Happy Spirit Day 2020, Queens!
Millions of people around the world are wearing purple to support LBGTQ= youth and take a stand against bullying in the community.
Spirit Day was started in 2010 by a high school student, Brittany McMillan, as a way to show support for LGBTQ+ youth and take a stand against bullying. It was initially created in response to bullying-related suicides of LGBTQ+ students in 2010.
With GLAAD‚Äôs (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) help, the small Tumblr campaign grew into an international day of observance. Today, millions of students, teachers, workplaces and celebrities publicly celebrate the important holiday.
This year, is no different. More than ever, people are spreading virtual messages of love to the LGBTQ+ community in a time of quarantine and isolation.
Why does Spirit Day matter?
While the LGBTQ+ community has made historic work in fighting for rights and laws, there are still major battles to be fought in the community.
Spirit Day 2020 is about honoring the memories of the LGBT young people who have lost their lives due to bullying and homophobia. Bullying puts youth at increased risk for depression, suicidal ideation, misuse of drugs and alcohol, risky sexual behavior, and can affect academics as well. For LGBTQ+ youth, that risk is even higher.
According to GLAAD, 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth reported that they were physically threaten or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ+ identity. The statistics are even higher for LGBTQ+ individuals of color.
Celebrating the day sends a message to those who are still struggling with those issues every day that someone cares about them and stands with them in the face of hate.
How do I participate?
There are a few ways to help bring awareness to this issue facing the LGBTQ+ community for Spirit Day 2020. Even better, they are things you can do from the safety of your own home and only take seconds to complete!
1. Sign the pledge
The Spirit Day pledge is more than a form of support. It also a way to voice the outrage against bullying. GLAAD encourages everyone to share the link with others to spread the word!
2. Purple is power
Show your support visually by wearing purple! Because the color symbolizes "spirit" on the LGBTQ+ flag, supports encourage supports to flaunt the color everywhere! Post a photo of yourself in your Spirit Day purple to all your social media accounts using hashtag #SpiritDay.
3. Donate to the Spirit Day fund
If you can, consider chipping in to the Spirit Day fund. Regardless of the amount, you can help support GLAAD's efforts to end bullying, protect LGBTQ+ youth, and bring Spirit Day to more people than ever.
Also think about the ways you can support the community outside of Spirit Day. If you can't, continue to spread the word and love to others on social media.
4. Educate yourself
Find resources to help you and others understand what Spirit Day is. Look into organizations that aim to fight issues in the LGBTQ+ community. Groups like the Trevor Project and the PRIDE Foundation provide information on a range of topics, from support and well-being to government and politic's news. Education is power!