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Spirit Day: Celebrities & Presidential Candidates Call For Action Against LGBTQ Bullying

Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and many more are speaking out against LGBTQ bullying for Spirit Day 2019. The campaign started in 2010 and calls for action against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth.

LGBTQ students remain at a particularly high risk of being bullied for their identity. Over 70% report experiencing verbal harassment or homophobic remarks (from school staff, no less), while over 50% say they feel unsafe at school, and are unwilling to report bullying incidents, believing they won’t be taken seriously. (Over 60% of LGBTQ students who have confirmed an incident confirm that no serious action was taken.) These statistics are unacceptable.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president, and CEO of GLAAD, the LGBTQ media advocacy organization, said Spirit Day has become, “a megaphone for allies to send a unified message of acceptance and support to LGBTQ youth each year.”

As in previous years, we’re happy to see many celebrities raising their voice and sharing words of empowerment with LGBTQ youth.

And here are some of our 2020 presidential candidates sharing their personal messages.

“You’re incredible, you’re as good and better than anybody else, and don’t let people try to tell you you’re not,” former Vice President Joe Biden said. “Remember that, you’re special.”

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told LGBTQ youth, “You are not alone. So do not silently suffer, and know that you are deserving of respect and dignity and safety, and we will always fight for that.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in his Spirit Day video, “Know that when people are throwing something at you, especially by way of bullying, chances are it’s something that they have to resolve with themselves.”


This year, on the 10th annual Spirit Day, big things are happening. GLAAD is partnering with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for Spirit Day, joining their UN Free & Equal Spirit Day campaign. “The UN Human Rights office is proud to stand up for the human rights of young LGBTI people on Spirit Day and every day,” said Veronica Birga, head of the Free & Equal campaign.

“No child should be bullied for who they are or whom they love. We all have more power than we think to stop bullying and to build societies where all young people, in all their diversity, can grow and thrive. Together we can stop hatefulness and embrace freedom, dignity, and equality.”

Free & Equal’s campaign video, “Purple The World,” refers to an easy way you can show your support today. Wear purple or “go purple” in your photos on social media to indicate solidarity. But if you feel like going further, you can also take GLAAD’s anti-bullying pledge or follow any of the steps on the Free & Equal site for how to support LGBTQ youth in your community and beyond.

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