The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) are marking Spirit Day on Friday 19th October by turning their social media purple to show solidarity and support for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) people.
Spirit Day takes place on 19th October and was created in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan to encourage people to wear purple to show solidarity and support to young LGB&T people. It also helps to promote wider awareness of the issues of homophobia and bullying that many young people face today. Purple was chosen as it represents ‘Spirit’ in the rainbow flag.
The Lesbian & Gay Foundation are encouraging people to change their social media purple such as their website, twitter profile and facebook page as well as wearing purple on the day.
Andrew Gilliver, Campaigns & Engagement Manager for the LGF comments; “Spirit Day is important as it’s a visible show of support for LGB&T young people. This day will help to show that the world can come together to celebrate and accept these young people for who they are”.
Homophobic bullying is still rife today as Stonewall’s 2012 School Report illustrates;
· More than half (55 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils have experienced direct bullying
· Gay people who are bullied are at a higher risk of suicide, self-harm and depression. Two in five (41 per cent) have attempted or thought about taking their own life directly because of bullying and the same number say that they deliberately self-harm directly because of bullying
Spirit Day is being celebrated by millions across the globe. In the United States anti-bullying campaigner and Spirit-day ambassador Katy Butler has launched a campaign to get presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barak Obama to wear purple to mark the day. Last year celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey took part, both wore purple on TV.