Celebrate Spirit Day by Taking a Stand (and Action!) Against LGBTQIA Bullying

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Spirit Day, a yearly campaign spearheaded by GLAAD, has arrived again! It’s a campaign designed to show visible support for LGBTQIA youth and against bullying, and GLAAD encourages everyone to stand with them in solidarity by wearing purple. The internet has come out in droves.

Of course, there are the celebrity supporters:

And then there are other amazing, badasses out there contributing to the #SpiritDay hashtag:

Marvel Comics has a special issue devoted to the day:

Even Tony the Tiger is getting in on the act:

You know? I always suspected that he and Toucan Sam were dating, but I haven’t been able to confirm anything …

And then there’s this amazing tweet from HBO’s Westworld, where Maeve reminds us of something very important:

Jokes aside, Spirit Day is important to acknowledge and support. Why? Here are some stats from GLAAD:

So, other than showing solidarity and turning your social media purple, what else can you do to help LGBTQIA youth in the fight against bullying?

  • Donate to GLAAD. They’re working all year round in the fight against discrimination against the LGBTQIA community.
  • Engage with your, or your child’s school. One heartbreaking theme in a lot of stories surrounding Spirit Day is that, very often, other kids and teachers know that bullying is happening, but they don’t do anything about it. Students then don’t feel safe reporting incidents, because they don’t see the point and feel that Whether you’re a student yourself, or the parent of a student, don’t be afraid to organize and demand that your school enact better policies surrounding bullying.
  • I happen to be on the Board of Directors of an arts organization called Arts Out Loud, which focuses on bridging the gap between young LGBTQIA arts students and the higher arts education they want to pursue in order to make their voices heard as artists. So often, LGBTQIA find a safe haven in the arts, and supporting that safe haven can make a huge difference in the life of a bullied kid. If you’d like to donate to Arts Out Loud’s inaugural scholarship program, CLICK HERE.

And most importantly of all, you can help cultivate a more loving and tolerant world in your own day-to-day life by treating every person you encounter with kindness and respect, and teaching your children to do the same.

(image: GLAAD)

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Author
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.