While most of last week's Spirit Day social media activity emanated from North America, users around the globe lit up Twitter with tweets sporting the #SpiritDay hashtag in support of LGBT youth and speaking out against bullying from some surprising countries. Here are a 11 of our favorites:
Albania is considered a serious contender for eventual European Union membership. Yet given its mixed-bag record on LGBT rights, this #SpritDay tweet is particularly gratifying:
Iran was once informally called the Islamic State. That was before ISIS came along. Nevertheless, Iran remains a place where just being LGBT can get you executed. That makes this tweet all the more brave and admirable.
Jordan's former ambassador to the United Nations, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is now the U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights. He put on a purple tie for this tweet last week:
Russia's draconian Anti-Homosexuality Propaganda law has made life a living hell for LGBT people in the former Soviet Union. But President Vladimir Putin's Russia has plenty of courageous LGBT youth, nevertheless. Here's a #SpiritDay tweet from one of them:
Kyrgyzstan's Parliament is considering copying Russia's crushing antigay law. Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that we couldn't find a #SpiritDay tweet from inside the country. However, we found this one from Amnesty International aimed at supporting LGBT Kyrgyz youth:
Indonesia is a predominately Muslim archipelago nation, where one province is ruled to a large extent under a strict version of Sharia law. Yet here's a #SpritDay tweet straight outta Java, one of the island provinces of that country.
Africa is not an easy place to be gay. But of all African nations, South Africa is far better than most in terms of accepting LGBT people; it even has an openly gay legislator. Here's a #SpiritDay tweet from one of Capetown's own young people:
Chile has become more liberal in recent year. But talk that Chile is likely to become one of the next countries to legalize same-sex marriage would have been wishful thinking at best just a few years ago. But many say that's exactly where Chile stands now. Check out this tween from a young Chilean who's gung-ho for #SpiritDay 2014:
Chile is arguably Latin America's most conservative and religious country. That didn't stop this tweet from declaring celebration of LGBT Salvadoran youth and observation of #SpiritDay last week:
Kuwait is the purported home of this twitter's user, who appears to have gone all out with purple sentiment while tweeting from another predominately Muslim country--Turkey...all in support of stopping bullying of LGBT youth on #SpiritDay 2014:
China, sadly, has silenced access to much of social media as part of the government in Beijing's crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. We could only find this tweet that was clearly from Beijing with a #SpritDay hashtag. The bad news is, it's from last year: