Thursday marked GLAAD’s Spirit Day, a national day of support for LGBTQ youth. The annual celebration brought together celebrities, athletes, and political figures who wore purple and spoke out against bullying.
GLAAD held an event on Wednesday, with the participation of celebrities such as Sia, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Troye Sivan and more, to raise money in awareness for Spirirt Day.
Spirit Day encourages people to #ChooseKidness
October 19 marks Spirit Day, GLAAD’s annual holiday to voice against bullying and encourage support to LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day was founded in 2010 as a response to LGBTQ suicides. From that moment on, millions of people across the U.S. wore purple to express support to LGBTQ youth and stand up against bullying.
“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,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.
“LGBTQ youth already experience disproportionate rates of bullying, and the current social and political climate only adds to that.”
According to GLSEN 2015 report, an educational organization that advocates for LGBTQ youth, almost 85% of LGBTQ students reported being verbally harassed and almost 50% reported experiencing cyberbullying. “Right now, we are living through an assault on LGBTQ rights and the progress we’ve made for LGBTQ youth,” said GLSEN President Eliza Bayard.
“Now, more than ever, it is absolutely critical that anyone with a platform find ways to stand up for the idea that every member of our society is welcomed and affirmed.”
Bullying can have serious consequences for everybody, however, LGBTQ youth contemplate suicide at three times the rate of heterosexual youth, being bullying often one of the main reasons, according to Amit Paley, CEO of the Trevor Project
— GLAAD (@glaad) October 19, 2017
Celebrities go purple
This year’s Spirit Day was really filled with support and love from allies and supporters who went purple. Not only Hollywood but organizations and companies came out in full force to express support for the LGBTQ community.
“What’s great about Spirit Day, companies and brands are coming up with creative and out of the box ways to educate their audiences and consumers about how and why they’re supporting LGBTQ youth,” said Rich Ferraro, chief communications officer at GLAAD.
“[On Spirit Day] we want them to look on their news feed and see positivity, love, acceptance, and support from the nation’s biggest brands, landmarks, athletes, and celebrities.”
Celebrities who went purple ranged from outspoken members of the LGBTQ community, such as Ellen DeGeneres and Laverne Cox, till community’s allies such as Britney Spears and Celine Dior who went so far as to record a special version of ‘Purple Rain’ in French and English to share on her Facebook page.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 19, 2017
— sia (@Sia) October 19, 2017
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) October 19, 2016
— h (@halsey) October 19, 2017
— ApartFromEverything (@apartfromfilm) October 19, 2017
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) October 19, 2017
— Tony Goldwyn (@tonygoldwyn) October 19, 2017
Entire casts and crews of different shows also joined the initiative and showed support, some simply wore purple, while others were as far as to create cool videos with the purple spirirt, such as ‘Game of Thrones‘ with their purple fire-spitting dragon.
This week the #BornPerfect team, GLAAD, and the Trevor Project joined the cast and crew on set for the up-coming conversion therapy movie ‘Boy Erased’ and in honor of that we celebrated #SpiritDay in our support to end LGBTQ bullying. I’m especially proud of my friend, fellow conversion therapy survivor, author of the book, now movie, ‘Boy Erased.’ We couldn’t be more excited for Joel Egerton, Nicole Kidman, Russel Crowe, Luke Hedges and everyone at Focus Features for taking on this powerful story!
— Mom (@MomCBS) October 19, 2017
— Will & Grace (@WillAndGrace) October 19, 2017
— Law and Order: SVU (@nbcsvu) October 19, 2017
— Westworld (@WestworldHBO) October 19, 2017
— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 19, 2017
Organizations like the NBA and MLB also expressed their support in their best ways.
— A's, But Spooky 🌳🐘🎃 (@Athletics) October 19, 2017
Companies also went on with the purple spirit and came up with inclusive messages in support of the LGBTQ ccommunity
— Tony the Tiger (@realtonytiger) October 19, 2017
Even Marvel delievered a cool anti-bullying message with The Avengers.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 19, 2017
Political figures also took part of the celebration wearing purple and highligint the importance of LGBTQ rights and respect.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) October 19, 2017
Celebrating Spirit Day
On Wednesday, GLAAD held a fundraising concert in Los Angeles’ The Sayers Club. The event raised money and awareness for Spirit Day and was full of stars and celebrities. Justin Tranter, the popular songwriter behind Britney Spears and Selena Gomez’s hit tracks, hosted the event which raised over $100,000.
“We need to raise as much money as we can tonight to protect the kids out there that don’t have the privilege of safety that I did,” Tranter said.
“When you have the president of the United States saying that the vice president wants to hang gay people, when a flier showed up on a university campus today that told gay people that they should just kill themselves,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said during the show.
“With an image of someone hanging themselves, it’s bad out there and we get to come here together to celebrate the progress that we’ve made but also to shine a light for those that may be voiceless at this time and feel alone and isolated.”