2011 Spirit Day logo
|Observed by||LGBT community|
|Type||International Awareness Day|
|Significance||Awareness day for efforts to end bullying of LGBT youth|
|Started by||Brittany McMillan|
|Organized by||Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)|
|WikiQueer and The Aequalitas Project are proud to be participating in Spirit Day 2011!
|Learn more about Spirit Day 2011.|
|Please consider supporting the work of Spirit Day's organizer, GLAAD.|
Spirit Day is a US American and Canadian observed civil awareness day that, in part, encourages people to wear purple 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 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. It is coordinated in the United States by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 20 to show support for the efforts to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.
Participants generally do one or all of the following:
- Wear Purple on October 20: Show support by wearing purple and to asking others to do so as well.
- Talking to others: Talking about why they are going purple on 10/20. The goal is to educate others, help build even more support for LGBT youth, and raise awareness about anti-bullying efforts.
- Turning Facebook and Twitter pictures purple on 10/20: Often using the official free tool at glaad.org/SpiritDay to turn both profile pictures purple.
- Sharing organization's participation: Sending GLAAD a photo or posting a Twitter photo of an organization's staff or volunteers wearing purple on 10/20 using #SpiritDay for inclusion in Spirit Day coverage.
- Download GLAAD's iPhone application to Purple your Picture for Spirit.
- Watch or contribute to Mobli's Spirit Day channel via their website or smart phone applications.
- Tweeting with the #SpiritDay hashtag, such as with GLAAD's suggested tweet:
Join us in wearing purple on 10/20 to support LGBT youth + make your profile pic purple #SpiritDay http://glaad.org/spiritday.
 Observance by organizations
GLAAD, in its role as event organizer, works with organizations including GLSEN, GSA Network, PFLAG and The Trevor Project as part of National Bullying Prevention Month to inspire Americans to wear purple on Spirit Day.
Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s ‘Ally Week’ (October 17-21), a week for students to organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools and communities. GLSEN has partnered with GLAAD to promote Spirit Day as an event for students to participate in during ‘Ally Week.’
The Human Rights Campaign introduced a Facebook application that allows Facebook members to send a united message that bullying has no place in our schools or in our communities. It is not yet clear what the collection of names will be used for.
The American Federation of Teachers will be posting a special version of GLAAD's anti-bullying PSA aimed at teachers. AFT is also notifying teachers and members about Spirit Day.
 Observance by WikiQueer
Beginning with Spirit Day 2011, WikiQueer has participated in observing Spirit Day. The site replaces its usual pink color scheme with a darker purple scheme, features Spirit Day on the homepage as the "Featured action", and changes the site notice to promote participation in Spirit Day.
 Observance by companies
Dr. Drew will be wearing purple on his CNN program. E! Online host Marc Malkin will be in purple and tweeting about Spirit Day. LOGO will air a Spirit Day purple ribbon on the channel to drive viewers to NewNowNext.com to increase awareness against bullying. Additionally, their Twitter (@LogoTV) and Facebook photos will ‘go purple’ and pictures of staff, fans and talent will be posted to Tumblr throughout the day. MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts will be wearing purple and speaking about Spirit Day on-air. MTV will be turning the on-air logo purple along with their Facebook, Twitter, MTV.com and MTV Act logos. This is only the second time in the network's history that their on-air logo will change colors for a cause. The Sundance Channel employees will be participating and the Sundance Channel social media logos will turn to purple on Spirit Day. Stars of the Sundance Channel including David Nadelberg (Sundance Channel, The Mortified Sessions), Joe Zee (Sundance Channel, All on the Line with Joe Zee), and Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys are among celebrities who will participate by wearing purple or changing Twitter and Facebook photos for the day. Comcast will be running GLAAD's 'Amplify Your Voice' anti-bullying PSA campaign and featuring GLAAD in a Newsmakers segment.
AT&T will post an article for their more than 260,000 employees to learn about Spirit Day. Electronic signage will be at One Whitacre Tower reminding employees at the corporate headquarters building. LEAGUE at AT&T, the LGBT and Allies employees of AT&T, will be changing its Internet site purple and holding a company-wide, virtual, “Purple-bag” town hall luncheon meeting with LEAGUE leaders. In key locations LEAGUE members will provide employees purple chocolate “kisses,” a LEAGUE Spirit Day bookmark, and a purple Spirit Day ribbon. LEAGUE will leverage AT&T digital signage with Spirit Day postings to GO PURPLE. Technology will be front-and-center for Spirit Day as members: write email in purple, change AT&T instant-messaging photo to a purple Spirit Day graphic,change PC wallpaper, change AT&T tSpace photo to a purple Spirit Day graphic, download the app to change your Facebook Photo purple, and tweet #SPIRITDAY.
Facebook distributed Spirit Day information to employees around the globe. Facebook Diversity and Facebook Safety pages will also turn purple. Facebook and the Network of Support will be urging users to sign the Stop Bullying: Speak Up social pledge. The app enables educators, parents and students to make a personal commitment—and recruit others to join them—to help stop bullying. Yahoo! Pride has promoted Spirit Day on their Facebook fan page. Yahoo! is also holding photo shoots in various offices around the country to celebrate Spirit Day. Yahoo! also posted about Spirit Day on the OMG! blog and sent an employee call-to-action to 'go purple' on Facebook and Twitter.
 Observance by educational institutions
A number of schools, GSAs, and colleges participate in Spirit Day. For Cabot High School, the GSA is launching their first campaign with Spirit Day. In addition to purpling out the school, their Facebook and Twitter accounts, the GSA plans to follow-up Spirit Day with the kick-start their anti-slur campaign. The California State University Long Beach GSA is hosting flash mobs all over campus to celebrate Spirit Day and raise awareness. Loyola Marymount University LGBT Student Services Office will be passing out 500 purple shirts to students that read: I CARE. At North Surrey Secondary School, students have been postering about Spirit Day, sharing stories on the impact of bullying during morning announcements, and on Spirit Day will show GLAAD Spirit Day and It Gets Better videos. Additionally, the school dance team will flash mob "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. The GSA at Troy High School is planning to spread the word about wearing purple apparel on Spirit Day. In addition, a few GSA officers will get to school early, and in front of the school media center distribute purple duct tape "wristbands" for students to wear and support the cause. In each of the classes, they will ask the teacher for permission to have a one minute word with the class explaining Spirit Day and handing out duct tape wristbands for interested allies and supporters to wear. Left wrist, right, or both - the goal is to show support and get people asking what it's all about.
In early October 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promulgated the observance of a new commemoration called Spirit Day, the first observance of which took place on October 20, 2010, in which people wear the color purple to show support for LGBT young people who are victims of bullying. Promoted by GLAAD, many Hollywood celebrities wore purple on this day to show their support of this cause, and many websites added a prominent purple shade to their design.
Further national and international attention was drawn to Spirit Day 2010 when Clint McCance, the vice-president of an Arkansas school board, posted incendiary anti-homosexual remarks on the Facebook social networking website. McCance ultimately apologised and resigned on the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360, however he received further criticism for what many perceived to be an insincere non-apology apology, including from Dr. Phil in a later Anderson Cooper interview. McCance submitted his resignation letter to the Midlands School District effective November 1, 2010.
A complete list of participating organizations is available on Spirit Day's website. Organizations that have been involved with Spirit Day include, but are not limited to:
- American Federation of Teachers
- Believe Out Loud
- Campus Pride
- Equality California
- Equality Illinois
- Equality Michigan
- Equality New Mexico
- Equality Pennsylvania
- Equality Texas
- Fair Wisconsin
- Fight Back NY
- Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
- Give a Damn Campaign
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
- Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
- Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network
- Georgia Equality
- Harvey Milk Foundation
- Indiana Equality
- Lambda Legal
- LGBT Center of New York City
- Make It Better Campaign
- Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)
- More Light Presbyterians
- National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
- National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- No H8 Campaign
- Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
- PACER Center
- San Francisco LGBT Center
- Safe Schools Action Network
- The Trevor Project
- United Church of Christ
- Vermont Freedom to Marry
- WikiQueer & The Aequalitas Project
Inaugural 2010 participants in italics
A complete list of celebrities and entertainers participating is available on Spirit Day's website. Individuals that have been involved with Spirit Day include, but are not limited to:
- Gloria Allred
- Aziz Ansari
- Chaz Bono
- Margaret Cho
- Kate Clinton
- Andy Cohen
- Laverne Cox
- Wilson Cruz
- Gale Harold
- Allison Janney
- Carson Kressley
- Ricky Martin
- Christopher McDonald
- Brittany McMillan
- Joel McHale
- Conan O’Brien
- Jaime Pressley
- Joan Rivers
- The Bilerico Project
- Here Media
- In The Life Media
- NBC Universal
- San Diego Gay & Lesbian News
- The Seattle Lesbian
- Sundance Channel
- USA Network
- Washington Blade
- Windy City Media Group
- AMC Entertainment
- American Airlines
- Goldman Sachs
- McGraw-Hill Companies
A complete list of participating faith-based organizations is available on Spirit Day's website. Faith-based organizations that have been involved with Spirit Day include, but are not limited to:
- Bet Mishpachah, Washington, District of Columbia
- California Council of Churches, Sacramento, California
- Gay Christian Network
- Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Lutherans Concerned/Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
- The Marin Foundation, Chicago Illinois
- The Naming Project
- New Ways Ministry, Mount Rainier, Maryland
- Our Spirit
- Stiefel Freethought Foundation, Wilmington, Deleware
- Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, New York, New York
A complete list of participating educational institutions is available on Spirit Day's website. Educational institutions that have been involved with Spirit Day include, but are not limited to:
- Cabot High School GSA (Arkansas)
- California State University Long Beach Gay Straight Alliance
- Edison Middle School (Los Angeles, California)
- Kamehameha High School - Kapalama (Hawaii)
- Long Island University C.W. Post Protestant Campus Ministry
- Loyola Marymount University LGBT Student Services
- Millbrook High School (North Carolina)
- Minnesota School OUTreach Coalition
- Montana State University Safe Zone Program
- North Carolina State University GLBT Center
- North Surrey Secondary School
- Spellman College
- Troy High School GSA (Michigan)
- University of Akron LGBTU
- University of Minnesota Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence & GLBTA Programs Office
- University of Missouri Law Students for Reproductive Justice
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln LGBT Resource Center
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Queer Ally Coalition
- University of New Mexico LGBTQ Resource Center
- University of Wisconsin Pride Center
- Whitman College GLBTQ Student Group
- "GLAAD - Spirit Day website". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Spirit Day Resource Kit for Organizations". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Facebook, CNBC, MTV, PepsiCo, and Seventeen join Conan O'Brien, Sonja Morgan, Mehcad Brooks, Jamie Pressley, and millions to speak out against anti-LGBT bullying by 'Going Purple' on Spirit Day, October 20" (Press release). Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). October 17, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Senate Committee Has Opportunity to Protect LGBT Students on Day Commemorating Bullying Victims" (Press release). Human Rights Campaign. October 17, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Spirit Day Corporate Partners". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Spirit Day Media Partners". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Facebook and Time Warner Inc. Launch Stop Bullying: Speak Up App" (Press release). Business Wire. October 19, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Wackrow, Kyle (10 October 2010). "Spirit Day to honor recent homosexual suicide victims". The Eastern Echo. Retrieved 26 October 2010. "In the wake of several suicides by gay teens, a teenage girl from Canada sent out a call for a worldwide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Spirit Day. Posted and re-posted from blogs to Facebook to other social networking sites, her call for remembrance spread across the Internet in a matter of days. With the use of her Tumblr account, the announcement asks people to wear purple on Oct. 20 in memory of those bullied and harassed for their sexual orientation."
- October 20, 2010 Spirit Day—the Day to Wear Purple by Lindsay Christ—Long Island Free Press October 20, 2010:
- Why Wearing Purple Will Protest Bullying:
- October 20th is Spirit Day in Hollywood—Neon Tommy’s Daily Hollywood:
- Potter, Chuck (23 October 2010). "Bullies can't stand up to the power of purple". The Day Publishing Company. Retrieved 23 October 2010. "[Brittany McMillan] initiated the idea after Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, committed suicide when his roommate used a webcam (computer camera) to "broadcast" Clementi's same sex date."
- Heussner, Ki Mae (20 october 2010). "Spirit Day: Facebook Users Wear Purple - ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 26 October 2010. "Rallying around the cause, several Facebook groups encouraging people to wear purple have popped on the site. One of the biggest, "R.I.P. ;; In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple," has attracted more than 1.6 million attendees."
- "Gay teens honored on Spirit Day". ABS-CBN Interactive. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010. "Various Facebook event pages for Spirit Day were put up. One such page dubbed "October 20th: Spirit Day", created by Tasha Gawkowski and Malcolm Zawacki, had 67,097 people "attending" as of 12:03 p.m. on October 20. Another one titled "R.I.P.;; In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple" had more than 1.5 million "attending" as of 12:22 p.m. on October 20."
- Johnson, Tim (20 October 2010). "Spirit Day rallies support for gay and lesbian youths". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 26 October 2010. "They have included Tyler Clementi, a first-year student at Rutgers University in New Jersey who allegedly was subjected to cyberbullying by peers. Another was Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old in Minnesota who hanged himself in his bedroom. On a Facebook page honoring them and other victims, 1.4 million people said they would participate in Wednesday’s observance."
- Stewart, M. (October 29, 2010). "Dr. Phil slams Arkansas official for 'non-apology apology'". Anderson Cooper 360 at cnn.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010. "And McGraw offers his own interpretation of McCance’s mea culpa: "I certainly see his apology as suggesting that he's sorry that all of this came to light, he's sorry that somebody called him on it.""
- Wing, N. (October 27, 2010). "Clint McCance, Arkansas School Board Member, Wants 'Fags' To Commit Suicide". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- Mirkinson, J. (October 29, 2010). "Clint McCance, Arkansas School Board Member, Resigns On 'Anderson Cooper 360'". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- "Dr. Phil Slams McCance "Non-Apology"". advocate.com. October 30, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- "On Anderson Cooper, Dr. Phil Isn't Buying Clint McCance's 'Non-Apology'". ontopmag.com. October 31, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010. "This is the biggest non-apology – non-apology apology – I've heard," McGraw said. "He did not apologize for what he said. He didn't apologize for the message that this gives to children, to kids, to parents out there. What he apologized for was saying that suicide was the only out and that he's sorry that he said that."
- "Ark. school board member quits after anti-gay rant". The Washington Post. November 1, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010.[dead link]