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Alyssa Milano Is Going Purple for Spirit Day — And So Should You

Alyssa Milano Is Going Purple for Spirit Day — And So Should You

Alyssa Milano Is Going Purple for Spirit Day — And So Should You

The #MeToo celebrity activist will join millions in taking the pledge to support LGBTQ youth.

Alyssa Milano is one of millions of people expected to go purple for Spirit Day on October 18.

The annual event, organized by GLAAD, is a sartorial show of support for LGBTQ youth, who are disproportionately affected by bullying. Over 85 percent of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed, according to a 2015 report from GLSEN.

In advance of Spirit Day, the #MeToo activist offered words of advice for LGBTQ youth who face bullying. "The most important thing that anyone who's ever been victimized of anything can do is stand in solidarity with your peers and the people that support you," Milano said on the red carpet of the 2018 GLAAD Gala San Francisco.

"It can feel very alone. It can feel very isolating. I totally understand that. But the most important thing you can do is find your allies. Ask for help. Sometimes we can't do everything ourselves. Sometimes we need to reach out," she said.

Pose star Mj Rodriguez also advised LGBTQ youth to search for a support ground on Spirit Day and beyond. "They should possibly find an outlet ... to help them feel like they are welcome so they don't have to be subject to that," Rodriguez said, adding, "Find refuge in parents ... parents are usually the first people they can go to. They're protection."

"Find places where you feel comfortable as far as LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ communities because that's where you're most likely gonna have people that understand you," Rodriguez said.

Participants in next week's Spirit Day can take a pledge to stand against bullying and wear purple clothing next week -- or pigment their social media profile pictures with violet hues -- to demonstrate their commitment. The purple stripe is the symbol for "spirit" on the rainbow Pride flag created by the late activist Gilbert Baker.

"Spirit Day is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities," GLAAD, an LGBTQ media organization, noted on its website.

"Pledging to 'go purple' on Spirit Day is a way for everyone -- forward-thinking companies, global leaders, respected celebrities, neighbors, parents, classmates, and friends -- to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world."

Sarah Kate Ellis -- GLAAD's president and CEO -- rang the opening bell Monday at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square in advance of Spirit Day, on which date many buildings and physical landmarks are also expected to be hued in purple lights. The event boasts presenting partners Hilton, Target, and Wells Fargo; official partners Johnson & Johnson, the National Basketball Association, and the Women's National Basketball Association; as well as supporting partners Kellogg's, Barilla, and Kirkland & Ellis.

Find out how to "go purple" yourself at GLAAD.org.

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