo, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Verizon, Viacom and Yahoo!. Participating companies will be distributing information to employees about wearing purple; some have also pledged to turn logos purple for the day. For more information on specific plans, visit: www.glaad.org/spiritday/corporate.

Yahoo! will be holding photo shoots in various offices around the country to celebrate Spirit Day. Yahoo! also posted about Spirit Day on the OMG! Blog and the Yahoo! Pride Facebook fan page and sent an employee call-to-action to 'go purple' on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to wearing purple on October 20, supporters will be changing their Facebook and Twitter photos purple today through October 20 by using free applications to turn profile photos purple at www.glaad.org/spiritday. GLAAD partnered with Mobli to create a Spirit Day channel for Mobli apps on Android, Blackberry and iPhone products. Mobli, where users can share moments and see the world through other people’s eyes, is a real-time, visual social media platform, made up of subject-based channels such as people, places and topics (www.mobli.com/spiritday).

Previously announced celebrity participants include: the casts of FOX’s I Hate My Teenage Daughter and the full cast of the new season of the Sundance Channel’s Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, Tamra Barney (Bravo, Real Housewives of Orange County), Mehcad Brooks (USA, Necessary Roughness), Laura Bruce (WE, Downsized), Margaret Cho, Andy Cohen (Bravo), Wilson Cruz, Drew Ginsburg (Bravo, Most Eligible Dallas), Josh Kilmer-Purcell & Brent Ridge (Fabulous Beekman Boys), Carson Kressley (ABC, Dancing With The Stars), Padma Lakshmi (Bravo, Top Chef), Kristi Lauren (I Hate My Teenage Daughter), Vanessa Marano (ABC Family, Switched at Birth), Shay Mitchell (ABC Family, Pretty Little Liars), Sonja Morgan (Real Housewives of New York), Mary Murphy (So You Think You Can Dance), David Nadelberg (Sundance Channel, The Mortified Sessions), Matt Nordgren (Bravo, Most Eligible Dallas), Martha Plimpton (FOX, Raising Hope), Rosie Pope (Bravo, Pregnant in Heels), Jamie Pressly (FOX, I Hate My Teenage Daughter), Jai Rodriguez, Garo Sparo (Sundance Channel, Unleashed by Garo), Steve-O, TJ Thyne (Bones), Diann Valentine (WE, I Do Over), Kathy Wakile (Bravo, Real Housewives of New Jersey), and Joe Zee (Sundance Channel, All on the Line with Joe Zee). Participating celebrities will wear purple or change Twitter and Facebook photos purple for the day. Participants in 2010 included Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Martin, Khloe Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Perez Hilton, Kristin Chenoweth, the Dixie Chicks, cast members from of Glee, and Joan Rivers, among dozens of others.

As previously announced, the Sundance Channel’s employees will be participating, and the Sundance Channel’s social media logos will turn to purple on Spirit Day.

LOGO will air a Spirit Day purple ribbon on the channel to drive viewers to NewNowNext.com to increase awareness against bullying. Additionally, their Twitter (@LogoTV) and Facebook photos will ‘go purple’ and pictures of staff, fans and talent will be posted to Tumblr throughout the day.

Here Media will turn logos on Advocate.com, Gay.com, Gay.net, Out.com, OutTraveler.com and SheWired.com purple for the day.

Additional media participants include the Bilerico Project, Passport, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Unicorn Booty, the Washington Blade and Windy City Times.

In addition to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), GLSEN, GSA Network, HRC, Lambda Legal, the PACER Center, PFLAG and The Trevor Project, dozens of local and faith-based organization are also participating in Spirit Day including: All Families Matter, Basic Rights Oregon, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Pacific School of Religion Coalition of Welcoming Congregations of the Bay Area, DignityUSA, COLAGE, Equality Hawaii, Equality Illinois, Equality Michigan, Equality Pennsylvania, Equality South Carolina, Equality Texas, Equality Utah, Equality Virginia, Fair Wisconsin, Georgia Equality, GMHC, Human Rights Campaign's Religion & Faith Program, Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Kansas Equality Coalition, Keshet, Lutherans Concerned/North America, Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI), Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), More Light Presbyterians, Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality, OutFront Minnesota. PFLAG Omaha, Project 515, PROMO, Straight But Not Narrow, Reconciling Ministries Network, Religious Institute: Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion, Tennessee Equality Project, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) and United Church of Christ Office for LGBT Ministries.

For a list of celebrity participants, media outlets, TV networks, organizations and corporations, visit www.glaad.org/spiritday/partners. Additional participants will be announced in coming days.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a way to show support for LGBT youth and remember those lives lost to suicide. Millions of teachers, workplaces, media personalities and students wore purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.

Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s ‘Ally Week’ (October 17-21), a week for students to organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools and communities. GLSEN has partnered with GLAAD to promote Spirit Day as an event for students to participate in during ‘Ally Week.’ For more information about ‘Ally Week,’ visit www.allyweek.org.

“From corporate America to Hollywood to local grassroots advocates, Americans are taking a stand against bullying this Spirit Day and showing all LGBT teens that it’s okay to be who you are,” said GLAAD President Mike Thompson.As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, GLAAD also released anti-bullying public service announcements (PSAs) in the ‘Amplify Your Voice’ campaign -- a project developed with the American Federation of Teachers and featuring the personal stories of young people from the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center’s Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program. Talent includes: Ted Allen, Chaz Bono, Kristin Chenoweth, Tabatha Coffey, Nelsan Ellis, Vinny Guadaginino, Amber Heard, Rashida Jones, Dustin Lance Black, Liz Lee, Sandra Lee, Mario Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Pauley Parrette, Amy Poehler, Naya Rivera, Rev. Al Sharpton, Gail Simmons, Russell Simmons, Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott, Louis Van Amstel, Lisa Vanderpump, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Ariel Winter, Patrick Wilson and the cast of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Additional videos to be released in coming weeks.

The PSAs urge viewers to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and direct viewers to GLAAD.org for resource kits offering best practices to parents, teachers and students. The free kits feature resources from the American Federation of Teachers, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project, among others.

Videos and resource kits are available here: www.glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice. Media interested in posting the videos can find instructions here: http://www.glaad.org/resources/amplifyyourvoice/psa/press.