Today, GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced a preliminary list of celebrities, shows, networks, and more set to participate in Spirit Day, which will take place on Thursday, October 21.
Zuri Adele, Ryan Michelle Bathé, Michael Judson Berry, Michael Bolton, Bob The Drag Queen, Kent Boyd, Crystal Lee Brown, Sterling K. Brown, Aria Brooks, Ever Carradine, Fernando Carsa, Philemon Chambers, Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman, Chloe x Halle, Malia Civetz, Garrett Clayton, Andy Cohen, Jason Collins, Jasmine Davis, Scott Evan Davis, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell Acee Donovan, Lisa Durupt, Gabriel Feitosa, August Getty, Christopher Gorham, Harper Grae, Kat Graham, Frankie Grande, Mollee Gray, The Greeting Committee, Kahmora Hall, Rachael Harris, Ty Herndon, Kathy Ireland, Jeka Jane, Jordy, Natacha Karam, Isis King, Victoria Konefal, Carson Kressley, Matty Maggiacomo, Kevin Mambo, Meredith Marks, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Michael & Matt, MK xyz, Kron Moore, Jessica Morris, Mya, Amber Nash, Annika Noelle, Eureka O’Hara, Misha Osherovich, Emily Osment, Maite Perroni, Planningtorock, Olivia Ponton, Carrie Preston, Colleen Quigley, Miki Ratsula, Michael Ray, Maggie Rose, Ravi Roth, Allison Russell, Abigail Savage, Shangela, J.J. Soria, Hailee Steinfeld, the cast of “This Is Us,” Amanda Troop, Garfield Wilson, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Wrabel, Jaime Wyatt, Gregory Zarian, and more are set to participate in the world’s largest and most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign.
This year, presenting sponsors Target, Visible, and Wells Fargo, official sponsors Sally Hansen and Mars Wrigley’s SKITTLES, and community sponsors Amazon, Kellogg Company, Kirkland & Ellis, National Basketball Association & Women’s National Basketball Association, NFL, Nike, and Shutterfly will all participate in the anti-bullying campaign on Thursday, October 21.
On-air talent across CNBC, Despierta América, Entertainment Tonight, Hoy Día, The Q Agenda, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen will all go purple for Spirit Day. Other studios, networks, shows, and streaming services confirmed to take part in Spirit Day on October 21 include B Positive, Bob Hearts Abishola, Comedy Central, CMT, El Gordo y la Flaca, FBI, FBI: International, FBI: Most Wanted, Freeform’s grown-ish, Good Trouble and Motherland: Fort Salem, Ghosts, iHeartMedia, La Casa de los Famosos, LATV, Logo, Magnum P.I., MTV, NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i, NCIS: Los Angeles, Pantaya, Paramount Network, Primer Impacto, Pop TV, Telemundo, TV Land, Univision, VH1, ViacomCBS, and WarnerMedia.
GLAAD also announced that the Spheres at Amazon’s Seattle campus, Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, and NASDAQ will go purple for Spirit Day.
Sports leagues including the MLB, NFL, and National Basketball Association & Women’s National Basketball Association will take part in the anti-bullying campaign.
Organizations including National Black Justice Coalition, NYC Pride, PFLAG, Trevor Project, Transgender Law Center, and the UN Free & Equal campaign will also be participating in the world’s largest LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign.
GLAAD previously announced the kick off of 2021 Spirit Day with the auction of the iconic Syro Rancho Platform Shoes worn by comedian and Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang to the 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards in benefit of the organization’s LGBTQ advocacy work. To view the auction, visit www.glaad.org/ebay. The auction is open now until October 16.
On Spirit Day, millions of people around the world will wear purple or go purple online in a unified stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth. Purple symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag. Each year, Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals. For more information visit glaad.org/spiritday and follow #SpiritDay.
In 2019, GLAAD released a LGBTQ-inclusive children’s book titled, Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy. In partnership with Little Bee Books, Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy was the sixth book to be released in an ongoing series of LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books. Illustrated by Joy Yang, Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy is a beautiful, bold board book that teaches children about Spirit Day and its mission to stop bullying. Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy can be purchased on Amazon, Bookshop.com, Barnes & Noble, and at various in-store locations.
Previous Spirit Day participants include the Obama White House, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Sec. Hillary Clinton, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Laverne Cox, Celine Dion, Shaquille O’Neal, Sam Smith, Jimmy Kimmel, Troye Sivan, Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA and WNBA, all Major League Baseball teams, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the Las Vegas Strip, and many more.
To see GLAAD’s list of 2020 Spirit Day participants including celebrities, media, athletes, and landmarks, click here.
Coinciding with National Bullying Prevention Month, Spirit Day began in 2010 when then high school student Brittany McMillan created a Tumblr post asking students to wear purple following the suicide deaths of several LGBTQ and LGBTQ-perceived young people.
According to GLSEN’s most recent National School Climate Survey, 70.1% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed. Additionally, 59.5% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 44.6% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 87.3% of LGBTQ students experienced harassment or assault based on personal characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender expression, gender, religion, actual or perceived race and ethnicity, and actual or perceived disability.
The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ identity. A 2021 national survey by The Trevor Project also shows “the majority of LGBT youth (52%) who were enrolled in middle or high school report being bullied either in person or electronically in the past year.”
A 2020 study released by the Trevor Project, titled “All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth,” found that 44% of Black LGBTQ youth reported seriously considering suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth and half of all Black LGBTQ youth ages 13-17 years old. The study also found that Black LGBTQ youth who had high levels of family support had nearly 3 times lower rates of suicide attempts in the past 12 months. However, less than 1 in 3 Black LGBTQ youth actually reported having high levels of family support.
Spirit Day takes on a renewed importance due to the unprecedented challenges facing LGBTQ youth today. Over the last year and a half, many LGBTQ youth have not been in school, unable to attend in-person meetings of Gay-Straight Alliances, Gender-Sexuality Alliances or on-campus colleges LGBTQ organizations. During this time, LGBTQ youth have also become increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of cyberbullying, specifically with heightened levels of anti-LGBTQ hate and harassment on social media. Some LGBTQ youth may be confined to a home environment that may be unsupportive or abusive. Calls to The Trevor Project’s hotline for LGBTQ youth have at times more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.