TODAY, the third Thursday in October, is Spirit Day, when millions of people wear purple and change their social media profile pictures to help create a world in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people are celebrated and accepted for who they are.
What is Spirit Day?
Spirit Day is an annual day held on the third Thursday of October when millions speak out against bullying to show their support for LGBT youth.
It began in 2010 when Canadian high school student Brittany McMillan created the response to a series of news reports of young people in the USA who took their own lives because of homophobic bullying.
Since then it has grown to become a national US LGBT awareness campaign and, increasingly, an international event.
Who takes part?
Students, parents, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities and many more allies wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the LGBT Pride rainbow flag.
Did you get involved?
- Find out how to take part
- Download Spirit Day resources including ways you can turn your community purple
- Check out Spirit Day’s global partners
IT’S NOT TOO LATE to make a difference- be with us in spirit to make every day a safe and inclusive day for LGBT young people.
Learn more at glaad.org/spiritday
Huffington Post: What Spirit Day Means to Me by founder Brittany McMillan
The Advocate: Why I Wear Purple on Spirit Day – How LGBT adults can show solidarity with LGBT kids by Wes Janisen
IF YOU’RE STILL NOT CONVINCED of the need for an international LGBT awareness campaign…
Watch the two part BBC documentary – Stephen Fry: Out There – about homophobia around the world:
PART 1 (1 hour, featuring Uganda, Iran, USA)
PART 2 (1 hour, featuring Brazil, Russia India)
UPDATE (October 2015):
I re-shared this post for Spirit Day 2015 and updated some broken links. I can now add links to the previously unseen footage from the Stephen Fry documentary which didn’t make the final cut. When I worked with GYRO (gay youth ‘r’ out), the UK’s longest running youth group, Stephen Fry undertook a top secret mission in Liverpool to interview and members of the youth group about the experience of being LGBT in the UK. You can watch them here:
Part 1: My interview with Stephen Fry (12 minutes)
Part 2: Stephen Fry meets the GYRO LGBT youth group (8 minutes)