GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, has revealed a preliminary list of the celebrities, shows, and companies that will be participating on Spirit Day on Thursday, October 21.
Spirit Day began in 2010 after high school student Brittany McMillian asked fellow students to wear purple, representing spirit on the rainbow flag, to honor recent suicide deaths of LGBTQ+ youth and those thought to be LGBTQ+. The day happens to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month.
Since then, the day has become a chance for millions of people around the world to take a stand against bullying and support LGBTQ+ youth, which can be done in person or online.
GLAAD kicked off 2021 Spirit Day earlier this month when it was announced that the Syro Rancho Platform Shoes Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang wore to the Emmy Awards would be auctioned off to support the organization’s work. The auction will be open until October 16.
“Spirit Day takes on a renewed importance due to the unprecedented challenges facing LGBTQ youth today. Over the last year and a half, many LGBTQ youth have not been in school, unable to attend in-person meetings of Gay-Straight Alliances, Gender-Sexuality Alliances or on-campus colleges LGBTQ organizations,” GLAAD said in a press release. “During this time, LGBTQ youth have also become increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of cyberbullying, specifically with heightened levels of anti-LGBTQ hate and harassment on social media. Some LGBTQ youth may be confined to a home environment that may be unsupportive or abusive.”
GLAAD cited research from advocacy group GLSEN, which found that 70.1 percent of LGBTQ+ students report being verbally harassed. Almost 60 percent of LGBTQ+ student don’t feel safe at school due to their sexual orientation, and about 45 percent feel that way due to their gender identity. Research by the LGBTQ+ crisis prevention organization The Trevor Project found more than 50 percent of LGBTQ+ youth say they’ve been bullied in the past year.
Celebrities set to join in on Spirit Day include Chloe x Halle, Andy Cohen, Shangela, Ellen DeGeneres, Sterling K. Brown, Zuri Adele, Ryan Michelle Bathé, Michael Judson Berry, Michael Bolton, Bob The Drag Queen, Kent Boyd, Crystal Lee Brown, Aria Brooks, Ever Carradine, Fernando Carsa, Philemon Chambers, Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman, , Malia Civetz, Garrett Clayton, Andy Cohen, Jason Collins, Jasmine Davis, Scott Evan Davis, Maxwell Acee Donovan, Lisa Durupt, Gabriel Feitosa, Christopher Gorham, Harper Grae, Frankie Grande, Mollee Gray, The Greeting Committee, Kahmora Hall, Rachael Harris, Ty Herndon, Kathy Ireland, Jeka Jane, Jordy, Natacha Karam, Isis King, Victoria Konefal, Carson Kressley, Matty Maggiacomo, Kevin Mambo, Meredith Marks, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Michael & Matt, MK xyz, Kron Moore, Jessica Morris, Mya, Amber Nash, Annika Noelle, Eureka O’Hara, Misha Osherovich, Emily Osment, Maite Perroni, Planningtorock, Olivia Ponton, Carrie Preston, Colleen Quigley, Miki Ratsula, Michael Ray, Maggie Rose, Ravi Roth, Allison Russell, Abigail Savage, J.J. Soria, Hailee Steinfeld, the cast of “This Is Us,” Amanda Troop, Garfield Wilson, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Wrabel, Jaime Wyatt, Gregory Zarian, and more.
Sponsors for the world's largest anti-bullying campaign include Target, Visible, and Wells Fargo as well as Sally Hansen and Mars Wrigley’s SKITTLES, Amazon, Kellogg Company, Kirkland & Ellis, National Basketball Association & Women’s National Basketball Association, NFL, Nike, and Shutterfly.
On-air talent from Despierta América, Entertainment Tonight, Hoy Día, The Q Agenda, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen will participate in purple for Spirit Day. Other shows and streaming services joining in will be B Positive, Bob Hearts Abishola, Comedy Central, CMT, El Gordo y la Flaca, FBI, FBI: International, FBI: Most Wanted, Freeform’s grown-ish, Good Trouble and Motherland: Fort Salem, Ghosts, iHeartMedia, La Casa de los Famosos, LATV, Logo, Magnum P.I., MTV, NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i, NCIS: Los Angeles, Pantaya, Paramount Network, Primer Impacto, Pop TV, Telemundo, TV Land, Univision, VH1, ViacomCBS, and WarnerMedia.
GLAAD also announced that the Spheres at Amazon's Seattle campus, Amazon’s HQ2, and NASDAQ will go purple for Spirit Day.
Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association & Women’s National Basketball Association will also join in on the anti-bullying campaign.
Organizations supporting Spirit Day include the National Black Justice Coalition, NYC Pride, PFLAG, the Trevor Project, Transgender Law Center, and the UN Free & Equal campaign.
Find out more information about Spirit Day by visiting GLAAD’s website.