Millions of LGBT people and their allies will dress in purple on Friday — both in person and online — to mark the third annual Spirit Day, a day demonstrate support for LGBT youth and to speak out against bullying.
The first Spirit Day occurred in October 2010 following the deaths of numerous young LGBTQ people, who committed suicide after enduring years of anti-gay bullying. In response, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan campaigned on social media websites, encouraging people to wear purple to demonstrate support for LGBT young people who are victims of bullying.
The color purple was chosen because it symbolizes “spirit” on the Rainbow Flag.
An estimated 1.6 million people around the world observed the first Spirit Day. Now observed annually, millions of individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities are expected to wear purple on Friday, and color their social media profiles purple as well.
The worldwide event is now promoted by GLAAD, and this year’s participation is expected to eclipse previous years.
Among the participating media outlets are:
- LGBTQ Nation and media partners, including the Washington Blade;
- More than 100 celebrities and entertainers;
- Major broadcast and cable television networks including ABC, CBS and NBC;
- More than a dozen sports organizations and professional sports leagues, including the NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR Diversity, NHL, USA Track & Field and the WWE;
- Social media sites, including Facebook, Tumblr, and dozens of major corporations;