October 20 is Spirit Day in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) youth who are struggling right now throughout the country.
The recent rash of suicides of teens bullied for being "gay" (or perceived that way) has called attention to a problem that has been going on for years. If you think it's getting better, you can look no further than Skylar Abernathy's Facebook page. This angry young man who says being "gay" is a choice and who refuses to wear purple is exactly the reason we need to stand in solidarity.
The purple Spirit Day is a national public awareness event started by GLAAD (Gays & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The color purple represents the "spirit" portion of the rainbow flag, which is one symbol for LGBT Pride.
As one of the event's Facebook pages 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."
So do it. Here are some ways to get your purple on:
According to GLAAD:
The idea behind Spirit Day, first created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, is a simple one, not dissimilar to the idea of "Spirit Week" held in many high schools, and can be summed up in three words: Everyone Rally Together.
Spirit Day honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it's also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.
Here are some simple ways you can support the cause:
- Turn your profile Facebook photo purple: People (like me) who work at home also want public ways to show support. This is a quick and easy one.
- Wear a purple hat: You must have some purple accessory. Find it and rock it!
- Make your Twitter page purple: Do Facebook and Twitter if you have both. Either way, send a message to everyone you know. Use the hashtag #SpiritDay in your tweets to make #SpiritDay a trending topic.
- Update your Facebook status: Try this (from GLAAD): "I'm wearing purple today to support LGBT youth -- make your profile pic purple today for Spirit Day at http://glaad.org/spiritday"
- Use a graphic on your blog: Download the purple graphic and use it on your blog.
Wear purple. Do it because you know someone gay. Do it because you support an end to bullying and childhood cruelty. Just do it!
How will you wear purple?
Image via GLAAD