Be sure to wear purple on October 18. GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has taken over the day in order to bring awareness to bullied queer youth in educational environments.
Spirit Day was created in 2010 by Brittany McMillan as a reaction to the high number of suicides affecting the queer community.
GLAAD is an organization founded in 1985 with the motivation to bring understanding about the LGBTQ folks. Over their 30 years of existence, they have brought stories to the community ranging from topics of entertainment to Latinx news. GLAAD even has grants awarded to LGBTQ content creators and filmmakers.
The purpose of Spirit Day is to stand up with young, queer folks who experience bullying and harassment for their sexual orientations. According to the 2015 GLSEN national school climate survey, 85.2 precent of queer students have reported being verbally harassed. Over half of queer students feel unsafe at their schools.
GLSEN conducts research of K-12 students and has the goal of building a safe environment for those in the LGBTQ community within their educational communities. Not only are queer students their mission, they also work on creating this safe space for everyone to express their gender identity and expression fully. GLSEN also works with educators, training them how to make their school grounds welcoming for all. They offer curriculum to implement the practices and make them a reality.
Numerous celebrities, such as Troye Sivan, Laverne Cox, and Ellen DeGeneres, have worn purple in honor of the day. Companies such as Pop-Tarts and television shows like Game of Thrones have all participated in Spirit Day by showing the color in their social media posts.
To participate in the cause, don’t forget to wear purple this upcoming Thursday.