Get Your Purple On! Spirit Day 2022

Get Your Purple On! Spirit Day 2022

Today we recognize Spirit Day – an annual event to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ youth and to speak out against bullying and discrimination

Spirit Day began in 2010 by GLAAD and then-high school student Brittany McMillan, in memory of the LGBTQ youth who died by suicide.

McMillan encouraged her friends to wear purple on a day in October — a day that came to be known as Spirit Day. Purple symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. 

Since the inaugural Spirit Day in 2010, GLAAD organizes hundreds of celebrities, media outlets, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, faith groups, school districts, organizations, colleges and universities in what has become the most visible anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign and united show of support for LGBTQ youth.

Hosts of CNBC, “TODAY,” the 3rd Hour of “TODAY” and “TODAY” with Hoda & Jenna, Univision’s “Despierta America,” “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” “Wake Up with Cheddar,” and Cheddar News’ “Trending” have all participated by wearing purple and speaking about Spirit Day on-air.

GLAAD kicked off Spirit Day 2022 last night in Los Angeles with the fourth “Beyond” Spirit Day Benefit Concert hosted by songwriter & activist Justin Tranter, and included a surprise performance by Billy Porter.

Get Your Purple On! Spirit Day 2022
Justin Tranter, president and CEO of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis and Billy Porter attend Justin Tranter And GLAAD Present \”BEYOND\” Spirit Day Concert. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD )

Special guests in attendance included Shea Diamond, Jake Wesley Rogers, Dan Reynolds, Chappell Roan and many more. The event was supported by the Kellogg Company, M&M’s, WWE as well as long-time GLAAD supporter Ketel One Family-Made Vodka.

Get Your Purple On! Spirit Day 2022
Justin Tranter, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons and president and CEO of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD )

NFL Media produced a PSA with GLAAD emphasizing the importance of taking a stand against bullying and discrimination against LGBTQ youth.

The spot features Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out publicly, and Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride, who is the first NFL player with same-sex parents.

It also includes NFL Network talent Kimmi Chex, James Palmer and MJ Acosta Ruiz as well as members of the Carolina Panthers Top Cats Cheerleaders – Javontre Booker, Ebonee Bryant-Smith, Chris Crawford and Justine Lindsey.

Earlier this year, Lindsey became the NFL’s first openly transgender cheerleader.

Today, LGBTQ youth, and especially trans and nonbinary youth, are experiencing a level of scrutiny in schools we have never seen, leading to an environment rife with stressors beyond the peer-to-peer bullying of the past.

From book bans, to bans on trans youth in sports, to bathroom restrictions and teachers barred from using correct pronouns, the means by which a student can express themselves and see others like them are increasingly being challenged.

GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, released earlier this week, reported:

• nearly 82% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe in school
• 76% experienced in-person verbal harassment (e.g., called names or threatened)
• 31% were physically harassed.

Earlier this year, The Trevor Project reported 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say that recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.

For more information about Spirit Day head over to GLAAD here.