Laverne Cox lights Empire State purple for Spirit Day

Fri. October 17, 2014 11:36 AM by

New York City - Actress and transgender rights advocate Laverne Cox helped celebrate Spirit Day by lighting New York City's iconic Empire State building purple.

The 5th annual Spirit Day supports efforts to combat the bullying of LGBT teens. Supporters are encouraged to wear purple.

At a lighting ceremony, Cox, 30, who is best know for playing Sophia Burset on the Netflix drama-comedy Orange is the New Black, said that the issue of bulling was "deeply personal" to her.

"I spent much of my youth being bullied, being called names, being chased home from school practically every day by groups of kids who wanted to beat me up," Cox said. "And far too many LGBTQ youth are enduring the same thing across this country and it is unacceptable."

"I want LGBTQ youth all over this country to know that they are beautiful, that they are divinely made and that their lives matter."

Other landmarks which have taken a purple hue in the past to support Spirit Day include Times Square, JFK and LAX airports, the New York Stock Exchange and the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine