Today is National Coming Out Day — a day to celebrate the declaration of LGBTQ identities.
Unfortunately, not everyone is in a safe space to come out. LGBTQ youth, in particular, face disproportionate levels of bullying for being who they are. This bullying can engender physical violence as well as harm to mental health, which can lead to a host of other issues like suicide and even an increased risk of heart disease.
To help LGBTQ young people, celebrities like Angelica Ross, Jameela Jamil, Adam Rippon, Karamo Brown, Paula Abdul, Patricia Arquette, Dan Levy, Jaboukie Young-White, Peppermint, and Nina West sent messages of love as well as advice on how to find support.
They do so on the eve of GLAAD's Spirit Day, a worldwide antibullying campaign on October 17 when corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals "go purple" in their dress and social media profiles in a show of solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people.
Listen to the love below, and learn more about how to celebrate Spirit Day at GLAAD.org.
“We all need to take a stand against all forms of bullying. But we have to go beyond just turning our profile pictures purple. Because I see a lot of folks out there giving us lip service. … When we need you most, when Trump is attacking trans Americans, you’re silent. Love is an action. And trans people need to see that love out in the open.”
"If there’s any kids who are experiencing bullying or feeling alone or feeling like other people don’t understand them, I want you to first of all know that you’re not alone. There’s organizations like GLAAD, there’s people at your schools, there’s people in your family who support you and love you and want to be there for you. … You deserve love, you deserve support, and you deserve happiness."
"Bullies are acting out of fear and insecurity. And that’s an important thing to know if you are bullied because it’s not about you, it is only about them. Keep shining. Keep staying strong. Celebrate your life. Because if someone is coming after you, it means that you have something that they don’t. You are special. You are loved. Keep going."
"All those kids are peaking. You think that shit matters? Check on them in 12 years. They’re gonna look so bad. They’re gonna be toe-up. And you’re gonna be poppin’. What helped me through was spite. Just cling to that spite and know that one day, you’re gonna flex on all those haters."
"First, find somebody you can talk to. You don’t have to hold it in. You don’t have to be by yourself. Don’t do this on your own. Secondly, surround yourself with really great friends who are going to celebrate you for who you are. And not ask you to conform to what they want you to be. … You’ll find that being liked isn’t as important as being who you are."