What Spirit Day Means to Me
Founder, Spirit Day
Spirit Day is finally here! It's been an eventful journey, what with the 19 Days of Action and all the different ways people decided to participate. It's been really crazy, but I am so glad to stand by your side today as we wear purple in an effort to support the LGBT community while standing up against bullying.
The past few days have been super busy for me, and I imagine they were just as crazy for you. It's so exciting to hear about the events that are going on in schools or workplaces. People have come up with some really fun ideas, I must say. And all these unique, brilliant ideas are contributing to the impact Spirit Day will have.
For the third year in a row, I've been so happy to work with GLAAD to spread the message of Spirit Day to as many people as possible. Millions of people across North America went purple today. And thanks to GLAAD's work, they were joined by many of the most influential people and organizations in our culture. Spirit Day's message of love and acceptance reached more people than ever before.
At this time, I'd like to say that there are still some people out there who doubt us. They might say that wearing a certain color doesn't do anything to make a difference, but you have to believe me: It does. Today, a closeted peer can look around a room and see all the people who will eventually support his or her decision to come out. If a student fears being bullied, he or she can see the people who will not just stand idly by without intervening, the people who are ready to provide a safer place to go to school. A parent of a gay child can look around the workplace and know that his or her child is just as special and important as any other child. As we wear purple today, we give a colorful visual of all the love and support that we as people have to offer. By wearing or otherwise displaying the color purple, we are showing our friends and our family, as well as those we've never met who might just happen to see us that day, that we love them no matter what, and that we will not stand for bullying.
So I just wanted to say "thank you." Millions of people and organizations around the world are participating right now, including celebrities, TV shows, companies, nonprofits, schools and faith groups. I can't even put into words how absolutely incredible it is to have support from all over the spectrum. I'm so humbled to hear the different ways people are showing their support for Spirit Day, whether by dying their hair purple or having a discussion in the workplace. For those of you who participated in the 19 Days of Action, you have gone above and beyond the expectations I had for Spirit Day when I first posted about in 2010.
No matter how you are participating this year, you are helping make a difference. You are helping teens feel safe, and you are giving encouragement to others supporting Spirit Day. You are demonstrating the will to end bullying, and you are providing videos and pictures to remind people year-round of the amount of support we are willing to show. But don't forget to demonstrate the same attitude you have today all day, every day, for the rest of your life. Spirit Day only takes place one day out of the year, but our commitment to putting an end to bullying is everlasting.
Thank you so, so much.