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Anti-bullying teen: Presidential candidates should wear purple on Spirit Day to support LGBT youths

News release from GLAAD:

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Hosts of Good Morning America, The Talk; NBA, Times Square, DJ Pauly D, Days of Our Lives cast, Chaz Bono, Margaret Cho, Fran Drescher, Joel McHale, Maria Menounos and more pledge to wear purple to show support for LGBT young people

katybutler_195x150_1NEW YORK, NY, October 10, 2012 - Today anti-bullying advocate and Spirit Day ambassador Katy Butler launched a Change.org petition asking President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to join GLAAD and millions of Americans by wearing purple on October 19, 2012 for Spirit Day. Participants wearing purple on this day to stand against bullying and show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people. The petition is viewable here: glaad.org/purple2012

GLAAD also announced additional participants for Spirit Day including the hosts of ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ The Talk, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, the NBA, DJ Pauly D, Maria Menounos, Chaz Bono, and Facebook.

For additional participants and media coverage please link to glaad.org/spiritday

Katy Butler, a Michigan native who organized more than half a million people to call on the MPAA to change the rating of BULLY from ‘R’ to ‘PG-13’, was announced as a Spirit Day ambassador earlier this month joining celebrities such as Extra’s Maria Menounos, Shaquille O’Neal, Wendy Williams, Perez Hilton, George Takei Shay Mitchell and Avan Jogia, as well as LGBT leaders including Jennifer Tyrrell, Janet Mock, Jordan Addison, Tiq Milan, Shane Bitney Crone and ally Zach Wahls.

Additionally, celebrities including Louis Van Amstel, Bryan Batt, Chaz Bono, Bailey Buntain, Margaret Cho, the cast of Days of Our Lives, Fran Drescher, Kaya Jones, Jennifer Knapp, Kara Laricks, Cyndi Lauper, Joel McHale, D.W. Moffett, Sonja Morgan, Mary Murphy, Matt Nordgren, Melissa Peterman, DJ Pauly D, Cierra Ramirez, SallyAnn Salsano, Lindsey Shaw, Freddie Smith, Stephen Wallem and Bruce Vilanch will also participate by going purple on October 19.

Celebrity participants and Spirit Day Ambassadors are also encouraging fans and supporters to donate to GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project by texting ‘PURPLE’ to 80888 to make a $5 contribution. AT&T is the exclusive underwriter of the Spirit Day Text Purple campaign.

The Duke Energy Tower in Charlotte, NC will join the New York Stock Exchange, Thomson Reuters’ Times Square screen, the LAX Pylon Lights and JFK traffic tower in lighting up purple for Spirit Day on October 19.

GLAAD and Toyota Financial Services last week announced the release of the “Go Purple for #SpiritDay powered by Toyota Financial Services” apps for iPhone and Android. The app provides users with anti-bullying resources, calls to action, and a tool that can turn photos purple and share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The free app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. To download, visit: glaad.org/spiritday/app

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s second largest school district with more than 640,000 students in over 900 schools, will participate by sharing information about Spirit Day with students on its website and through its social media channels. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will also participate through social media.

Corporations including AMC Entertainment, American Apparel, AT&T, atelier-lb, Caesars Foundation, Carat, Citi, Delta Air Lines, Draftfcb, Digitas, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hyatt, Johnnye’s East Texas Soul, LBNY, Leo Burnett Business, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Marquee Las Vegas, MediaVest, MSL New York, Mobli, NBCUniversal, Nielsen, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, PwC, Saatchi & Saatchi, Southern California Edison, StumbleUpon, Thomson Reuters, Toyota Financial Services,  Viacom, Warner Bros., Wells Fargo, Yahoo! and Zenith Optimedia will also participate in Spirit Day. Participating companies will distribute information to employees about wearing purple and/or turn their logo purple on October 19.

Local and national groups and organizations including All Out; Athlete Ally; the BULLY Project; Campus Pride; CenterLink; Circle of Voices; Courage Campaign; Equality Florida; Equality Illinois; Equality Maryland; Equality Matters; Equality Michigan; the Equality Network; Equality North Carolina; Equality Ohio; Equality Texas; Fair Wisconsin; Familia es Familia; Forum for Equality; Freedom to Marry; FriendFactor; Forum for Equality; Garden State Equality; Georgia Equality; Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD); the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD); GMHC; GSA Network; Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC); Human Rights Campaign (HRC); Indiana Equality; It Gets Better Project; Latino Equality Alliance; Latino GLBT History; LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent; Log Cabin Republicans; the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC); National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC); the National Bullying Prevention Center by PACER; the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE); the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC); One Colorado; OutFront Minnesota; OutServe; Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Point Foundation; promo; Reaching Out MBA; Sean’s Last Wish; Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN); Straight But Not Narrow; The Task Force; Transgender Law Center; Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF); Trans People of Color Coalition (TPCC); Tennessee Equality Project; The Trevor Project; We Are Family; WikiQueer; and Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) will all participate by wearing purple on October 19, turning their social media channels purple, and encouraging members to participate.

In 2010, teenager Brittany McMillan called on her friends to wear purple as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives to bullying. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.

"Showing support for your friends, family and teachers can make all the difference in the world to young LGBT people, whether they are going through a tough time or not,” said 17-year-old McMillan. “This year, Spirit Day is going to be bigger and better than ever, and I’m so thrilled to be going purple alongside some of my favorite celebrities, as well as millions of others in a united stand against bullying.”

“By going purple for Spirit Day, millions of Americans are helping to send a clear message that no one should be bullied simply because of who they are,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.

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About GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

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