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GLAAD: Millions 'going purple' against bullying for Spirit Day on Thursday

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News release from GLAAD:

Individuals, Celebrities, Media Figures and Corporations Joining Forces to Support LGBT Youth


New York, NY, October 19, 2011 – Last fall, the nation mourned after the suicide deaths of more than a dozen young people who were LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) or perceived to be LGBT.  These tragic losses and the reports that these youth were bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity sparked a nationwide conversation about bullying, especially with regard to LGBT young people.  Their stories also inspired a movement toward encouragement, which included Spirit Day (10/20) and the "It Gets Better" Project.

Unfortunately, many LGBT young people continue to face bullying and harassment:

  • A 14-year-old boy from Williamsville, NY, named Jamey Rodemeyer died by suicide last month. He endured near-constant anti-gay bullying at school and online.
  • In early October, a teenager at Sequoyah High School in Madisonville, Tenn.,says he was physically assaulted by his own principal for wearing a shirt that supported the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance at the school.
  • Last Friday, the LGBT teen son of a City Councilor in Ottawa, Ontario, died by suicide.

Just this weekend, vandals spray-painted the words "F*GS BURN" and "DIE" on the entrance to the LGBT center at North Carolina State University.

These stories are why this year’s Spirit Day is just as important as last year’s. 

Spirit Day was founded last year by teenager Brittany McMillan as a simple but powerful way to show support for LGBT young people and to honor those who had been lost.  The idea is for people to display the color purple, which symbolizes "spirit" on the rainbow flag, as a way of showing LGBT youth that people in their communities and throughout the country want to show them love and support, right now.

Beyond the nation’s media, celebrities and brands, students and youth are taking action:

  • At Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School in New Jersey: The students and faculty have been made aware of Spirit Day. Everyone has been asked to wear purple on Thursday. At the end of the day, all students and staff members wearing purple will be called down to the lobby to take a picture.
  • At Troy High School in Troy Michigan: The Gay-Straight Alliance is distributing purple wristbands and asking teachers to have a one minute word with the class explaining Spirit Day and handing out wristbands.

Churches and congregations are also ‘going purple.’

This year’s Spirit Day, like last year’s, has an urgency to it. There’s a need for our communities and our culture to show these young people that they are accepted and cared for. Every person who wears purple on Thursday creates a slightly bigger safe space in the world of an LGBT young person.

By covering this year’s Spirit Day, your audience will not only be informed of the bullying faced by so many LGBT young adults, but also the importance of showing support for this community.

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It is sad when a young person gives up on life. Charisse Rudolph's new book, "Words Hit Hard as a Fist, With 18 Tips on How to STOP being Bullied,"was dedicated to a young man where she lives, by the name of Seth Walsh who took his life while she was finishing her new book. He was Gay and couldn't deal with the torment. There are skills that we all need to know and in her new book "Words Hit Hard as a Fist, With 18 Tips on How to STOP being Bullied," she tells kids how to "Take the bull by the horns." She shares informatio­n on how to communicat­e offensivel­y instead of defensivel­y, she talks about boundaries and how to draw the line, how to gain teen-estee­m, she gives advice on acceptance and tolerance, as well as informatio­n about 24 teen challenges your teenager will face­, there are resources and a hotline for quick advice. An education shouldn't be a death sentence for any child. You can get your copy at Balboa Press, a Division of Hay House or Amazon. or down load it. Nov. 11, 12, 13 it will be on display at the "I Can Do It! Conference in Tampa Florida. Brought to you by Hay House publishing www.thelea­dershiplad­y.com”

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