Chicago, IL —
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is urging Americans to participate in "Spirit Day" on Wednesday, October 20th by wearing the color purple to show lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth who are victims of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment that there is a vast community of supporters.
In addition to wearing the color purple, GLAAD is also asking Americans to turn their Facebook and Twitter photos purple until Wednesday and to share messages of support for LGBT youth.
Spirit Day, created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, now counts millions of Americans committed on Facebook to wearing the color purple on Wednesday, October 20, 2010.
Among the supporters
of Spirit Day who will be wearing purple are Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic from E! News, and Jill Zarin from Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City.
In Chicago, local businesses are coming together
to help raise awareness.
"I will be wearing purple on Spirit Day," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "The tragic suicides of our youth have started an important dialogue among Americans about the dangers of bullying, and now is the time to show our children that millions of Americans accept and value them regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
As the event's Facebook page says: "This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple."
On the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978, purple symbolizes 'spirit'.
Last week after receiving thousands of concerned e-mails from constituents, GLAAD worked with Facebook to develop a solution to address violent and hateful anti-LGBT comments posted to a Spirit Day Facebook event page. That page, located at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122462384475928
, now has over one million people confirmed to participate.
GLAAD has compiled an application and suggestions to help those who are interested in changing their facebook or twitter photos at http://www.glaad.org/SpiritDay
LGBT youth in need of immediate help should contact The Trevor Project's 24/7 Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).