Thursday, October 20, 2011

Millions “Go Purple” Today To Promote Anti-Bullying Awareness

Millions around the world are wearing purple today as a sign of solidarity against LGBT bullying. The “Spirit Day” began when Brittany McMillan created the statement two years ago. She wanted to visually prove to fellow LGBT students that they were supported and weren’t alone. She chose purple because of its symbolic meaning of spirit on the rainbow flag. Brittany encouraged her friends and community to “go purple,” and she saw an amazing response: Over 2 million people answered the call last year.

Though bullying is a major problem for all students, not just LGBT, Brittany wanted to highlight the impact of homophobia in particular. Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students report being harassed verbally in school, and 44% report being physically harassed. About two thirds of these students never reported the incident. Today people across the world are wearing purple, tinting their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures purple, and spreading the word about the bullying and harassment LGBT students face every day.

This message of unity for LGBT youth and honor for those who have died in the past shows the young LGBT students around the country that there are millions who support, love, and care for them. Just this weekend, the door of North Carolina State University’s LGBT Center was vandalized. Among other saddening stories, this is one more reason why we should “go purple” and show our support for our LGBT loved ones.

For examples of how you can participate Spirit Day, go to GLAAD.org.

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