10 Tweets About Spirit Day That Explain Why Going Purple Is So Important
According to GLSEN's most recent National School Climate Survey, a staggering 70.1% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed, and 48.7% of LGBTQ students have experienced cyberbullying. If you find these stats to be distressing or downright disturbing, that’s all the more reason to speak out against LGBTQ bullying by participating in GLAAD’s Spirit Day on Oct. 17. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the campaign, and considering the many tweets about Spirit Day that have been posted in the week leading up to it, it’s clear that this anti-bullying message is gaining steam.
On Spirit Day, members of the LGBTQ community and allies alike are encouraged to wear purple — the color that symobolizes spirit on the rainbow LGBTQ pride flag — to show their solidarity and support. But there are many other ways to get involved as well. You can take the pledge to show you stand with LGBTQ youth on GLAAD's website, as well as download GLAAD’s educational resources (like the anti-bullying resource kit for students) and then share your knowledge by engaging friends, classmates, coworkers, local media, etc. You can also make a donation to GLAAD in any amount of your choosing. And last, but certainly not least, you can spread the word via social media. It takes less than a minute to fire off a tweet or Instagram post sharing your participation in Spirit Day, and GLAAD even has some templates on the website to get you started if you're at a loss for words.
So, wondering what others have to say about the campaign? Here are a handful of tweeters who went purple on Oct. 17 — and are inspiring others to do the same.
'Cause Regina Said So
In order to understand the weight of this issue, it's important to note several other concerning truths that were highlighted by GLSEN's survey. A whopping 60.4% of LGBTQ students who reported bullying incidents said that staff either did nothing or told the student to ignore it. That might help explain why a little more than half of LGBTQ students never reported their experiences of bullying because they doubted that staff would intervene. So, it’s no surprise that 59.5% of LGBTQ students say they feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 44.6% feel unsafe because of their gender expression. Needless to say, Spirit Day revolves around a very worthy cause.
Already, a slew of politicians, celebrities, high-profile brands and companies, media networks, and pro sports leagues have taken part in Spirit Day, which coincides with National Bullying Prevention Month. Activist and hit songmaker Justin Tranter (who’s written tunes for Justin Bieber, Kesha, Selena Gomez, and more) hosted GLAAD’s third annual concert, which included surprise performances by Bebe Rexha and Idina Menzel, and those concerts raised over $400K for GLAAD’s work with LGBTQ youth. Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar all provided powerful messages to LGBTQ youth in their Spirit Day videos. Other stars who opted to go purple for Spirit Day include Andy Cohen, James Corden, Billy Ray Cyrus, Trevor Noah, Willow Smith, Karamo Brown, and Tegan & Sara. GLAAD also shared videos of celebs such as Jameela Jamil, Nina West, Paula Abdul, Adam Rippon, and Patricia Arquette all sharing their thoughts on bullying and urging others to participate in Spirit Day.
No one should be subjected to bullying, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity — and Oct. 17 marks a noteworthy opportunity to take a stand on this prevalent issue. Remember: Spirit Day is just one day out of the year, but you can make an effort to fight LGBTQ bullying year-round. Not sure where to start? GLAAD’s Amplify Your Voice resource kit offers a multitude of helpful tips on what to do if you witness bullying or harassment in your school.