The world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) media advocacy organization, GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), has announced that Thursday, Oct. 21 is Spirit Day.
It’s a day for participants to wear purple or go purple online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ+ youth. The meaning behind the title Spirit Day and the choice of the colour purple is because the colour purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow pride flag.
Spirit Day started back in 2010, with the organization having hundreds of participants from celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, tech leaders, influencers, faith groups, school districts, and more standing up to LGBTQ+ bullying.
This year stars such as Barbra Streisand, Chloe X Halle, Hailee Steinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Symone (and other Ru Paul’s Drag Race queens) are participating, alongside outlets such as “Good Morning America”, “The View”, “E! News”, “Entertainment Tonight”, and “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” – just to name a few!
ET Canada’s very own Dallas Dixon had this to say about this very special day. “Today is a very important day for our LGTBQ+ youth.
As someone who was once bullied for being queer, I could only wish Spirit Day existed when I was growing up – but I am beyond thankful it exists now. The youth are our future and that includes all the beautiful queer children who need to feel love and support to live their most authentic, beautiful lives. I hope you wear purple today and show your support against bullying and harassment. Head over to www.glaad.org/spiritday to find out more!”
The day kicked off in Atlanta with none of than Lil Nas X, accompanied by a choir of members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as local HIV and LGBTQ+ leaders. Everyone wore purple Spirit Day robes as they performed songs from Lil Nas X’s latest album, Montero.
GLAAD has also just released a new short film in honour of Spirit Day, the short showcases a trans young person’s experience returning to school for the first time as their authentic self.
Spirit Day couldn’t have come at a better time considering all the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s recent Netflix special in which he made some transphobic and homophobic jokes. Which has even led Netflix head, Ted Sarandos, into some deep water for supporting Chappelle and the special in the first place.
Nonetheless, Spirit Day is a day to stand up against LGBTQ+ discrimination, bullying, and hate. The campaign is calling those in the community to share the first time they saw themselves positively represented in meeting in hopes of impacting the media landscape and inspiring LGBTQ+ youth. Participants are encouraged to share their stories on all social media platforms on Spirit Day on Oct. 21. Use the hashtag #SpiritDay and tag @GLAAD on your posts.
Former Spirit Day participants include Britney Spears, Mariah Cary, Celine Dion, Sam Smith, Oprah Winfrey, the Obama White House, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and many more.
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