The event, which falls on October 19th, was founded in 2010 by a high schooler named Brittany McMillan. On Spirit Day, supporters are asked to wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their general allegiance with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. The idea was adopted and has been strongly advocated by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
“Ultimately, I want Spirit Day to make just one person feel a little bit better about his or herself, to feel safe enough in their own skin to be proud of who they are,” says McMillan.
“Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy — participants are asked to simply “go purple” on October 19th as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are,” says GLAAD.
Another way that people have celebrated Spirit Day in the past has been to change their Facebook profile pictures to purple. Facebook has announced their support of the event:
Earlier this year, Facebook was presented with a GLAAD media award to honor “the most outstanding images of the LGBT community in the media. Facebook was the first social media company to ever receive the award. Spirit Day founder Brittany McMillan presented the award at the ceremony.
You can join the international event on Facebook here.